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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the in-space-no-one-can-hear-your-loss-for-words dept.

Mars 602

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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Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Insightful)

SoftwarePearls (1591289) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827785)

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.

This. Moon base FTW!

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828045)

Seeing this modded down and not +5 funny has convinced me that slashdot has no sense of humour.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828133)

Since CmdrTaco left, the people on this site have all become a bunch of crybaby socialists that want Mommy, Daddy and good old Big Brother to take care of them and make sure no one gets more than their fair share. They still have a sense of humor, but it is equal humor among them, no one has any more humor or any less humor than anyone else. In the case of a humor shortage they'll issue humor coupons to make sure everyone gets an equal chuckle. I personally don't want to have to pay for someone else's humor, so we should all pay equally, because that's fair.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (4, Interesting)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827753)

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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Informative)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

USA has 11 aircraft carriers (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828049)

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

Re:USA has 11 aircraft carriers (1)

slugstone (307678) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828201)

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

Having to do maintenance on 10 aircraft carriers is a job program itself. Building a moon base would involved other countries.

Re:USA has 11 aircraft carriers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828245)

What?!? And put Americans out of work by outsourcing jobs to the Lunarians!

I mean I know the Moon is covered in seas, but there are not any present military threats on the Moon.

Carrier bases on the Moon, what lunacy. That can't be what Gingrich is suggesting.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828099)

You mean Kennedy Space Center. Canaveral is military. Kennedy is science and research.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828367)

Cape Canaveral is a PLACE. Post offices in the area were called Artesia from 1893–1954; Port Canaveral from 1954-1962; and Cape Canaveral from 1962 to the present. Poster said "I'll pay out loads of government contracts around Cape Canaveral and pump money into the local economy".

Idiot.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828161)

Yes, because the space initiatives of America have produced absolutely nothing to better humankind. sheesh

I know, let's just spend more on supporting the regime of the month. That'll make everything better.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828175)

He's lying.

He's a politician. Isn't this a a given?

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Funny)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827951)

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!

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828023)

It says a lot about this country that a one term Senator can become President... and it doesn't speak well.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2, Interesting)

Uncle Ira (586682) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828071)

....or a one term House representative like Lincoln.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (3, Interesting)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828251)

Yet Lincoln probably still spent more time in congress.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828385)

And was just as big a tyrant.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828309)

Actually there is nothing wrong with a one term Senator.

I don't see how only serving one term as senator equates to losing "speaker of the house" due to ethics violations ( book deal that he himself accused his predecessor Jim Wright of doing), cheating on two different wives while pretending to defend the sanctity of marriage, and pretending to be a Washington outsider when he lobbied for Freddie Mac with possible legal ramifications due to not registering as a lobbyist (BTW Newt Gingrich abstained from voting on the HR 2564 "Lobbying Disclosure act of 1995").

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828333)

Actually there is nothing wrong with a one term Senator.

Well, there's something wrong with this one! :)

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828067)

If he means something other than "magic handwaving to explain how this isn't going to cost the public money" or "paying Raytheon to build the rocket for us", by the phrase 'private industry incentives', I want some of whatever he is on....

Earth-orbit satellites(while they still include a significant chunk of state-funded scientific and surveillance payloads) are doing just ducky through private incentives(albeit with most of the cold-war era state-sponsored R&D as basically a giveaway); because there are lots and lots of profitable things to do up there.

The moon, not so much. After the one big burst of nationalist symbolism, you can't even interest state actors in the place. Even the spaceship futurist squad, who are reliably gung-ho about anything with rocket ships, are sort of lukewarm on the moon: it's too small to ever have an atmosphere, so any habitation would involve oversized hamster habitats forever(unlike, say, Mars, which is a trifle hostile; but not so very much worse than antarctica with supplemental oxygen in the right places, or some of the Jovian moons).

