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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Location: Lancashire
It looks like Newt Gingrich is pulling out all the stops in his ambition for the Presidency.
In his Florida speech yesterday, Gingrich claimed that he wants to see an all-American lunar base established by 2020.
He also said that, when the base population reaches a minimum of 13,000, he'll support the case for making the Moon the 51st state! A case of the Moon turning into a star?
We can imagine the vast amount of resources needed to maintain a moon base ( primarily a tourist resort? ) comprising thousands of people.
Gingrich said he also wants a manned Mars rocket by 2020. His speech might have gone down well with Nasa employees at the Cape, but it's bound to backfire on him elsewhere.
At a time when increasing numbers of Americans are sinking into poverty ( over 40 million at the last count ), and with corporate profits and tax avoidance at all-time highs, ambitious space projects such as these would place considerable stress on the US Treasury, and also create resentment with regard to economic priorities.
Gingrich might gain more votes in mainstream Florida, but he could lose more in other states.

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Last edited by brian livesey on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:36 am 
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He is kidding himself if he thinks that NASA can organise a permanently manned lunar base by 2020. I assume that the "manned Mars rocket by 2020" comment refers to the construction of the launch vehicle itself, and not an actual mission?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:47 am 
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If China suddenly made these commitments, then the U.S. would and could have a Moon base by 2020 and a Mars mission shortly after.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

The U.S. would have no choice but to respond.
They might even enlist Russian help, but they could probably do it alone, and the technology spinoffs would be great.

Whether this would be good for the Earth or its population is another matter.

Regards, David


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:43 pm 
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I just saw a piece on BBC News about this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16749916 ... I think it's a shame to revive the old "space race" line of thought. It's inevitable though, I suppose - 'twas ever thus - mankind's fearful, self-focussed, competative one-up-manship being the driving factor behind any sort of advance. Sad that he should go for a jingoistic "51st state" quip - I hope this was a quip and he wasn't being serious as it pretty much stomps all over the rhetoric of the Apollo programme which "came in peace for all mankind", even though some might say that this was just as jingoistic in its own way ...

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