Newt Gingrich.
Newt Gingrich.

Moon

Newt Promises a Moon Base by 2020

26 Jan , 2012 by

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US Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich campaigned in Florida on Wednesday, and made some audacious claims if he would become President of the United States: “By the end of my second term we will have the first permanent base on the Moon and it will be American,” Gingrich said.

He also said that near-Earth space would be busy with launches by that same time frame – with “five or eight” launches a day, for space tourism and manufacturing, and that a new propulsion system would allow astronauts to get to Mars quickly and efficiently. The Space Coast crowd was captivated.

But how Gingrich would convince a future Congress to go along with what certainly would be an expensive proposition? President Obama couldn’t even convince Congress to give NASA an extra $6 billion over five years, and instead NASA’s budget has remained flat, without the big boost in technology development and science the current President was hoping for.

At a later space industry round-table discussion with Gingrich, one person commented that there are “no true space advocates in Congress, just members protecting their NASA centers and space pork.” Gingrich replied: “A good president doesn’t negotiate with Congress. He negotiates with the people, then the people negotiate with Congress.”

Even though Gingrich appears to support NASA, during the earlier rally, he also possibly indicated that he might cut NASA’s budget, saying he thinks NASA should become “lean and aggressive,” and less bureaucratic.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives said he would support tax-free prizes, devoting 10% of NASA’s budget for entrepreneurial prizes of the kind that spurred Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic (even though the current Congress nixed a recent similar proposal for NASA’s Office of Technology), and definitely outlined a nationalistic, US-only vision for space exploration, saying “we clearly have the capacity that Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to us,” and “I accept the charge that I am an American, and Americans are instinctively grandiose, because we believe in a bigger future.”

Gingrich’s biggest Republican opponent at the moment is Mitt Romney, and Romney has ridiculed Gingrich for his Moon base plans. Gingrich even referenced a previous idea he had as “weird.”

“At one point early in my career I introduced the Northwest Ordinance in Space,” Gingrich said, where once there were “13,000 Americans living on the moon, they could petition to become a state.”

Reports from Florida say that Romney will unveil his plans for NASA later this week. The Republican Primary in Florida is on January 31.

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Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.



58 Responses

  1. Stephen Thompson says:

    Desire for a moon base, good. Saying it will be American, not so good. I want a moon base (among other things) but I want it to be international with Americans, Russians, Europeans, Japanese, Indians, hell, I would like it open to the Chinese. Humans need to go into space, but it would be best if we left our nationalistic cock swinging here on Earth.

    • Simon Donaldson says:

      You’re absolutely right. The last thing the world needs right now is an “American Only” Moon Base – let alone a cheating, stupid, un-ethical retard as the US President.

      On that note… Can anyone imagine it? A City – For every race, every gender, every age – located on the moon. Free from the shackles of Earth!

      Sure, the Gravity would be a problem for anyone returning to Earth, but, the way things are going lately, perhaps a form of safe gravity-creation will have been created by then
      I can always dream, hehe

  2. FL_Beach_Media_Group says:

    Newt is an ass-clown. He is only saying these things because he’s in Florida and he is a progressive who thinks that NASA is a jobs program. No it’s a SPACE program.

  3. Anonymous says:

    He is truly plain nuts!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Talk is cheap, except when you’re paying Newt Gingrich to lobby Congress on health care reform.

    Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that what Gingrich is claiming the impossible. For there to be more than one space launch per day in 2020, the technology that would make that possible should be making its way off the drawing board as we speak.

    I would love nothing more than for such a vision to be true, but his promises are nothing more than pandering and wishful thinking. Besides, if Gingrich becomes President, we’ll be too busy waging war with Iran or some other tinpot regime that snubs its nose at America.

    • Tony Power says:

      The only requirement for this to become true is a masive increase in infrastructure needed to build the rockets. If there was the necesary infrastructure today we would be able to launch one a day.

      There is no technical limitation its a fiscal limitation. building a rocket capable of lifting a useful weight out of the gravity well we call Earth is expensive. Untill someone invents an anti-gravity device this will not change.

    • Tony Power says:

      The only requirement for this to become true is a masive increase in infrastructure needed to build the rockets. If there was the necesary infrastructure today we would be able to launch one a day.

      There is no technical limitation its a fiscal limitation. building a rocket capable of lifting a useful weight out of the gravity well we call Earth is expensive. Untill someone invents an anti-gravity device this will not change.

