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The Mars Prize, Newt Gingrich was right to propose it
National Review ^ | 2/1/12 | Rober Zubrin

Posted on 02/01/2012 2:03:54 PM PST by Nachum

In August 1994, I was invited to have dinner with House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich. At that time, I was a senior engineer working for Martin Marietta Astronautics in Denver, where I had been responsible for inventing a new plan called “Mars Direct.” By radically simplifying the mission architecture and making bold use of Martian resources starting on the very first mission, this concept offered the potential to reduce the cost and schedule of a human Mars-exploration program. NASA analysis had confirmed these advantages, and word had leaked to Newsweek, which featured it as the cover story of its July 25, 1994, issue celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. “A manned mission to Mars?” the editors asked. “The technology is already in place. And at $50 billion — one tenth of previous estimates — it’s a bargain.” Gingrich had read the article and wanted to know more.

Thus it was that I found myself in a closed room in a Chinese restaurant a few blocks from the Capitol, providing a detailed briefing on Mars-mission design to the future Speaker of the House.

Gingrich listened to me closely and became enthusiastic about the possibilities. “I want to support this with legislation,” he said. “But I want to do it in a more free-enterprise kind of way than just gearing up the NASA budget to go to Mars.” I countered by saying that while Mars Direct might cost $30 to $50 billion if implemented by NASA, if done by a private outfit spending its own money, the out-of-pocket cost would probably be in the $5 billion range. Thus if a prize several times this amount were put on offer for the first crew to reach the Red Planet, it might be possible to ignite a privately backed space

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: gingrich; mars; prize

1 posted on 02/01/2012 2:03:56 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Nachum

Why are you posting this? Don’t you know that the @sshats on this forum are voting for Rick Santorum. Newt is crazy. He’s a loon. Just listen to Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and even Laura INgraham. Listen to George Will and Charles K. And also listen to Rush. They all think Newt is unstable.


2 posted on 02/01/2012 2:08:49 PM PST by nikos1121
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To: Nachum

It would racism and “finacialism” for America to even think of going to Mars first. Remember there is
“unequalization” in America.../s


3 posted on 02/01/2012 2:09:18 PM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: Nachum
Anyone who wants to put up a prize can pass the hat. There's no Constitutional authorization for spending taxpayer money on it.
4 posted on 02/01/2012 2:14:24 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: Nachum

More spending! More spending!


5 posted on 02/01/2012 2:19:01 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Dallas59

How many $50 billion programs will Newt be proposing this year??


6 posted on 02/01/2012 2:22:05 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Nachum
I thought Arnold was the first to propose going to Mars.

"Get your a$$ to Mars."

7 posted on 02/01/2012 2:25:53 PM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: GeronL

He’ll learn his lesson.../s


8 posted on 02/01/2012 2:27:39 PM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: nikos1121

Yes, talking about it in 1994, and still talking, meanwhile we are 17 trillion in debt and still counting.


9 posted on 02/01/2012 2:29:35 PM PST by org.whodat (Sorry bill, I should never have made all those jokes about you and Lewinsky, have fun.)
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To: org.whodat

What does 17 Trillion in debt have to do with Newt’s idea of space? Sounds like he’s the first one since the age of Lindgergh to suggest something that might be cost effective and work in our lifetime.

In fact, I think we’ve seen a hint of what the dark ages might be looking like us whether it’s Romney or Obama.

This is our chance. This is the last chance for our generation to make an impact on the world in a big way. Newt will be too old to run in 2016.

I can’t think of anything more exciting than a Newt/Sarah ticket.


10 posted on 02/01/2012 2:33:25 PM PST by nikos1121
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To: nikos1121

That’s not true. There are only a few Newt haters around here, and a couple of them are closet Mittbots.


11 posted on 02/01/2012 2:36:16 PM PST by Apollo5600
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To: nikos1121

You’re right, only Newt was talking about manned moon bases in Florida a few days ago - that’s what got him all the latest grandiose, unstable remarks. One of Willard Your Worst Nightmare’s surrogates said Newt must have read too many sci-fi books as a kid... only the moon base endeavor is already underway... it’s just a lot of really ignorant people don’t know about it - so they belittle Newt, who does.

There are also some excellent military tech articles about the national security repercussions if either Russia or China beat us there... I don’t much read stuff like that.. Newt also said, contrary to what’s being reported, that he would like the private sector to foot 90% of the bill, with the govt incentivizing with tax breaks, prizes, etc.

http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpps/news/russia-us-moon-base-nasa-dpgonc-20110119-to-_17194074

“Russia is talking with the US and Europe on plans to create a manned research base on the moon, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said Thursday.

Roscosmos is discussing the possibilities for a permanent moon base with officials from NASA and the European Space Agency, the agency’s chief, Vladimir Popovkin said.

“We don’t want man to just step on the moon,” Popovkin told Vesti FM radio station, according to the Ria Novosti news agency. “Today, we know enough about it, we know that there is water in its polar areas ... we are now discussing how to begin [the moon’s] exploration with NASA and the European Space Agency.”

He said the plan was either to set up a base on the moon or launch a station to orbit around it.”

Russia also is planning to send two unmanned mission to the moon by 2020, Popovkin said.

