Recently, Republican candidacy hopeful Newt Gingrich toured the Florida space coast on his campaign trail, and while there he made a rather surprising declaration. By the end of his second term, there will be a PERMANENT BASE ON THE MOON. I caps-locked that so you know it’s important. You’re welcome. Because I spent much of my time at my college’s speech tournament talking about this hysterical-yet-awesome promise (I used it as an example in two impromptu rounds and in the semifinal round of debate) and I’m still not sick of it, I thought I’d do a throwback to old Bri’s Own World and talk about some pros and cons. DISCLAIMER: I am not a scientist, nor am I an expert on space. However, I have my own website and half a writing degree from a small liberal arts college, and I think that’s good enough.
Pro: It’s awesome.
Seriously, how awesome would a moon base be? A MOON BASE. Maybe we don’t have flying cars or hoverboards yet, but I think a moon base would make up for it.
Con: It doesn’t make any sense.
First, let’s examine the actual promise, or, rather, the more questionable bits of it. First, “by his second term.” That’s awfully presumptuous of ya, Newt. You’re probably not even gonna win the Republican 2012 candidacy, let alone the presidency, let alone a second term. Let’s be serious for a second, Newt. It’s pretty clear that you’re only running at this point to piss off Mitt Romney. And yet you’re promising something that would only happen if you were to be elected, not once, but twice? Keep dreaming.
Next, “permanent.” “Permanent” assumes that the base if fully operational. We just shut down the space shuttle program, NASA’s funding is in the toilet, but you think that 8 years is long enough to build a FULLY OPERATIONAL BASE ON THE MOON? It might also be important to note that he also wants this base to potentially be America’s 51st state. Can I get a collective “lol” before moving on? lol.
Pro: Good for NASA, and NASA is awesome.
Since the space shuttle program was discontinued, American astronauts have been literally carpooling with Russian astronauts in order to visit the international space station. Dignity aside for a second, the biggest problem with this is that the Russians have had, count ’em, 7 launch failures in the past couple months. Seven. SEVEN launch failures. If only for the safety of our astronauts, we need this moon base to force the government to give some funding back to NASA for continued awesomeness.
Oh. Wait. Actually, Newt would be giving the money to private companies to build the equipment. At least they’re private AMERICAN companies. (insert anti-Russian sentiment here for kicks) (I don’t know any good Russian stereotypes except for excessive drinking but I think that would be too easy)
Con: Ridiculously expensive.
Remember when I was harping about how “permanent” moon base implies a fully operational moon base in just 8 years? Well, if I could build off that for a second, that’s not gonna be cheap. I don’t know if anyone’s seen our economy lately, but it definitely doesn’t look good. All things considered, America has bigger things to worry about than a potential space colony, awesome as it may be.
So what do you guys think? Even if Gingrich isn’t elected president, (see: Newt Gingrich will not ever be elected president because he is completely nuts etc) do you think a moon base is a good idea? For a bit more information, here are some recent videos about the hilarity that is the moon base and some videos about NASA and space in general.
He talks about the moon base at 1:08 in the above video, if you want to skip right towards it.