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.
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.
- Russia Eyes Possible Moon Base with NASA: Reports from Space.com.
- China will Own the Moon, Space Entrepreneur Worries from Space.com
- China May Set Up Moon Base Camp by 2030 from China Daily.
- Experts say Gingrich Moon Base Dreams Not Lunacy from Newsvine.