  5. sktrat4life says:

    If it’s an American base it’s bound to have a false flag attack on it

  6. Anonymous says:

    Gingrich has also alienated millions of Americans and a majority of the scientific community in a recent debate by saying that “atheists cannot be trusted”.

    Not that I would trust a person like Newt to follow through on this promise(even if it were within his power), I sure wouldn’t vote for a person who denies that I can be a good citizen.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Loony

  8. Torbjörn Larsson says:

    Pork politician, from the article. Say anything, promise nothing (“then the people negotiate with Congress”), squirrel away tax money on something.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This one in particular, quite Grandiose, but highly delirious.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Newt Gingrich is probably capitalizing on the lunar base initiative advanced by Russia with the US and EU. Newt wants this to be “purely American.” Purely American, does that include Argentina?

    This is pure electioneering grandstanding and should not be taken seriously. Newt is also renowned for making flamboyant claims and statements. GW Bush advanced while in office a big moon program in the wake of the Columbia shuttle crash and to defray attention from the embarrassing pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib. That initiative has folded up, and I suspect this will burn off like the morning fog.

    Newt Gingrich would be a disastrous President. Newt Gingrich is probably bipolar, for he displays manic behavior. He constantly casts about with “urgent” calls for action, he is often in a rapid fire speech about imminent dangers, conspiracies, focused on opponents as “enemies,” and his conduct and personal life is in continual turmoil. His career as Speaker of the House (104th Congress) was a constant sequence of rapid fire changes, urgent need for action and in 1998 he was drummed out by his own party members for being hopelessly inconsistent and politically destructive. I think as President he would prove to be quite dangerous.

    The scariest sentence I could imagine being said on January 19, 2013: “Here are the nuclear launch codes President Gingrich.”

    LC

    • Anonymous says:

      Newt scares the hell out of me. Romney is too rich to understand reality.

      • Anonymous says:

        Newt is a dangerous man, and frankly I question whether he is mentally fit to run a nation which commands the largest economy in the world (we still do for now), and which bristles with thousands of nuclear bombs. I think he needs to be in therapy more than the Oval Office. If he becomes President I suspect we will have one wild ride during his one term; I am sure he will be thrown out in a landslide after one term, unless the right wing has completely jacked the electoral process into a rigged game.

        LC

        • Anonymous says:

          Yea… like Newt is more dangerous than that Socialist pig in office now.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yea… like Newt is more dangerous than that Socialist pig in office now.

          • Anonymous says:

            When somebody calls Obama a socialist the one thing I know right away is that person has no idea what socialism is. This is Glen Beck nonsense speech.

            LC

          • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says:

            … and this is why it’s so important to get a good education.

          • Anonymous says:

            It get really rich when they call Obama a communist. These people are know-nothings.

            LC

          • Anonymous says:

            I am thoroughly amused by your “know-nothings” hypothesis. Explain to me how “Obama Care” isn’t headed down the road of socialism. I never said Obama was a communist. Communism and socialism are two different things.

          • Anonymous says:

            “Explain to me how “Obama Care” isn’t headed down the road of socialism.”

            Of course that Obamacare is not socialism. Obama is trying to do some reforms that will make capitalism less hearthless and abusive. Calling that socialism is like saying that insulin injections are a cure for diabetes.

            And one thing more: what do you have against socialism?

            Do you not care about social justice, equality and decent life for the millions of people that are not part of the top of the social pyramid?

          • Anonymous says:

            I see where you are coming from. I do understand that society has benefited from such policies, but the ability of government to dictate our lives and interfere with the way business is conducted is like a drug. The more power the American people give them the more they want. Government should not be able to prohibit people from smoking, and government shouldn’t have the ability to take taxpayers money, a majority of which came from the millions of people that make up the lower 99% of the social pyramid, and went to the 1% seated at the top. As far as the Obamacare situation goes, the government is strong arming small businesses to foot a majority of the bill with penalties they incur if they do not supply their employees with healthcare.

            I lost a business two years ago, and between the unemployment tax increases and the penalty for not offering health insurance we couldn’t survive. I bash Obama, but I truly have no faith in anyone in the political realm. They have proved time and time again that they are so disconnected with the people of this country. And the fact that they can lie over and over, saying whatever they feel the American people want to hear, to get elected then turn around and do the opposite once they get office. AND A MAJORITY OF THE PUBLIC DOESN’T NOTICE, OR EVEN CARE!

