Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin was on “America’s News Headquarters” to discuss the future of the nation’s space program.

The country’s commitment to space exploration has suffered due to budget cuts and lack of focus.

“This country was the inspiration of the world in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and we need to recover that if we expect this nation to be exceptional,” Aldrin said.

The space legend, who set foot on the moon more than 40 years ago, has been on a relentless mission to put America back at the forefront of space exploration.

He said the nation’s space program is in a sorry state; the U.S. can’t even get its astronauts to its own space station.

With the space shuttle program on ice, NASA’s primary means of sending astronauts to space is by hitching a ride on Russian-led flights.

Aldrin said the situation is shortsighted and does nothing to foster leadership. He said the nation needs a unified space vision with international partners to prepare the next generation to set their sights on Mars. Aldrin envisions a permanent human presence on Mars by 2040.

Watch the full interview above.

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