Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich wants to live on the moon.
No, he really did in a JFK-esque campaign speech on Florida’s space coast to a gathered crowd that erupted into applause after he spoke the words:
By the end of my second term we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American.
We will have commercial near earth activities that include science tourism manufacturing and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines in the 1930′s because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Russians and Chinese will never come anywhere close to matching.
And by the end of 2020 we will have the first continuous propulsion system in space capable of getting to Mars in a remarkably short time because I’m sick of being told we have to be timid and I’m sick of being told we have to be limited to technologies that are 50 years old.
Gingrich said that he wants to give prizes to private sector companies in a competition to see who can build the best space base.
Recent federal budget cuts to NASA programs in Florida have left many jobless, and the statement by Gingrich was welcome.