Newt is Right, Time to Shoot the Moon!
Newt Gingrich’s bold new idea, recently revealed at a stump speech in Florida, of seeding the Moon with American astro-colonists is actually not all that crazy. What is crazy is asking taxpayers to continue to spearhead space exploration for another 53 years; on this point he is as usual – wrong.
In last night’s Jacksonville debate, former Governor Mitt Romney seemed to agree, I know Ron Paul does. Romney, however, merely saw a golden opportunity to mock Newt for his outlandish idea and to weigh in on it as a former businessman:
“If I had a business executive come to me and say I want to spend a few hundred billion dollars to put a colony on the moon, I’d say: ‘You’re fired!’” Romney boasted (he might be a little too used to saying this).
Only one problem, there are a lot of businessmen whom disagree with the former Bain Capital CEO. Evidently Romney doesn’t know mitt about interstellar business.
Sir Richard Branson founder of Virgin Galactic has kind of a knack for creating value and apparently he sees a lot of it in space. For example, Sir Branson just completed the world’s first international spaceport in New Mexico and will soon shuttle wealthy space enthusiasts into low earth orbit.
Virgin Galactic isn’t the only celestial startup, however, Bigelow Aerospace of North Las Vegas, Nevada aims to create orbiting luxury hotels and SpaceX has developed the Dragon, one of the first operational private space capsules. For a surprising list of private space companies and their ideas for fantastic voyage look, here.
Back to politics. Newt’s reason for bringing up a moon base makes a lot of sense. Evidently Florida’s Space Coast, a community heavily reliant on high tech industry, is hurting more than the rest of the country, treading water at 12% unemployment. While I’m not necessarily a fan of some of Planet Newt’s ideas namely his love affair with geoengineering, what he refers to as “cheap” market-based approaches to anthropogenic climate change, he might be getting warm on this one.
It is time to emancipate the U.S. from the U.N. “Space Treaty” we signed in 1967 in the midst of the Cold War and explore the final frontier! Why can’t we start colonizing the Moon under a “northwest ordinance” model and reignite the idea of manifest destiny? Why can’t the moon be our 51st state? Are we to extend this same concept to the entire cosmos? Do we have to become One World before we step off this rock? If we wait there is a lot to lose.
Gingrich wrote a book a few years back: Drill Here, Drill Now. In that vein Newt is for once consistent, a Moon base would be a colossal job creator. NASA, however, probably shouldn’t build it even though they’re in talks with Russia for a joint venture to do so. If Florida’s Space Coast want’s jobs they’ll find it in companies like Shackelton Energy Co. which seeks to extricate fuels like plutonium-238 and helium-3 by transforming the moon into a interstellar gas station and they’ll build bases of their own to make it happen. Gingrich should write another book after he loses the election: Drill There, Drill Soon.
Barack Obama deserves some kudos too. Although Obama receives his due ration of ridicule I would like to thank him for ending the space shuttle program as it was because he unknowingly highlighted for Americans the fact we don’t need government to be inventive, curious, or passionate when it comes to space travel. When everyone was afraid we’d be hitch hiking on Russian and Chinese ships I said Goodbye NASA, Hello Space Age! Finally the monkey is off our back. Private companies might not be in it “For the Benefit of All” as the NASA motto goes, but their work will undoubtedly benefit all.