Unless Newt is just having one of his crazy episodes again, I take this about as seriously as GWB's brief stab at pretending to be enthusiastic about an American Mars base, which predictably went more or less nowhere.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828289)

From what I've been reading, he intends for the US to get to the moon using private industry incentives.

Since corporate industry is subsidized by American taxpayers, I guess the taxpayer will be paying for the moon base; by hook or by crook.

At least there will be a reason why there is no money for social welfare like Medicaid, Medicare and such.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827765)

Why would the chinese not inspire us. When on earth has the US actually cared how large the debt gets. The difference between 100x what it has ever come close to pulling in and 10,000x what it ever has come close to pulling in isn't that significant, and for the most part people will keep loaning us money because they would rather be on our good side when the next crazy group attacks them, or in case we just snap and decide to call another random war.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827833)

When on earth has the US actually cared how large the debt gets.

Before the US quit paying it back regularly or keeping it in check, essentially after the New Deal policies were put in place in the 1930s.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827771)

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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827913)

I believe the NASA budget was cut exactly because the US doesn't want to get into the next space race with China. And the truth is, the US would never survive it.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827963)

Cold War with the Soviets worked because we didn't depend on them for anything, and they didn't really depend on us...

Who are we not strong allies with, and don't depend on for anything? Russian's are the only ones that fit the bill, but there is no way they're getting back in a race like that...

China is the only viable option, but a) we're far too dependent on them (and they are on us to some extent) and b) they'd wipe the floor with us in terms of speed and costs, they'd steal or buy whatever technology they couldn't produce on their own.

Necessity is the mother of invention. The only way we're getting to the moon or mars again, given our current, and likely future, economic situations here on earth is through necessity--the discovery of something that we MUST have from there, or the discovery of something here that we must escape. Neither seems likely.

This will probably be our Space Dark Ages ... there was wonderful growth for a few decades, and now we'll be in a 50-100 year holding pattern of only doing orbital activities that are mostly supported by commercial or military means...

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828093)

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.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827903)

I don't really have a stake in the US elections as I'm not American, but seeing as Gingrich is the current favourite on the Republican side despite being as corrupt as they come, and demonstrating perhaps the most un-Christian attitude to relationships whilst claiming to be a good Christian I very much get the impression it doesn't actually matter what Gingrich does, or would actually be able to do if he became president but that his supporters support him based entirely on what he says.

Thus, he could probably also claim to promise to cure AIDs and Cancer and cure world poverty, and it would get him votes, even if the likelihood of him actually being able to do that is pretty much non-existent.

I must admit I don't really understand American politics, I do not understand how someone who personifies hypocrisy so impressively can get so much support, but fundamentally, it seems from the outside that getting the Republican vote depends more on how good you are at talking shit, rather than any amount of actual trustworthiness or competence to do the job.

This is not to say I particularly like Obama either, to put it bluntly I think he's an arrogant dick, but as I say, I don't think it matters if America can afford it or not anyway, Gingrich is just trolling the terminally dumb for votes.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828017)

...I don't think it matters if America can afford it or not anyway, Gingrich is just trolling the terminally dumb for votes.

You are so right, my friend. After all we (more or less) elected GW Bush, twice. The U.S. electorate is nothing, if not gullible.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828019)

I don't really have a stake in the US elections as I'm not American

Everybody in the world has a stake in the US election: if a nutjob was to be elected again, the entire world would suffer. It still suffers from the last one...

Not that the average American has any real say in who will take office, being that, as South Park eloquently put it, the choice of candidates will be between a douche or a turd.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828213)

...the choice of candidates will be between a douche or a turd.

Gingrich is the turd from 1997 that didn't fully flush. Long live "Floater" Gingrich!

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828183)

I must admit I don't really understand American politics, I do not understand how someone who personifies hypocrisy so impressively can get so much support, but fundamentally, it seems from the outside that getting the Republican vote depends more on how good you are at talking shit, rather than any amount of actual trustworthiness or competence to do the job.

