This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

To the Moon, Newt!

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


Newt Gingrich
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

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.

There is little doubt that Mr. Gingrich believes in big ideas. Unfortunately, however, there is a difference between big ideas and good ideas. After all, being a visionary doesn’t mean abandoning practicality altogether but rather harnessing it creatively to make new things happen.

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.

Read more

TAGGED: LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS, POLITICS, SPACE


RELATED CONTENT

Nasa's Curiosity rover zaps Mars rock

Jonathan Amos - BBC News Comments

Pew pew pew pew

Sun Is Roundest Natural Object Known

Dave Mosher - National Geographic Comments

The sun is the roundest natural object ever precisely measured, astronomers say.

Astrophysicists simulate 14 billion...

Liat Clark - Wired.co.uk Comments

Astrophysicists simulate 14 billion years of cosmic evolution in high resolution

Mars rover searching for signs of life

Lawrence Krauss - CNN Comments

Author and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, discusses what it would be like if we found life on another planet.

'Plate Tectonics' Discovered on...

- - The Daily Galaxy Comments

Mars Science Laboratory Touches Down...

Sean Carroll - Cosmic Variance -... Comments

Launched on November 26, 2011, the mission is scheduled to land on Mars’s Gale Crater tonight/tomorrow morning: 5:31 UTC, which translates to 1:30 a.m. Eastern time or 10:20 p.m. Pacific.

MORE

MORE BY LAWRENCE KRAUSS

Mars rover searching for signs of life

Lawrence Krauss - CNN Comments

Author and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, discusses what it would be like if we found life on another planet.

A Quantum Leap

Lawrence Krauss - Slate Comments

Belief in God: Prohibitive or...

Lawrence Krauss - YouTube -... Comments

Belief in God: Prohibitive or Liberating? Lawrence Krauss & Uthman Badar | ANU, April 2012

It’s Time for the US To Finally Sign...

Lawrence Krauss - Slate 23 Comments

It’s Time for the US To Finally Sign the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Why Are Religious Beliefs Off Limits?

Lawrence Krauss - Huffington Post 47 Comments


Why Are Religious Beliefs Off Limits?

Why we need college degrees more than...

Lawrence Krauss - The Washington Post 56 Comments


Why we need college degrees more than
we need faith

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment