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To the Moon, Newt!

Gingrich’s wasteful, scientifically unsound plan to put colonists on lunar soil.

Newt Gingrich described himself as a visionary when he unveiled plans Wednesday to create a mammoth new space program, including a permanent colony on the moon within the next nine years. Within eight years, he pledges a new Mars rocket program—specifically, a “continually operating propulsion system) capable of getting to Mars within a remarkably short time.” He also reiterated his plan to declare at least part of the moon as U.S. territory, with colonists capable of petitioning for statehood status.

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Put aside that Gingrich was speaking in Florida, the state most invested in space exploration and, by happenstance, the next up on the Republican primary schedule. Let’s consider cost first. The Apollo missions to the moon cost in excess of $100 billion in current dollars. In 2005, NASA administrator Michael Griffin estimated the cost of a program to land four astronauts on the moon by 2018 (as was then planned), at $104 billion.

For what reason? To beat other countries? To be the first to have a “colony” on the moon? At what expense? So, to truly embark on such an endeavor within a decade, we would have to spend somewhere between a few hundred billion and a trillion dollars. This money is better spent to those people still residing here on earth within the US.

What about jobs on earth? What about affordable health care? What about Social Security? The list goes on and on. I could have a hoot about a colony on Mars, as do most of the people of our country.

Newt Gingrich, you are grasping at straws as you see your potential candidacy spiraling down the drain like dirty dish water. Especially to the corrupt likes of Mitt Romney, I am sure that has to hurt. Please, stop being a space cadet and come back to earth.


Thanks to Don in Massachusetts for posting this political cartoon.

4 Comments »

  1. I’m in that minority who wanted to continue flights to the moon and establish a small research base (not colony) there. I wanted to hang onto that percent of the national budget that NASA has always had and make sure we always had our own launch vehicle so we wouldn’t be dependent on “friends” like Russia and China for a ride into space. I’m afraid future programs and the budget for them will not survive the current hiatus, and I don’t trust profit-driven private corporations to get the job done.

    Gingrich, on the other hand, seems to be moonstruck. (I’d say lunatic, but I’m afraid too many people would overlook the derivation of the word.) A colony of 30,000 on the moon? Statehood for that colony? I’d sooner vote for Ralph Kramden.

    • I have always loved space research, especially having 12 years of college sci and tech. However, with the state our country is in right now, I just cannot see justifying the enormous amount of money spent on a station on the moon.

  2. Michelle, i don’t think you thought this one through – why on earth would you want him to “come back to earth”? he SHOULD go to the moon…and take a whole bunch of hIs pals and supporters with him. continue…

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