Skip to comments.Lunar Colonies and Mitt Romney's Incredible Smallness of Vision
Posted on 01/28/2012 3:30:36 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
COMMENTARY | During the Republican presidential debate in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday night, the subject of Newt Gingrich's moon colony idea came up. During the exchange, Mitt Romney especially revealed a smallness of vision and an ignorance of the issue.
If Romney wants to know why Gingrich is so focused on the moon, he could go no further than to read Paul Spudis' The Case for Renewed Human Exploration of the Moon" in which the rationale for returning to the moon, not only for science, but also as a prelude to the exploration of the Solar System is examined. Spudis also covers mining lunar resources, such as water.
Then Romney can read Taylor Dinerman's piece about the strategic value of the moon and its importance to national security. Spudis also covers the Chinese challenge where it comes to the moon.
Can we afford to return to the moon with a $15 trillion national debt? The question is actually whether we can afford not to?
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Newt Gingrich's Jan 25, 2012 space policy speech to voters
If we surrender the Moon the Chinese will colonize it and build consumer goods there that will utilize the low gravity, I cannot say what offhand but what they lack in quality they will make up in quantity, we cannot allow the moon to be turned into a Chinese labor camp.
If we had six or seven space flights a day taking off from Florida (or from Texas or some other place with suitable conditions) and an active spaceport, imagine how our economies would boom! And the mineral wealth would stimulate all sorts of other industries and provide sources that would be under our control, an important consideration.
Otherwise, they'll be under Chinese control. They have said they will get to the moon by 2020, and if they get there, you can bet they're going to take it over.
Romney’s idea of “vision” is limited to office supply chains and sporting goods stores. How terrifically underwhelming.
I wonder if they can get there and get back. They cannot even do regular sustained orbits of personnel. The Russkies can but they’ve never made it to the Moon, with men, either.
America did it nearly 43 years ago and we showed the world how it was done.
Since that time, though, we’ve sure changed from the leaders we once were. Now our resident thinks we have 57, err, 60 states.
This is disingenuous, there is no possible profit to be made from a moon base and no venture capitalist would risk money on it.
When politicians say a "private" space company, what they really mean is private contractors funded by government instead of giving the money directly to NASA.
Its not free market capitalism by any measure.
Dr. James C. Fletcher was adamant about the importance of seeking out and communicating with extraterrestrials, insisting that it could be the most significant achievement of this millennium, perhaps the key to our survival as a species.
Not to say that Mormons were always gung-ho for space exploration. Launius describes how pre-1950s Mormon apostle and church president Joseph Fielding Smith spoke out against space exploration as a waste of time that humans should concern themselves with stewardship of Earth and that God would surely check any human excursions into space.
That phrase alone moved people it inspired them to go and seek their fortune, to live freely. They had to be self reliant, they invented ways to survive and to exploit the resources available to them.
Now I know not everyone was "John Wayne", heck even John Wayne wasn't "John Wayne" but the opportunity was there, not just children were inspired but adults who craved and knew true freedom went west, just like they will move off planet if allowed.
I have always thought we stopped moving forward for one simple reason, Power and Control.
The one thing governments have learned from the Great American Experiment, is that colonies eventually thrive and then they become independent. Look at Washington D.C. and the hall monitors that run it, heck look at your neighborhood association, bitter little people who demand you live as they say not as they do.
Space is the next frontier, the next resource to exploit, the next expansion of the human spirit and it will happen with or with out America.
Romney and people like him can't see past their own power and control for the greater good.
Damn flatlander, at least that was my initial response to his statement thursday night.
We showed how it was done....then.
A prime argument against voting for any person that suggests we stay earthbound.
Some day in the future its going to happen, the odds are not on our side of a planetary impact event, either we build a defense against it or we build a way to survive it elsewhere, even if it requires sending spacecraft to Mars with nothing but embryos in storage for every species on Earth, an ark of some sort, a base to terraform, anything to perpetuate the species.
It starts here and now.
If we had kept the Saturn V launch vehicle and the Apollo-series capsules/engines/landers, with continuous improvement, I think something reasonable could have been done.
They’ve lost much of that, though the Saturn V itself was not that complicated. There are a few of the engines on static display, I think, maybe a couple anyways. But we’d have to recreate all the tooling, testing, etc.
Unfortunately, I think our economic problems are going to swamp us, and Europe, then China will take a hit from the trade loss as a result. Those things seem likely to rear their ugly head before this happens.
Especially if those idiots in Iran ignite a nuclear war with the Israelis.
Why don’t you go back and look at his actual proposal.
There is money to be made on the moon, which is precisely why the Chinese want to get there. There is not only mineral wealth, but the zero gravity environment can be of great aid in manufacturing certain things. In addition, it’s a stepping stone to other places in space. And who knows what medical and scientific discoveries may come out of this?