I think you understand American politics perfectly well. Most of us Americans don't understand, which is why we keep voting for douche-bags.

Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (4, Funny)

prefec2 (875483) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

New Secret Service Code Name (4, Funny)

Gallenod (84385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827727)

Newt Gingrich's new Secret Service code name:

          MOONBAT ALPHA

Re:New Secret Service Code Name (2, Funny)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828339)

More likely to be Guantanamoon !

Candidate promises (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827741)

Nothing to see here, move along...

Go Gringe Go! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827761)

Go Gringe Go!

Space to the people, still in my lifetime please!

With the Gringe in charge there is still some hope left. Go Reps Go. FTW!

Re:Go Gringe Go! (0)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827909)

Obvious troll is obvious. Nobody would say such things seriously...

So did George Bush Jr (4, Insightful)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Red Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827777)

I'm talkin MARS bitches! And nothin less!

Black Bush 4 prez

Evil Dictator (2)

xollox (2489800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827791)

Sounds like he's taking the evil dictator thing a little too far.

What could a moonbase do? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827793)

When we go back we are going to need a reason to be there. The strongest case I've heard is for a far side radio observatory that is shielded from radio interference from Earth. What else could be better done on the Moon's than in orbit?

Re:What could a moonbase do? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827899)

Should have said Moon's surface, but the subsurface might be interesting too.

Re:What could a moonbase do? (5, Interesting)

arse maker (1058608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827939)

Thats the problem with most manned space missions.

I think its important to keep a manned space program simply to keep the knowledge. People need an industry to work or most the knowledge gets lost.

NASA should concentrate more on science though. While I think the ISS is ubercool, I dont really see what the point of it is. Its cost over 100bn and doesnt do anything. Things like Hubble that cost a few billion have changed our view of the universe. WMAP, Kepler, Cassini, Voyager numerous Mars missions, they all have trumped the ISS but cost less than the ISS combined.

Future missions to Europa, sample return mission to Mars, James Webb.. just amazing science there. We have already had to can some great things like the terrestrial planet finder telescopes.

Radio telescopes on the far side of the moon also proposed liquid lense telescopes (ive read about spinning mercury to do this) are interesting but the cost would be absolutely insane. So many real things we could be doing.

Re:What could a moonbase do? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828059)

There are more cost-effective places in space we could set up a manned base, however. Not to mention more useful. L2 would be a good idea... relatively close and wouldn't require much more push than the moon, but wouldn't need all of the expensive (in space *and* weight) landing gear you'd need for the moon. Not to mention being a better launching point for deep space.

Then again, Mr. Gingrich promising a moon base is more likely to be him trying to pander to people who know more about it than him than any serious intent. If he had half a clue what he was talking about, he wouldn't be promising to do it by 2020, nor would he be suggesting the moon... that would bankrupt the nation. Oh wait. the US is already bankrupt. It would bankrupt any of the US's creditors who are stupid enough to give them the money for it.

Re:What could a moonbase do? (1)

jamvger (2526832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827957)

We could mine the moon for for water, bring into low earth orbit and convert nto rocket fuel at a tenth of the price that it takes to launch the same fuel from the earth: Bill Stone on TED [ted.com] .

Re:What could a moonbase do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828127)

Luna does have resources, including Helium 3 which could be useful for fusion power.

Of course if it comes to a war, "Luna has lots of rocks"
  - Mycroft Holmes ( AKA Adam Selene)

Re:What could a moonbase do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828349)

Of course, the fact that we have absolutely no such fusion technology, or any space mining technology whatsoever, doesn't stop you utter retards from drooling all over your 1970s sci-fi posters and vomiting your delusional crap all over /.

Re:What could a moonbase do? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828261)

It isn't just competition from Earth orbit that is the problem:

Most of the cheap, reasonably immediate ROI, stuff is, indeed, in satellites. That's why they aren't even a serious question anymore(with the exception of specific scientific payloads) and all sorts of people send them up all the time.

