Skip to comments.The Mars Prize, Newt Gingrich was right to propose it
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 its 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 ...
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.
It would racism and “finacialism” for America to even think of going to Mars first. Remember there is
“unequalization” in America.../s
More spending! More spending!
How many $50 billion programs will Newt be proposing this year??
"Get your a$$ to Mars."
He’ll learn his lesson.../s
Yes, talking about it in 1994, and still talking, meanwhile we are 17 trillion in debt and still counting.
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.
That’s not true. There are only a few Newt haters around here, and a couple of them are closet Mittbots.
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.
“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:
“Taxed Enough Already”... does not equal: lets spend billions and billions more
Knee jerk reactions show that you didn’t read the article nor did you listen to his speech.
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.
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?
Article I Section 8
The Congress shall have Power To...
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts
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...
See post 18. Turns out there is actual Constitutional authority for this idea. (D’oh, I should have known that.)
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