Probably people also had the same negative comments about people setting off for the New World or even for the American West. But I think both of those worked out pretty well...
It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant
the germ of his highest hope.
Still is his soil rich enough for it. But that soil will one day
be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to
Alas! there cometh the time when man will no longer launch the arrow
of his longing beyond man- and the string of his bow will have
unlearned to whizz!
I tell you: one must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a
dancing star. I tell you: ye have still chaos in you.
Alas! There cometh the time when man will no longer give birth to
any star. Alas! There cometh the time of the most despicable man,
who can no longer despise himself.
Lo! I show you the last man.
“What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a
star?”- so asketh the last man and blinketh.
The earth hath then become small, and on it there hoppeth the last
man who maketh everything small. His species is ineradicable like that
of the ground-flea; the last man liveth longest.
Thus Spake Zarathustra
A GOOD LINK from the source linked in the OpEd.
A Rationale for Cislunar Space -- which has to do with economic and national security.
lunar missions are crazy but magical underwear is sane- got it Mitt. BTW, how many grandmothers did you have Mitt?
The water on the moon is worth more than gold.
If it was profitable, private investment would do it without the need for massive government subsidies.
It is not, therefore you will only get more crony-capitalist, government funded boondoggles.
A "private" moonbase would be Solyndra x 100.
This country would still be in the stone age if not for Staples and the Sports Authority. Now where are those pesky Swiss bank accounts?
Welcome to FR.
The Moon Treaty provides that the Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind and the harvesting of those resources is forbidden except through an international regime established to govern the exploitation of such resources when it becomes feasible to do so.
While we never ratified it it has become accepted as international law because we never directly opposed it. I would have been a lot more impressed if Gingrich had said he would openly defy it rather than his ridiculous promise that will fail miserably.
Some day in the future its going to happen, the odds are not on our side of a planetary impact event, either we build a defense against it or we build a way to survive it.
EXACTLY, We have to at least go to the moon, attach large rockets with thrust into the moon in 8 directions. That way we can use it to sheild us from a threat...like a pool ball. That`s the ticket!
If we surrender the Moon the Chinese will colonize it and build consumer goods there ...
Since they will at that point have militarized the moon, they will be demanding that the rest of the world produce consumer goods for their burgeoning middle class population (a sector which is already larger than the entire population of the US) or suffer the consequences ... we will be the Chinese labor camp.
If Newt is crazy for his moon proposal, so was John F Kennedy for his!!!! And we went to the moon, didn’t we?
PHOOEY to the obama-kissing media!!!! PHOOEY to Romney!!!!
Would you kindly read the proposal? One of the very things that Gingrich is trying to avoid by restructuring NASA is government boondoggles.
I’m sorry to say Newt was not on his game and could have knocked this out of the park if he had only thought of harkening to JFK’s challenge to put a man on the moon within 10 years and out having accomplishing same and then went on to list all of the subsequent inventions and benefits to mankind we enjoy today as a result thereof.
And you really think the Chinese will care about that if they get there first?
And we're sitting here communicating using miniaturized computers and advanced technology, much of which was developed for the space program -- the list is long.
Off the top of my head...
No solution yet to micro-gravity damage to human beings...no solution yet for long term protection from solar radiation and cosmic rays...no solution yet for Moon based food, oxygen, and water supply...no experience in mining a micro-gravity environment...no knowledge of long term impact of regolith (moon dust) on man and machines...not one of the allegedly priceless minerals on the moon has ever been tested commercially on Earth...how long before the Green Party demands the Moon be designated a pristine wilderness area?...the Space Station, in low Earth orbit, has cost $100 billion for construction and maintenance...on the Moon, multiply by 10.
I absolutely believe the day will come when man can travel Star Wars style through the Milky Way Galaxy.
But that day is thousands of years in the future.
We should be spending most of the manned space budget on robotic explorers and space telescopes.
Too what end?
With the Moon we get a return on our investment and experience -- see link posted in Post #15.
When the Apollo mission was conceived, no one had ever been to the moon. Everything which had to be done was INVENTED, including orbital mechanics of getting beyond LEO. Out of all those inventions, which were given away, came a long list of things we take for granted today, and even “cannot live without” - cell phones for example.
Since NASA gave the invented tech away, they received little ROI, and the public perceived those new things as coming from this or that corporation's resident geniuses. No connection was made, and therefore the general pubic perceived the whole enterprise as a waste of time, money, and maybe even faked.
Sure we have been to the moon and the Chinese can use that to get there. However, no one has ever lived on the moon. All the tech necessary to live on the moon will have to be INVENTED.
As patterns go, all the tech which flows from those inventions will become common place one day.
But unlike the US, China will not give that tech away, and that is the money to be made by living on the moon.
NG may be all the things his detractors say he is, but then so it it for the other candidates as well.
I do not long for the return of days of Reagan, since I was personally screwed by his policies, but I do long for the return for the days of US manned space exploration.