            I apologize, but it is frustrating to watch this country fall apart with the large part of society not even noticing. I mean, can anyone truly say that they have faith in our government? I mean how about you? Do you think these people of congress, the house, and our president really give a crap about us, other than the fact that we pay taxes?

          • Anonymous says:

            “Government should not be able to prohibit people from smoking,(…)”

            Huh?

            Tobacco, unlike cocaine and marihuana, is not banned.

            You can i

            and government shouldn’t have the ability to take taxpayers money”

          • Julian Sloop says:

            Are you serious? The Federal Government might not ban smoking but State and Local Governments have all across America. And what did you mean by “You can i”?

          • Anonymous says:

            “Government should not be able to prohibit people from smoking,”

            Huh?

            Tobacco, unlike marihuana and cocaine, is not banned. What you can’t do now is smoke in a public place.

            If you want to poison your lungs with smoke, you are free to do it, but you have not the right to poison the air other people breathe. Doing so is homicidal, and should be illegal in any state that recognize the fundamental human rights (life,equality and freedom). To said it more clear, smoking in public places is murder.

            “(…) and government shouldn’t have the ability to take taxpayers money”

            Think about what you have just written. You essentially wants to reduce the state revenues to zero, effectively eliminating the government ( a government with zero revenues is a moneyless powerless organization).

            So what about the people that are not rich enough to pay for healthcare, education and security, you want them to die or to live in total misery?

            That would be a return to the Dark Ages.

          • Julian Sloop says:

            Can you not read? I didn’t say that I don’t believe in taxes! I just said that government shouldn’t use our tax money to bail out corporations who lost their asses screwing the very people who ended up bailing them out.

            And I understand there are people that cant afford healthcare, but that dosn’t mean that the government should just step in and buy it for them. Maybe if procedures were not so expensive then more people could afford to go to the doctor! And if there were not so many illegal immigrants in the country that can not be held accountable for their hospital bills the problem would be a fraction of the problem it is today.

            And don’t twist my words around saying some crap about me bashing illegal immigrants, i feel that it is the governments fault for making the legalization process so damn limited! If more immigrants could come to this country legally a majority of them would. But the government only has the capacity to process 50,000 people into this country through the system that is in place.

            Don’t bother responding to this if your going to respond with some crap like before. Don’t take things out of context. You sound like a damn politician.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you ever went to Europe, you would notice how far away from socialism “Obama Care” is. Americans tend to call Obama a socialist. In Europe he would be a (far-)right capitalist. And even Europe doesn’t have socialism as its system.

            Germany used to have the “soziale Marktwirtschaft”, which was in my opinion one of the best systems ever. Too bad that we turned it upside down a few years ago (not yet as bad as the selfish American system, but still..)

          • Anonymous says:

            This is taking us a bit out of the topic here. The conservative economic philosophy is ultimately grounded in Milton Friedman’s thesis that all activity can be reduced to the same market fundamentals. An example would be that aircraft maintenance can be just as deregulated as shoe manufacturing. Please ponder that one a bit. The same goes for heath care, where I think an activity based heavily on needs, an activity that requires considerable skill by practitioners, is a different activity than a market like making or retailing blue jeans. This equation on the part of the right is an example of this two-dimensional and stilted faux-intellectualism which has infected this world, in particular the US of A.

            I second Flimmer’s statement, for I have experienced Europe’s system, second handed where a companion was injured, and I was impressed by the fact care was quick and done without the cumbersome insurance and other nonsense inherent in the American health system. This is a form of public economics, but I think a healthy world order involves a dynamic tension between public and private structures.

            LC

          • Anonymous says:

            I think his head just exploded! lol

          • Anonymous says:

            And the fact that he completely blew off going to court this morning in Georgia is proof that Obama he no respect for the judicial process.

          • Anonymous says:

            He no respect? At least he uses proper grammar.
            And I suppose you are repudiating the principle of Presidential Privilege so rigorously defended and proposed by the only President to resign the office: Richard Nixon?