If you want to do something Super Futuristic, just because it would be awesome, putting a base on a permanently hostile, airless, rock with nothing but geologic history(too small for an atmosphere, even if you generated one, basically zero chance that anything biological ever happened there) is both unambitious and rather unhelpful.

If you simply want to do research on closed-loop environments, and how to maintain them in the long term, you could dust off Biosphere 2, or build an equivalent based on lessons learned, for absolute peanuts compared to the cost of getting just about anything out of Earth's gravity well. Just by shutting the door and building in a communications delay you can simulate most of the problem for a few percent of the cost, and easily re-run the experiment with tweaks if it doesn't go properly the first time.

If you want to establish a long-term extra-terrestrial human presence, choosing a body that is simply too small to ever be even remotely comfortable and living in hamster tubes seems rather pointless when you have Mars, which is close to being a winter-jacket-and-oxygen-mask environment in some locations.

It's simultaneously vastly overpriced as a space-habitation R&D exercise and vastly unambitious as a Grand Space Project.

Gingrich's real plan (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827795)

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.

I have only one question (2, Funny)

halivar (535827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827945)

If I sign up, do I get an awesome evil henchman future-suit?

Back to the future (5, Informative)

PhaseChange (244013) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Back to the future (4, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828075)

And that was done. By the Russians.

Re:Back to the future (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828299)

He didn't say "no outsourcing", did he?

Understanding Newt Gingrich (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827809)

He is making this push for a moon colony because Obama cut from NASA, so he can thumb his nose at Obama with the typical Republican approach of "blame Obama and focus on that" (Bachmann was the worst 'blame Obama' cheerleader, Gingrich, Romney to some extend, Rick Perry) while not realizing that international treaties prohibit us from establishing a "moon colony". I thought the lefties were moonbats and the righties were wingnuts.. glad to see Gingrich can wear the "moonbat" hat easily as his other hats

With friends like this ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827815)

Speaking as a strong advocate for space expolration, the last thing we need is the support of loonies like the Newt.

Wow, I mean wow... (2, Interesting)

WileyC (188236) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827817)

I'm glad y'all weren't advising President Kennedy when he planned to put a man on the moon. Unlike the pie-in-the 'investments' of the current administration (that were payoffs for campaign kickbacks), the space program has a proven record of spinoffs that have been good for the country and of all humanity. The computers you are reading this on, the satellites that move countless terabytes of information, even the fuel cells that might power the next generation of MacBooks all had their genesis from NASA research.

Not to mention that the BEST place to get experience with a serious Mars trip is our own moon... at least convenient to Earth. If you want it to pay for itself, read The Man Who Sold the Moon. How many of those dreaded 1% would shell out big bucks for a piece of the ACTUAL FRIGGIN MOON. Plus, you could probably pay for it with the rounding error from the pork barrel programs we should cut anyway, heh.

Re:Wow, I mean wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827925)

I'm glad y'all weren't advising President Kennedy when he planned to put a man on the moon.

lol - well on the plus side we might still get a moon base - if Obama says we are going to build one all the sheep will stop their bah'ing.

Re:Wow, I mean wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828181)

"the space program has a proven record of spinoffs that have been good for the country and of all humanity. The computers you are reading this on, the satellites that move countless terabytes of information, even the fuel cells that might power the next generation of MacBooks all had their genesis from NASA research."

Typical Space Nutter lies and distortions. The computers we are using now owe much more to the math of the 19th century - mid 20th and commercial things like BANKS and UNIVERSITIES, and DEFENSE. I never hear anyone thanking BANKS for using mainframes in the late '50s and early '60s before ANYTHING was in space.

You sick, delusional Space Nutter LIAR.
We had the technology BEFORE we went into space, not the other way around!

As for the rest of your vile revisionism and puerile lies, go google it yourself you shitnozzle.

Bigger governmnet (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827823)

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".