And Obama and his Science and Technology Czar, John P. Holdren (”Population Bomb” and former Mitt Romney environmental adviser) are working to remove the idea of and ability for American exceptionalism and space resource exploitation, development and utilization (to them it unbalances the world when the U.S. is strong).
Actually, the Chinese will build a military base on the moon. If they build it on the dark side, it would be virtually invulnerable to attack.
What you are arguing here is that we should just throw money at this project because something unforeseen "might" be invented.
That is not how a prudent capitalist uses money. That any inventions came from government spending is irrelevant. Who is to say that they wouldn't have been invented by private industry.
What this shows more than any other thing is that Newt is not serious about reducing government spending in any way.
There is no way he can cut back on entitlement funding for "the poor" and battle the entrenched interests that protect it while at the same time throwing money away on space circuses.
Last August, I met with Rick Santorum personally. I explained to him two important Florida issues: The Future of NASA, and the Future of Cuba. Without getting into the blow, by blow, the case I made to Rick, was almost exactly the case presented to voters by Newt. Rick was not programmed to receive.
I support Rick Santorum because he is the most ethical conservative in the race. He is lacking in the vision thing. And I confess that I am conflicted because both my wife and I like what Newt says that much.
-—I think we do need to go back to the moon and move beyond.——
You are correct. We need to look over the top of our rut. We need to look beyond the rut’s confining walls.
Much of the hardware is already designed. There is a private Nevada company with a functioning space station module already in space. For an already determined and advertised fee, they will build a larger station to suit.
In old Engineering News Records there are articles describing moon base structures of several designs for various purposes. There is at least one private company with vehicles capable of reaching beyond the earth
Newt is right. We have already much of the necessary technology available in private hands. The project is doable
Then there are China and Japan. Why go alone? Why not have some collaboration? We have all sorts of American/foreign design and construction joint ventures to carry out all sorts of projects. The work is done in English following long established American engineering protocols.
All of the companies involved, both foreign and domestic, know the process and could just as easily focus on the moon as the far deserts of Mongolia. Such consortia of multinational joint ventures built Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and soon Iraq. I’m doing my very small part next week on just such a project in Mongolia.
Newt is hated and dangerous because he thinks. No one else has his vision. He could lead the process of culling the non thinkers and cleansing the system
I was on elementry school when dogs were sent into space..
and then Yuri Gagarin the Russian and Gary Shepherd the American went ...
It was fasinating and inspiring..
Science and Math were emphsised in school as worthy and necessary subjects..
every little boy wanted to be an astronaut..
John F Kennedy had vision and imagination..
He dreamed of space ships going to the moon andf back..
Willie Mitty cant see past his comb..
You have not studied Newt’s space proposal. His intention is to spend LESS, but stragetically apply the money with private enterprise goals and benchmark achievements. Unaccountable, big space budgets without a clear goal have wasted billions at NASA.
I don't need to.
A moon base with 19,000 inhabitants in 8 years with no increase in the budget? come on.
Umm, ok. So, I’m sitting on the far side of the moon and I can see your invading spacecraft coming at me for two days on a fixed course. I think that gives me a bit of an advantage.
The entire world is on the brink of economic collapse and the silly notion of a revamped idea of space exploration is being discussed as a sane and viable project to fund for, well, forever and without budget limits. Moon base, indeed. Time to can NASA as the political arm of the RATs and restrict space research to military purposes - and even that with restraint.
This kind of talk is symptomatic of the delusions too many seem to be under.
I know people who are out of work and are talking about buying new cars or spending credit on restaurants, etc. like this was 1999. Forget about it, Boomers. The Kennedy/Nixon/Moon dreams are gone and we have other (much more important) fish to fry.
In 1968, we actually made everything we needed right down to the rivets and bolts of the moon landers. Today, we make next to nothing and deficit spend our childrens futures on video games and mythical intellectual and service related economies. The seed corn in the barn is gone, folks.
Do we really believe our best hopes are tied to vapid and childish dreaming about the next Christmas’ wishlist? What we really need is a hard evening at the kitchen table with all the bills and we need to stay there until our income fits our outlay.
I know that grown-up talk but, really, it sounds like it’s needed around here.
Here’s a link to a NASA paper that gives 180 reason we should have a moon base:
Also another article link: http://www.businessinsider.com/180-reasons-nasa-thinks-we-should-have-a-moon-base-2012-1?op=1
If the stupid party wanted to talk grown-up we wouldn't have the sorry crop of candidates we have now.
Nonsense! There are already several venture capitolist that are investing in space.
Or the groupies for them...
“Actually, the Chinese will build a military base on the moon. If they build it on the dark side, it would be virtually invulnerable to attack.”
and within 20 minutes of anything launched at us from the moon earth based missiles will turn china into a wasteland. world war iii will be over long before anything from the moon can get here.