          • Julian Sloop says:

            OK, my statement was wrong. EXECUTIVE privilege granted the president the ability to do what he did. But I am not an idiot, and I am not easily led. Almost everybody is misinformed, and your comment of deranged says a lot about you. I understand that some people like Obama as president and they get angry when he is called things they don’t like. I have no respect for President Obama. He has driven this nation so far into debt, and continues to do so. I am concerned, and you should be too. I worry about the world that my son will grow up in, and I do not understand why Americans stand by this President who is doing so much harm to the economy. I hope that I am wrong. If you are so educated on this topic why don’t you use your time to make your case and explain whatever it is that I am missing, instead of slandering me. That does nothing to further your cause.

          • Anonymous says:

            President Obama inherited the current debt that was generated by the criminal administration of the Bush’s. President Clinton ran a surplus that the Bush’s took care of and made their war profiteering crony’s rich.

          • Julian S. says:

            That is hilarious. And you called me a misinformed idiot… This whole mess started with the Clinton administration in 1994 when he pushed Mr. Cisneros to come up with a way to boost the national home ownership rate. With that mortgage companies started approving more and more people for loans that they knew they couldn’t afford. Then they were able to turn around and sell the policy off, wiping their hands clean of the risk.
            Your statement about the debt is also ridiculous. Obama raised the debt bay almost 4 trillion dollars in just 3 years! He did take office with a repulsive amount of debt already there, but instead of doing something about it he has accelerated its growth.
            I also found it amusing that you were so ill with my “name calling” of President Obama, but it seems like you don’t like to take your own advice…

          • Anonymous says:

            Why do I have to think about this?

            She turned me into a newt…

          • IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says:

            Probably because socialist/communist witch-hunters are like those guys in the video!

          • Anonymous says:

            Yeah the tea partiers are a bunch of masturbatory wishful thinking drones. Not thinking for themselves, dolts that deserve the government that would tax most of them to protect the 1% and screw everyone else. Effing blind twits! Use your BRAIN people! Just look at your hero’s: Rush Limbaugh, a drug addled rabbler rouser. Glenn Beck! a laughing stock, that can’t keep from crying like a baby whenever his ideology is brought into question. And the front runner, Mitt Romney, a man that loves to fire people that serve him! And he cares not for the poor in this Nation! HIS WORDS! This asswipe is so out of touch with the people of this land it isn’t funny at all. The only reason President Obama hasn’t been able to accomplish much in his first administration is because of an obstructionist Congress; totally partisan politics is the rule of this and the upcoming Congress. The GOP is the party of elitism and hate for the American Public at large. I pity the working people of this country that are trying to hold onto the American Dream! This dream is being ripped away from you as I speak, Little by little, with the gleeful cackles of the moneyed class echoing down the canyon of Wall Street.

          • Anonymous says:

            Mr Sloop, You are very: 1. Deranged; 2. Misinformed;
            3. Easily led; or, and I like this one: 4. An idiot!
            If you wish to call names, expect some to come your way!

        • Anonymous says:

          Kind of what happened when Bush Jr rigged the Florida vote and the SCOTUS (big surprise there) upheld the fraud?

  11. Denny Poniatowski says:

    This world has been planning a moon base since we first saw it. For Newt to say it’ll be an “American Base” is just ludicrous. The only thing this world has going for for it (is) the V-ger project “AS SUCH”

  12. Car Wbenuk says:

    so thats were all the tax payers money goes and if something devesating happens i’m sure politicians will have a home built by OUR MONEY and worse case senerio and food supplied by the public = how come nobody put money into New Orleans or is it just not as important?

  13. campbell s w says:

    Sadly I think a President Newt would bankrupt America long before they even got round to building a Moonbase.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Others have said it better than I can. This man would be a disaster as President! Having said that, I hope he gets the GOP nomination thus insuring Obama’s 2nd term in office. I really had to laugh when he said that you can not trust Atheists. Lets sit back and count the ways this ass-hat is untrustworthy: He is a serial cheater on his wifes, he hasn’t an ethical bone in his body, hence the fines imposed on him by the Congress for ethics violations. Newts in the wild are rather cute, but slimy, this Newt running for President is just slimy.
    I am all for Space Exploration! And a Moon Base would be a great accomplishment. However, I believe that it will and should be a cooperative endeavor by several countries. Gingrich’s idea of making the MOON a state is just silly. The man definitely has bouts of grandiosity. Someone suggested Bi-polar disorder, he certainly shows some of the signs.