China moonbase 2002:

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/5/22/181737.shtml


12 posted on 02/01/2012 2:42:34 PM PST by true believer forever (First, they came for the rich.)
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To: Apollo5600

“Taxed Enough Already”... does not equal: lets spend billions and billions more


13 posted on 02/01/2012 2:49:04 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL; JustSayNoToNannies; onyx

Knee jerk reactions show that you didn’t read the article nor did you listen to his speech.


14 posted on 02/01/2012 2:52:56 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: DJ MacWoW
The article says, "Starting immediately, 10 percent of NASA’s budget would be put aside yearly to accumulate a prize fund." So its taxpayer money, like I said. Have you read the Constitution?
15 posted on 02/01/2012 3:02:01 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: true believer forever

Newt is and always has been a man of vision. If someone doesen’t expect America to recover and to remain the leader of the world they would not expect or have a vision of such a grand achievement. I would only expect this of a man who believes in America and a positive future for America. I can’t help but notice that Romney mocked his Moon Base idea, if you recall the Moon Base he proposed was a plce to launch the manned Mars expedition.


16 posted on 02/01/2012 3:09:32 PM PST by duffee (NEWT 2012)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
Where do you think new technology comes from? Do you even know? And what's your problem with making the private sector do the work and take the risks? You simply don't understand what this is about. Government won't do the research OR pay for it. Instead they'll offer prizes to the private sector for coming up with answers.

Did you even READ this?

I countered by saying that while Mars Direct might cost $30 to $50 billion if implemented by NASA, if done by a private outfit spending its own money, the out-of-pocket cost would probably be in the $5 billion range.

Why don't you research what technology developed for NASA has helped society?

17 posted on 02/01/2012 3:14:35 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Article I Section 8
The Congress shall have Power To...
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts


18 posted on 02/01/2012 3:47:01 PM PST by ari-freedom
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To: DJ MacWoW; JustSayNoToNannies

Not only that, but just about every modern thing that drives our economy today started or got a huge boost from two things: WWII and the Space Race.

There is a legit Constitutionality question, but this would be an economically and technologically stupid place to draw that line for the first time since FDR. After all, the money is already being spent far less efficiently by NASA. Want to strike unconstitutional spending? Let’s tackle the (not so) Great Society first. Or gut the muslim outreach program calling itself NASA completely except for this...


19 posted on 02/01/2012 3:58:21 PM PST by piytar (Rebellion is here! Free Republic is on the front line! NEVER SURRENDER!)
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To: ari-freedom; DJ MacWoW; JustSayNoToNannies

See post 18. Turns out there is actual Constitutional authority for this idea. (D’oh, I should have known that.)


20 posted on 02/01/2012 4:02:41 PM PST by piytar (Rebellion is here! Free Republic is on the front line! NEVER SURRENDER!)
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To: piytar

I believe Newt was talking about this as a project for his 2nd term. His main goal is to cut the budget, regulations and red tape thereby stimulating the economy.


21 posted on 02/01/2012 4:15:52 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: dfwgator

The answer is all here, Colonel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEMWtyAKRhQ&feature=related


22 posted on 02/01/2012 6:58:10 PM PST by wally_bert (It's sheer elegance in its simplicity! - The Middleman)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Government won't do the research OR pay for it. Instead they'll offer prizes

The taxpayer-funded prizes are the problem.

23 posted on 02/02/2012 12:01:29 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: ari-freedom; piytar; DJ MacWoW
Article I Section 8
The Congress shall have Power To...
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts

I'm afraid you have an incomplete copy of the Constitution. The complete text of clause 8 is, "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

No help there for moon base prizes.

24 posted on 02/02/2012 12:08:17 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: piytar
There is a legit Constitutionality question, but this would be an economically and technologically stupid place to draw that line for the first time since FDR.

"No new spending" is an excellent place to draw the line.

After all, the money is already being spent far less efficiently by NASA.

So let's put it back in the pockets of those who earned it.

25 posted on 02/02/2012 12:11:09 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
Tell that to people who have benefited from science.

Newt is absolutely right to get private companies etc involved and let them take the risks. It works.

26 posted on 02/02/2012 12:38:34 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: DJ MacWoW
The taxpayer-funded prizes are the problem.

Tell that to people who have benefited from science.

"Welfare is unconstitutional? Tell that to people who have benefited from welfare." Your latest argument is the death of conservatism.

27 posted on 02/02/2012 12:58:05 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Science and welfare are the same? Who knew!


28 posted on 02/02/2012 1:02:31 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies

Stickler. lol


29 posted on 02/02/2012 1:09:36 PM PST by magritte (Nevermind)
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To: DJ MacWoW
Science and welfare are the same?

Educate yourself: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/analogy

30 posted on 02/02/2012 1:16:52 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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To: JustSayNoToNannies
Funny., I was just going to tell you the same thing. You should listen to Newts speech rather than buying into talking points. But since you're a Newt hater that won't happen.

You have a nice day. AND you may have the last word.

Bye bye!

31 posted on 02/02/2012 1:22:26 PM PST by DJ MacWoW (America! The wolves are here! What will you do?)
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To: DJ MacWoW
True or false: Newt wants to use taxpayer money to offer prizes.
32 posted on 02/02/2012 1:36:51 PM PST by JustSayNoToNannies (A free society's default policy: it's none of government's business.)
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