That’s right, Newt Gingrich wants a permanent American-controlled moon base by the end of his second term in office. Don’t worry Republicans, he’s not suggesting, you know, actual funding by the government or anything — just that private enterprise will, somehow, for some inexplicable reason, become motivated to find ways to do it.
Speaking in Florida, hit hard by the loss of a large number of space-affiliated jobs, Mr. Gingrich said Wednesday that if elected, “By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.”
He said he believed such a project was possible with commercial and private efforts. According to USA Today, Mr. Gingrich said he had “a romantic belief it is really part of our destiny,” adding that the current state of the space program was a “tragedy.”
But his delusion and utter lack of understanding of the reality of space travel, its difficulties, and the magical hand-waving power of Republicans’ second deity after Jesus, the Invisible Hand Of The Market, does not stop there.
The paper also said he believed there would be a “continuous propulsion system” that would allow travel to Mars in a shorter span of time.
One cannot just assume that technology will be changed to meet your particular needs for your particular windmill-tilting, just by suggesting government get out of the picture and putting the onus of responsibility on the corporations. That is magical thinking. Sure, it MIGHT happen, but you can’t assume it WILL happen, especially where you aren’t willing to put any money into actually researching this shit.
Neil deGrasse Tyson tore this nonsense apart on the Martin Bashir show:
And Gizmodo covers why exactly Newt’s fantasyland deity worship is ultimately illegal. The main reason is, by international treaty, space is streng verboten as far as nationalist imperialism. One cannot extend one’s country’s influence beyond the confines of planet Earth. Any project involving claiming territory anywhere off-planet must be an international project.
This is, of course, well beyond Newt’s ability to comprehend, considering his and his fellow conservatives’ magical thinking with regard to private enterprise. There are huge problems with the idea of a permanent moon base, not the least of which being it will likely not be self-sustaining, and will require a great deal of private capital to create and maintain, with precious little profit motive. Sure, the scientific motive is absurdly high — just think of the possibilities with regard to telescopes! — but that’s not enough to motivate a company to pour billions and billions of dollars into a project with little return-on-investment.