  15. Pasi Jokela says:

    The U.S. is a relatively technologically advanced nation. Building a moon base and manning it with hundreds or thousands of people would not be impossible at all. That might be the beginning of a new era in mankind’s history. But to do that you would have to stop spending resources on military, wars and “national security”. The change would not be all that difficult to achieve, after all the personnel now working on high-tech destruction is quite capable to take on the challenge, and anyone with two hands (or even one, or maybe even none) would be able to contribute.

    I wish you would finally elect a president that would pull your collective head out of your collective *ss and rebuild a nation that others would have a reason to envy. As it is, you’re just a hated bully and a pitiful laughing stock around the world.

    EDIT: I must add that I hope the possible expansion of humanity to the Moon and other planets will be a global endeavour. I do not trust the U.S. mentality alone in this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      And your diatribe against the USA has exactly what to do with Space Exploration and the establishment of a manned moon base? It is interesting that you do not say what country you are from!

      • Pasi Jokela says:

        I’m just saying that the U.S. wastes its know-how and resources big time when they go about destroying things and killing people around the globe. Just think of what those hundreds of billions of dollars annually could buy in terms of Space Exploration. (In reality, of course, the U.S. doesn’t have that much money to spend.)

        • Anonymous says:

          While I am not in agreement with nor do I support the war in the middle east that this country is engaged in at the present time.(I am in support of all the active duty servicemen and women, and our veterans) This country was provoked beyond the point of sitting idly by while being attacked by radical Islamists. It is my thought that we (The USA) should have pulled out of Afghanistan at the same time we left Iraq, however history has shown that we need to be ready to defend ourselves and our allies and interests worldwide. Sadly this consumes funds that could be put to use for other purposes, i.e. space exploration, etc etc.

    • Anonymous says:

      What country or consortium would you support? Every country has its own agenda and goals. The ISS is a grand example of international cooperation. It is fairly well accepted that future efforts as large as this will take the same amount of cooperation.
      Gingrich’s pandering to the electorate in Florida is just “Pie-in-the-Sky” rhetoric. That man is seriously flawed, and not a true example of the USA’s wishes, plans,or intent.
      I repeat: It would be interesting to know what country you are from.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Its about time!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    You know that Atlantis and Endeavour aren’t dead in the water yet.

  18. Winski says:

    AND, Newt and his blow-up doll companion can be the first there to test it !!! YEAH!!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe people who follow this website would be so critical of Newt’s statement about establishing an American moon base. Obama has all but destroyed our space program! He scrapped the Constellation program! He feels that since we have been to the moon that we shouldn’t bother with returning to it! The scientific community should be pleased to see that someone who could actually do something about this, and return NASA to their former glory, could possibly become the president.

    • Anonymous says:

      On the blog entry yesterday involving the Russian proposal for a lunar base:

      http://www.universetoday.com/92937/russia-opens-talks-with-nasa-and-esa-with-plans-for-manned-lunar-base

      I indicate some problems with this whole idea. I will not reiterate them here.

      To be honest the scientific community collectively groans when these things are proposed. Thousands who study entangled quantum state of light, or who are looking at sRNA regulation of genes, or who are writing a grant to get telescope time, or …, know that this will be a huge dollar consuming program which will tighten the margins for real research. If the interest is in producing lunar science, then rovers and telepresent robots will work fine at a far lower cost than a lunar base.

      A lot of what Newt talked about was “romantic vision” and other silly stuff. That sort of rhetoric goes nowhere, when it involves hundreds of billions of dollars for a program which will have minimal returns.

      LC

      • Julian Sloop says:

        I understand that those funds are needed for other forms of research. And those you list are very important. My main concern with all of this mess is that organizations are getting less and less funding. We need someone in office that understands that NASA and organizations like it have a massive impact on the economy. The advances in technology that are produced from the funding they receive is phenomenal! It is crazy how much money the government spends on nonsense. If just a fraction of that money went into the scientific community, for research such as you mentioned, and for projects like Constellation and establishing a base of operations on the moon, there would be no telling what all we could accomplish.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If he promises to live there, I’m all for it!

  21. liberty_rocks says:

    I don’t know if anyone cares but Jerry Pournelle is one of Newt’s science advisers. And, I suspect, the genesis of these bold ideas.

    “Newt was a fairly close friend from 1980 until he left public office. He remains a friend. And I repeat that every single one of the candidates would be a better President than Barrack Hussein Obama. As was William Jefferson Clinton.”- Jerry Pournelle Chaos Manor 1/23/2012

    You can read about some of it at http://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/?p=4980

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