Re:Bigger governmnet (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827911)

Obviously US has no money for this, but that never stopped a politician from making promises.

The US has enough money to do this 20 time over.

We just give that money to poor people in our country and to kill poor people (usually brown people) in other countries.

What? it's true.

Re:Bigger governmnet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828255)

Half-right We give far more money to "poor" corporations in our country, and to arms manufacturers so we can kill poor people (who cares what color they are) so those poor corporations can make more money.

But yes, the US has over 50 trillion dollars in pure wealth.

Re:Bigger governmnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827991)

The GOP slogan: America might fall if we try to collection a fair amount of taxes off of the wealthy so we will bankrupt the US for a marginal tax benefit for our wealthiest and most privileged party members.

Re:Bigger governmnet (1)

dvoecks (1000574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828293)

"Overtake China"? When China has their current growth rate, and a per-capita GDP that isn't 1/6 of what it is in the US, and productivity numbers anywhere in the same ballpark, I'll let that slide. Until then, they're a poor country with some rich and middle-class people.

Nutcase (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827831)

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

Re:Nutcase (3, Funny)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827905)

Here is a pretty good video [imgur.com] of how he has gained ground.

Re:Nutcase (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828009)

Haha. I like that. What scares me though are the people who cheer him in these debates. He'll say something that is condescending at a minimum but more rightly called racist and people will cheer him like he is the pope.

But in the end the Republicans seriously need to regroup and try again with all new candidates. I can't imagine how any independent/centrist voters would ever vote for these guys.

Re:Nutcase (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828345)

Would you rather have Romney as the candidate?

Must be in FLA (1)

captbob2002 (411323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827839)

Candidates/politicians talking up space exploration, means they must be after Florida votes, funny how all the talk about ramping-up the space program, or space exploration in general never amounts to anything after the election...unless it is sacrificing science missions for something "sexy."

Typical Politician (2)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827845)

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.

Re:Typical Politician (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827943)

Funny how we are talking about newt and all of the slashdot ads show pro-newt campaign ads...

President of the Moon . . . ? (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:President of the Moon . . . ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828069)

There's already a Moon King. At least according to my youtube subscriptions.

Just talk, and talk is cheap...and meaningless (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827965)

Every President and Presidential candidate TALKS about great new strides in the space program and all the great stuff we're going to do (always setting the goals well beyond the point where they'll be out of office, of course). Not one since LBJ has actually FUNDED the agency in a way anywhere close to the level it would need to actually accomplish any of these lofty goals.

Gingrich is just playing the game. His words are meaningless pandering, nothing more.

It's an election, remember. (4, Insightful)

MetricT (128876) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827975)

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.

of course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Should We Cut Programs? Ask Middle Schoolers. (2)

erikwestlund (1003368) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827993)

What are all those aerospace researching bureaucrats doing all day if not sending people to the moon? The brilliance of this question is that it reveals a new way to determine whether or not we should cut government funded programs:

Is the program doing precisely what middle school students expect it to do? If not, the axe.

Consequently, this is a great way to connect with the average voter.

When did he become a democrat? (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38827997)

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.

It's not Small Potatoes (4, Insightful)

NReitzel (77941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828005)

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.

Re:It's not Small Potatoes (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828281)

This means that we will need to find resources on the moon, develop them, and aim for a self-sustaining colony.

Exactly. At this point I can't see many even mediocre reasons to go back to the moon. Radio-telescope observatory on the dark side? Helium-3 for fusion technology we won't likely have for at least 50 more years? A shallower gravity well than Earth? A bunch of rock and dust? (nasty, un-eroded dust, too) Certainly not for the water on the poles that's only useful if you have some other reason to be up there. Maybe for prospecting to see if there might be any metals hidden below the surface, but that's it.

Really, the moon is a boring place. Getting there the first time is pretty cool, but after that there isn't much to do other than build stuff so you can stay around long enough to build some more stuff. At least whatever you leave up there will stay put, unlike LEO.

Asteroids, Mars, even the moons of other planets (when not made nasty by radiation belts), that's where the action is.

Drumming Up Support (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828015)

He wouldn't happen to "support" all these initiatives to drum up votes in Florida's upcoming primary, you know, being that much of the US space program (or whats left of it) is based in Florida? Seriously people, its obvious, its supporting a local cause, just like supporting agriculture subsidies in the mid-west or assistance to automotive companies when in Michigan. Its a ploy for support.

Re:Drumming Up Support (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828159)

While his speech was given because of Florida, this is in-line with Gingrich's views regarding space for quite some time.

It's huge potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828061)

When you consider that we have lost most of the expertise and know-how required to do something like go to the Moon, it's not small potatoes at all.

We could do it in the 60's, but since then our technical power has eroded significantly. Perhaps we can just pay the Russians or the Chinese to take us there.

Don't buy it (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828079)

While I appreciate any pro-space travel talk, I don't think he'd keep this campaign promise. Once elected, he'd probably take on the "important" issues (dismantling Obama's health care legislation, banning abortion, slashing taxes on the wealthy to "create jobs", etc). When he was up for re-election, he might trot out the Moon base as something to do when re-elected, but that would be the furthest it would go.

Alternatively, he might decide to move ahead with it and kill every other program NASA is working on to free up money (either for NASA or, more likely, for private companies) for a Moon base. Thus, a Moon base may get made, but it would come at the expense of some very valuable scientific research.

Why, is Jesus on the moon? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828085)

Given this bloated gas bag's religious fanaticism, his desire to "go to the moon" is nothing more than campaign bullshit, the same campaign bullshit that has been spouted by every presidential hopeful since JFK.

it's a great initiative (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828091)

too bad everything else about candidate gingrich stinks

LOL (1)

dalpeh (450604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828137)

Newt, your'e no John F Kennedy!
Originally used by Loyd B to Dan Quayle.

You say Newt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828187)

I hear Snake.

In the grass.

The non-Metal Gear type.

BS formulaic campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828191)

"Promise them the moon". It's almost like he's mocking the voters. Fuck you, Gingbitch.

must set up perminant presence by combo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828199)

1) We (humans, preferably US w/India/(insert democratic country here),etc., but humans in general) have to set up a permanent presence on the Moon, Lagrange Points, etc. if we ever want to make sure our eggs are not just in 1 basket (Earth) and to bring resources down to benefit humanity on Earth (much more environmentally friendly to mine and manufacture in space, lots of very valuable stuff in asteroids and on moon, inc. water, He3, and metals. Note also if gold ever hits $2500 and ounce, that gold/palladium/etc. out there gets very attractive)?
2) The Moon is a great spot to provision longer range missions (water, mainly, and no atmosphere to cause drag). Use the lunar resources to build large craft at Liberation points or in Lunar orbit...avoids gravity well costs by provisioning from Earth.
3) Private Industry will go even if the gov't does not.

GlenGarry Glenross (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38828205)

And if you believ that, would you also llok at a piece of property extremely close to prime locations in th e Florid Keys?

Evil, Evil is his one and only name... (0)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828291)

Hmm...
I'm thinking that next he's going to get a miniature clone of himself and label the base on the moon the "Death Star"...
Hmm...
What do I know?
(laughing facetiously & maniacally, simultaneously... Mwaaa! Mwaaa!)

--Sorry if this has already been mentioned!
Cheers!

Sad (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828313)

how in the US political system, national and transnational space exploration interests are, every 4 years, at the potential mercy of not-so-potential morons running for office. The moon ?? A permanent base there ?? WTF ???

So he's been been bought by Boeing? (2)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828317)

Experience tells us that when politicians start making demands for highly expensive development/construction efforts, they've usually been bought (quite literally) by the industry or specific businesses involved. Now we know who's offering to fund Newt's campaign...

He's not serious (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38828319)

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.
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