Why Newt Gingrich’s Moon Base Matters

Newt Gingrich has been widely ridiculed by both the media and his fellow Republicans for wanting to return to the Moon and establish a lunar colony by 2020.  What hasn’t been discussed is that the Moon and the rest of the Solar System are packed full of untapped natural resources.  The Moon in particular has plentiful helium-3, which could be used as a carbon-free, radiation free fuel source.

Moon Base Alpha as seen in Space: 1999.

In the last decade, the Chinese government has engaged in an aggressive space program.  They’ve sent men into space, done spacewalks, and are now building their own space station to compete with the International Space Station (ISS).  At the rate they’re going, experts believe China could establish a permanent presence on the Moon as early as 2022 and claim it as their territory.

A new space race is on, whether the American public knows it or not, and I for one do not want China to call dibs on the Moon’s helium-3.  We should take Gingrich’s proposal seriously, not mock him (at least not for this).

The good news, especially for anyone who doesn’t want to vote for Gingrich, is that his proposal is not the only one.  According to a report from Space.com, the Russian space agency is talking to NASA and ESA (the European Space Agency) about building a Moon base as a project of international cooperation, just like the ISS.

I’d prefer to see an international Moon base rather than the Americans only one Gingrich proposes so that the Moon’s resources can be shared by all of humanity and not hoarded by one country.  The important thing right now is that we’re talking about it.  The more the public learns about this issue, the more they’ll understand it and the more they will want to see a permanent outpost on the Moon.

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8 Responses to Why Newt Gingrich’s Moon Base Matters

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    There is also a “race” for clean energy technology, but you right-wingers hate that because it’s a cause championed by Democrats.

    Like

  2. mpbulletin says:

    I am all for continued space exploration and eventual development beyond our Earthly bounds. I think Newt just came across as silly on this particular issue. Among the spend-thrifts within his party and the constant pushes for austerity, his idea was pretty crazy.

    Having said that though I love the idea of a moon base. Personally, I’d like to see the international space station built up to become a more intricle part as a way-station and/or contruction/supply depot, a launch point for later exploratory missions (as well as offering other potantial services). From there the Moon would be the next step for development for various reasons and opportunities.

    It’s a good idea but unfortunately coming from Newt it just became a joke.

    I enjoyed your perspective on this.

    Like

  3. Neil says:

    Excellent article! I showed this to my girlfriend and she loves it too!

    Like

  4. Mariah says:

    I disagree, mostly, but don’t you feel you’re oversimplifying?

    Like

    • James Pailly says:

      America’s space program is in serious trouble, and I am glad the issue is getting some attention. More and more science programs are leaving the United States and going to other countries. That being said, I wish the space program had someone other than Newt Gingrich as its advocate.
      What do you disagree with and how do you feel I’m oversimplifying?

      Like

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