By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Tuesday night former astronaut Buzz Aldrin stopped by Drexel University to talk space exploration with Philadelphia’s tech community.

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The 85-year-old Aldrin gave the audience a glimpse into his time as an astronaut and what it meant for him to have the opportunity to walk on the moon.

“I’m trying to do something for the leadership of the nation and the world and advance the world to outward in the solar system,” said Aldrin.

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During the conference, which was organized by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Col. Aldrin talked about working on his PhD at MIT, his time as a pilot in the Air Force, his scuba diving adventures as well as a book he wrote.

“I decided to write a science fiction story that came out in 1995 called Encounter with Tiber. It’s better than Star Trek and better than Star Wars,” he said.

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The New Jersey native made it a point to let everyone know how important he thinks it is for the U.S. to be the first to Mars.