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  • gfo99 gfo99 Jan 31, 2012 12:08 PM Flag

    This is Lunacy!

    Robert L. Park Tuesday, 31 Jan 2012 Washington, DC

    Newt Gingrich, the other top contender, wants to construct a permanent
    human base on the Moon before China does. In fact, Gingrich says he would
    like to see six or seven lunar launches every week. Doing what? It's been
    40 years sincea human traveled beyond low Earth orbit. Since then, space
    has become an essential element of the fastest growing segment of our
    economy: Space communications, weather observations, remote viewing, global
    positioning, climate monitoring, exploration of the solar system, the
    discovery of exoplanets, and global climate change studies, are all
    robotic. Nothing of significance has been learned from human spaceflight.
    Apollo itself was a political mission. The space shuttle was terminated and
    the ISS, which produced nothing of value, now belongs to an international
    consortium. For an American astronaut to visit the ISS, a ticket on a
    Russian rocket would have to be purchased. We already have a word for those
    who clamor to send Americans back to the moon: "lunatics." It's a popular
    idea in Florida, which lost a lot of space jobs. Mitt Romney warns that the
    Gingrich plan would be "an enormous expense." It's worse than that; it's
    insane. Gingrich says his Moon base would be "90% private sector." How do
    you persuade the private sector to get involved in something as useless as
    a Moon base? Gingrich says he will offer incentives to the private sector
    in the form of "prizes" for meeting specific technical goals. Is a prize
    cheaper than a contract?

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