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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives 602

Posted by timothy
from the in-space-no-one-can-hear-your-loss-for-words dept.
New submitter thomas.kane writes "Newt Gingrich announced yesterday, while visiting Florida's Space Coast, a visionary plan for the future of space travel. He suggested a combination of the current private incentives and a government funded section, developing a moon base, commercial near earth orbit, and continuous propulsion systems to better reach Mars." "Visionary" seems an awfully positive spin on it; Gingrich is not the first President or presidential candidate to propose revisiting the moon — and the moon seems like small potatoes, by some measures.
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

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  • by SoftwarePearls (1591289) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:45AM (#38827715)
    The US federal debt is going to ensure that this never happens. Not this side of 2050. Not even if the Chinese start making concrete plans to do the same.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:48AM (#38827743)
      We'll use all the money we're saving with our socialized healthcare system. Then we can launch all the socialists to the moon where they can live in a perfect socialized society where they don't have to live with the evils of capitalism.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#38828051)

        As opposed to the Free Market Space Cadets, who will live in a perfect market economy selling vacuum to each other? How dare "We the people" be concerned about fellow humans! Space rocks! That's what counts!

      • by Tim4444 (1122173) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:03AM (#38828565)

        Since it's Gingrich proposing this government funded government housing project on the moon, I suppose he'd be the first one we ship off to this socialist moon utopia you describe...

        If perhaps Gingrich wants moon exploration to be handled by private enterprise, maybe he should put his money where is mouth is and go start an actual business, like what Romney did (sort of), instead of applying for a fat cat government job, er, running for President.

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:18PM (#38829541) Homepage Journal

          Gingrich is probably as seious about establishing a moon base as he was when he swore "til death do us part" to the woman he later served divorce papers to while she was hospitalized with cancer, or "Clinton needs to be impeached!!!" while Gingrich himself was screwing around on his second wife. The man is a liar and hypocrite with no obvious sign of morals or ethics whatever.

          Nothing that blowhard says shoud EVER be believed. I can't figure out why anyone would vote for that guy.

        • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:39PM (#38830715)
          I would chip in a few bucks to send Gingrich to the moon.
      • by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:12AM (#38828635)

        Socialists do not oppose capitalism.

        This is what socialists believe in: "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" -- the God Damned Constitution.

        The economic engine underlying that is a means to that end. And capitalism (restrained by appropriate regulation) is the best economic engine that promotes growth and works towards those goals that has been tested to date.

        • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:23AM (#38828799) Journal

          This is what socialists believe in: "establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity" -- the God Damned Constitution.

          Don't forget this little nugget of the Constitution:
          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

          This means that it is not up to the federal government to force socialist policies. If the states want to, however, that is there right. In a world where the Constitution was followed, if you want socialism, you would look to your governor, not the president, or move to a socialist state.

          • by repapetilto (1219852) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:36AM (#38828983)

            Yes, this is the main point. The argument will be that it is inconvenient for some people to have to change states. The counter argument is "that's better than having to change countries".

      • Socialists and capitalists are not opposites. Stop it, stop being stupid.

        Socialist works BEST in a reasonable capitalistic environment.

        Just because Lawful evil alignment exists mean you can't have a Lawful good alignments. Lawful still applies.
        DO you see who you can have two separate things the come together to create a unique thing.

        A DnD analogy? DAMN STRAIGHT.

      • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:01PM (#38829323)

        We'll use all the money we're saving with our socialized healthcare system.

        It's funny you can say that without any irony, given that 100% of space exploration, ever, has been socialist (unless you have some narrower definition of "socialism" than "government funded," which judging by your healthcare comment, I don't think you do). Every moon landing, every probe to reach another planet or escape the solar system, every space telescope. All socialist.

      • by pnewhook (788591) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:12PM (#38830361)
        I know you're trying to be funny, but I find it completely hypocritical that the only US citizens with true socialized healthcare are the military and the politicians. Ordinary citizens on the other hand are left to rot.
    • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:49AM (#38827753) Journal
      From what I've been reading, he intends for the US to get to the moon using private industry incentives. So he'd most likely destroy NASA as an agency to free up that money.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:08AM (#38827949)

        He's lying.

        He's campaigning in Florida, so he promises space initiatives (http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/25/gingrich-shoots-for-the-moon/).

        When his in Nevada he'll promise casino initiative, when he's in Michigan he'll promise automotive initiatives.

        He's lying. He's only interested in Gingrich Initiatives (https://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/us/politics/newt-gingrich-faces-more-scrutiny-on-corporate-clients.html).

        • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:11AM (#38827977)

          Exactly. Had he said this anywhere else it may have been credible. Instead, he's in Florida and while the message the rest of the country may be hearing is "a bold new plan for space and the moon", the locals are hearing "I'll pay out loads of government contracts around Cape Canaveral and pump money into the local economy". It's pork and nothing more.

          • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#38828049) Journal

            USA can live with 10 aircraft carriers, or perhaps 9

            The savings from not having to maintain 1 (or 2) navy armada (aka carrier group) can easily be channeled to build a permanent American moon base

            • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:47AM (#38828419)

              USA can live with 10 aircraft carriers, or perhaps 9

              The savings from not having to maintain 1 (or 2) navy armada (aka carrier group) can easily be channeled to build a permanent American moon base

              Unlikely. Several carriers are in the yards at any given time.

              So, 9 or 10 carriers means six to eight available at any given moment. One in the Med, one in the Indian Ocean, a couple in the Pacific, one in the Atlantic is about minimum.

              And that assumes that the operational carriers are at sea basically 100% of the time. With no time for transit to duty stations.

              So unless you're good with the notion that the carrier battle group in the western pacific or the med or the Indian Ocean NEVER gets to come home, and the sailors on same never get to see families for their entire enlistment, it won't happen.

              That said, there is NO chance of a moon base by 2020. Even if Gingrich got behind for real (promising space activity in Florida campaign speeches is normal - every President since Kennedy has done it, including Obama), there isn't time to develop the heavy-lift capability, much less actually move hardware to the moon - we're actually behind where we were in 1962 right now, in that we're not even in working on a heavy lift vehicle yet....

              • by Shotgun (30919)

                Why is that a minimum? Why do we need aircraft carriers patrolling all over the place? Do we need an aircraft carrier to take out a Somali pirate?

                Quit trying to be a bully to the world and we won't need to maintain all these resources.

              • by Chris Burke (6130)

                there isn't time to develop the heavy-lift capability, much less actually move hardware to the moon - we're actually behind where we were in 1962 right now, in that we're not even in working on a heavy lift vehicle yet....

                Right, and we're even farther behind where we should be in the far flung future of the 21st century because we're still talking about needing a heavy-lift vehicle to launch everything from earth to the moon in one shot.

                What we should be doing is treating it as two separate trips: Earth surface to Earth orbit, and Earth orbit to the Moon. Once you're in orbit, getting to the moon is pretty easy, energy-wise. You can do it with a pretty small rocket and fuel supply. The problem is when you have to carry t

              • by SteveFoerster (136027) <<steve> <at> <hiresteve.com>> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @01:38PM (#38830701) Homepage

                And yet amazingly, there are plenty of countries that make it through each day without any carrier groups at all!

            • Interesting idea. How about we do one better, and mothball 1-2 of those carriers, and not go to the Moon until we pay off our crippling debt? Moon bases and aircraft carriers are both run off of money borrowed from China.

              • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:37AM (#38828987)

                Don;t need to mothball a carrier to do that. Just repeal the Bush Era tax cuts. 2 trillion right there.

                Won't even hurt anyone in the bottom 90%. Then you can look at mothballing carriers and looking at social security reform etc.

        • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:15AM (#38828685) Homepage

          Now, now, let's not conflate lying with not knowing what the fuck he's talking about.

          He obviously has no idea what he's talking about because he promised to have that moon base up by the end of his first term as president. That's a pipe dream, a fantasy so unbelievable that he may as well have been promising to meet moon-unicorns once we got up there. It takes at least five years just to get a satellite into orbit; there's no way we could get back to the moon, let alone establish a base there, without ten years or more of work. Promising it in four is delusional.

          • Now, now, let's not conflate lying with not knowing what the fuck he's talking about.

            In other words, he's either a liar or a retarded idiot.

            Can I choose both?

        • by dbIII (701233)

          He's lying.

          Comparing what he's said over the years to what he's done that's a fairly safe bet.
          It's a pity the FBI sting to find out whether he was a traitor willing to funnel millions for weapons to Saddam or if it was only his wife acting alone was halted at the last minute. He's scum that doesn't really fit in any party.

      • by Xyrus (755017) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:08AM (#38827951) Journal

        You know, it says a lot about this country when someone with a history like Newt's can be a serious candidate for president. Vote Cthulu for 2012! It will be the lesser evil!

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:12AM (#38827985)

        US to get to the moon using private industry incentives

        If the moon were made of solid gold, it still wouldn't be anywhere close to economically feasible for private industry to bother. And, as it is, it's just made of cheese, which is a lot easier to get out of cows.

      • by gtall (79522)

        So he's going to destroy NASA and free up their money for private industry incentives? So this would be the government picking winners and losers in private industries devoted to going to the moon? And this is considered free enterprise?

        One thing to realize about Newt is that he's basically a loose cannon on the rolling deck of a wooden ship of about 1850. His "solutions" were baked about that time as well. Actually this goes for the entire Republican field. Obama is caught in that golden time when Roosevel

    • What we need is a new cold war, to play who's-got-the-biggest-balls with another superpower and fund a new, bold space program.

