Moon Colony: Is Newt Gingrich’s Promise Feasible?
By the end of Newt Gingrich’s second term we will have Americans living on the moon. The presidential hopeful promised to build a moon colony last week but most experts agree that it will take a little longer than 8-years to put a permanent station on the moon.
During a speech last week, Gingrich said that he plans to build a permanent moon colony. Gingrich said that the moon would be a big tourist attraction and that it would be an ideal location for future science laboratories. According to CNN, the other GOP candidates have mocked Gingrich’s moon colony. Mitt Romney, for example, said that he would rather create jobs in American than on the moon.
But despite the backlash, Newt is holding strong on his promise. Newt said:
“I do not want to be the country that having gotten to the moon first, turned around and said, ‘It doesn’t really matter, let the Chinese dominate space, what do we care?’ I think that is a path of national decline, and I am for America being a great country, not a country in decline.”
So let’s pretend that Newt Gingrich gets elected president and that he starts a program to build a moon colony. How much would it cost?
George Bush started an initiative in 2004 to build a moon colony. Bush planned to spend $100 billion through 2020 but the plan was cancelled by President Obama in 2010 because it was behind schedule and over-budget. John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University said that a similar mission in today’s economy would cost $250 billion to $500 billion.
Logsdon says that $500 billion would be enough to build a small research center for about a dozen scientists. Newt said that he wants about 13,000 people on the moon so that they can petition to become a state. This would cost trillions and couldn’t be accomplished in 8 years.
“Depending on what kind of rockets they use and what kind of outpost is built, a really big buildup of large-scale settlements on the moon could cost in the trillions over many, many years.”
Mike Gold, a director of operations at Bigelow Aerospace, says that people shouldn’t laugh at Newt’s moon colony. Gold said that there are still many obstacles to overcome before the moon could be made habitable, but it may happen in the future. Gold said:
“It’s a mistake to laugh at Newt Gingrich and discount the concept of a Lunar Base. This isn’t funny, this is the future. People I’m sure mocked Columbus and early explorers at the time and how did that work out?”
What do you think of Newt Gingrich’s moon colony? Is Newt a visionary? Or a nutcase?