      No cold war = boring old reality with a national debt to repay.

      • We have a new cold war. It's just that this one is a contest to see who can build the most comprehensive surveillance state the fastest, while fighting as many strategically dubious and chronically expensive guerrilla wars as possible...

        The risk of thermonuclear annihilation is rather lower; but the grinding banality is sort of depressing.
    • by prefec2 (875483) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#38828047)

      The beauty of the idea is, that you do not need any money, you just use all the US debt certificates and stack them. That should be enough to reach the moon and build there a station out of the remaining notes. And if it isn't sufficient. New debt can easily be produced. For example, wage another war. Let say against Pakistan. Er no they have the bomb. Well let see, how about Norway. They have oil and they do not have any nuclear weapons. True they are allies, but who cares? Who will stop us? The British will not, if BP can get some of the oil.

  • by Gallenod (84385) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:46AM (#38827727)

    Newt Gingrich's new Secret Service code name:

              MOONBAT ALPHA

  • by tp1024 (2409684) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:52AM (#38827775)
    GWB set up a program that he knew he couldn't finance and thus put all the expenses on whoever would come after him. Of course, this didn't stop them from handing out heaps of money for useless non-development - like $450,000,000 dollars for the "Ares-1x" - an ordinary surplus shuttle booster with a mockup stage strapped on top of it, that didn't even manage to separate properly and couldn't tell anything about the flight characteristics of the real Ares-1 (with a longer 5-segment booster) anyway. For comparison: the cost of that flight was more than two full flights of the Ariane-5.
  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:53AM (#38827795) Homepage

    After building a base on the moon, he will point a giant "laser" at the Earth, and threaten the rest of the world with annihilating a major city every day unless the world pays the US (evil pinky finger) $10.5 trillion. Then he will use that money to pay off the national debt (except that which is owed to Social Security), and thus balance the budget.

    Of course, the whole thing will be stopped when a spy with bad teeth shows up.

  • Back to the future (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhaseChange (244013) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:54AM (#38827801)
    "Tonight, I am directing NASA to develop a permanently manned space station and to do it within a decade." -President Ronald Reagan, 25 January 1984.
  • Bigger governmnet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:55AM (#38827823) Homepage Journal

    Obviously US has no money for this, but that never stopped a politician from making promises. Besides, so much money can be stolen/printed and provided via contracts to various contributors.

    Do you know what a popular government slogan was in the former USSR? "Apple trees will grow on Mars" - that was the 'next step of the revolution'. Obviously USSR didn't have a sound economy and couldn't feed its people, but it was a great 'vision' pushed by the government elite, to have people believe in some form of 'brighter future'.

    Another slogan was: "To catch up to and overtake America".

    I think in US now the slogan that Obama pushes is: "To catch up and overtake China".

  • Nutcase (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazzleFrog (537054) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:56AM (#38827831)

    It amazes me that anybody is still taking him seriously - let alone voting for him in these primaries.

  • by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @09:58AM (#38827845) Homepage
    Playing to the local base. He doesn't mean to follow through with a breath of it. In an age of hypocrites, Gingrich sets the standard for pathetic and has for a long, long time.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:06AM (#38827921)

    So if this President of the United States of American thing doesn't work out, maybe he can campaign to be the President of the Moon?

  • by MetricT (128876) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:10AM (#38827975) Homepage

    Gingrich said this in Florida, a few weeks before the Floriday primary. Newt needs a win here to cement his momentum, because if Romney wins it's a serious blow to his candidacy. Because of that, I expect him to spend the next couple of weeks telling voters any outlandish fantasy it takes to get elected, up to and including telling people in Miami he'll invade Cuba and kill Castro.

    • by jader3rd (2222716)
      Yesterday he said that there should be a Cuban Spring. Now I don't know if he was implying he'd start one, but it'd be interesting to see what would happen should the people of Miami start demanding one from him.
  • of course (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:11AM (#38827979)

    Floridians are promised a moon base right before primary night. Texans will be promised their independence. Arizonians will be promised a border fence. Pennsylvania will be promised a revitalized steel industry. The grain belt will be promised increased access to foreign markets for meat, milk, and grain. Alaska will get more wells AND greater environmental protections at the same time. So will Ohio. Such is the power of American ingenuity. We will have the largest economy, the largest and best equipped army, the healthiest economy, the best education, equal opportunity for everyone, but no limit on personal wealth and power. Anyone can have a gun, and we will be the safest nation on earth.

    Meanwhile, opponents will be defined by their positions on controversial hot-button but trivial issues of no national consequence whatsoever.

    Could be almost any politician's platform; except that Newt is an exemplary example of how extreme such cynical manipulation of the electorate can go. He truly holds the citizens of this country in contempt; no one sees the world as clearly as he does; no one possesses such incisive insight. He will do or say anything to get elected. In short he is a psychopath.

    Alarmingly, that seems to be what an inexplicably large proportion of the population wants right now. It's a scary time to be an American.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:13AM (#38827997) Journal
    Government undertaking grandiose projects, be it man on moon, be it universal healthcare, be it war on poverty, are all typically Democratic thinking. The Republicans usually slant towards free markets, low deficits, small government etc. In moderation both sides have good ideas. When ideas from either party are taken to the extremes, it becomes grotesque. Suddenly because Floridians think they will benefit by the revival of government spending on space research, he is pandering to them. Such pandering is the bane of democracy.
    • by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:10AM (#38828617) Homepage Journal

      When did he become a democrat?

      - better question is: "what the hell happened to the conservatives in US that they think Republicans are conservatives?"

    • by radtea (464814)

      Republicans usually slant towards free markets, low deficits, small government etc.

      As others here have pointed out, this is false. Completely, utterly and entirely false.

      How in 2012 after decades of Republican deficits and Republican government growth can anyone believe this?

      Republicans at all levels of government have actually managed to grow deficits and government programs faster than Democrats, and that takes some doing.

      There is simply no possible way anyone who has been paying attention and has a shred of intellectual honesty can say Republicans are for any of the things you say the

  • by NReitzel (77941) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:14AM (#38828005) Homepage

    Going back to the moon is not small potatoes, by any measure.

    The pessimistic case, it's done by Government, will cost a fortune and get us what, a publicity stunt? Worse, NASA will take it seriously, develop extensive plans for what we really ought to do, and then as soon as the publicity wears off, cancel everything at even more cost. 1972, deja vu.

    In the what-should-be-done vein, we (humans) need to go to the moon, plant a base, and then develop that base into an industrial economy in its own right. This means that we will need to find resources on the moon, develop them, and aim for a self-sustaining colony.

    No politician will ever support this, because the time frame of such a project is fifty years, or a hundred years. Where's the electability in that? What political force in the US could ever conceive of something that didn't pay off in the current election cycle? What money manager would invest hard cash in a project that was two hundred quarters out? Nobody I know.

    China, maybe. They are not (yet) governed by short sighted kapitalists (sic) or even more short sighted politicians.

  • He's not serious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @10:39AM (#38828319) Journal
    Gingrich has no serious plans about building a moon base. He's just pandering to Floridians to get their votes. You can rest assured that after Florida is done, he'll drop it like a bad habit.
    • by eclectro (227083)

      he'll drop it like a bad habit.

      But he doesn't drop any of his bad habits. Moonbase Gingrich, here we come!

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:16AM (#38828701)

    Coincidentally today is NASA's day of remembrance for all those who lost their lives during the pursuit of space.

    Tomorrow (Jan 27) marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that killed Command Pilot Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee.

    Saturday (Jan 28) marks the 26th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that killed Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith and Dick Scobee.

    Next Wednesday (Feb 1) marks the 9 anniversary of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster that killed Rick D. Husband, William McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, and Ilan Ramon.

    Also the following were killed during astronaut training: Theodore Freeman, Elliot See, Charles Bassett, Clifton "C.C." Williams, and Robert Lawrence.

    The following are were killed during space flight or cosmonaut training: Vladimir Komarov, Georgi Dobrovolski, Viktor Patsayev, Vladislav Volkov, Valentin Bondarenko, Yuri Gagarin, and Sergei Vozovikov.

  • should explain how they are going to get the rest of the party to agree to pay for it.

    Because the current state of affairs is to butchers everything, give a free ride to corporations, and have the rich pay as close to nothing as they can.

    Going to Space is not in the 'Neo cons' religious agenda.

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @11:45AM (#38829115)
    I see them all whine about "Obama's debt", when most of that debt was acquired during Bush's two year term. Now they want austerity here at home, and at the same time this clown is promising a moon base.

    If Obama was truly the evil socialist dictator that a few right-wingers call him up-thread, then why can't the Republican party not find a serious candidate to run against him? Obama isn't perfect, but I'll take him over this side-show act, any day of the week.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:04PM (#38829361) Homepage Journal
    In November will be a lot like watching a professional wrestler punch a baby. No entertainment value whatsoever. It'll just be pathetic. I'm not a Republican and even I don't want to see that. I wish Palin would jump back into the race. Right now I think she could pick up the nomination on the grounds that all those other guys suck, and the campaign would be tremendously fun to watch even if she loses.
  • Space Elevator (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @12:32PM (#38829731) Homepage Journal

    If Gingrich was anything close to a "visionary", he'd be talking space elevator, not moon bases.

    What he is, is a liar that will say anything to gain power for himself, and that's quite clear from his history. The American voter has a very short memory, though, which is why these tyrants keep coming back even after leaving in disgrace.

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