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News Newt Gingrich's Candidacy - 2012

  1. Jan 26, 2012 #1


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    There are a few threads already on Gingrich, but here's one on his candidacy for president in 2012.

    Apparently Mr. Gingrich has set a goal of establishing a manned Lunar base by 2020.

    "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American," Gingrich said.

    Well - he is very optimistic.
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  3. Jan 26, 2012 #2


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  4. Jan 26, 2012 #3
    It seems more than optimistic to me. Anyway, why would the US government want to spend billions on establishing a permanent base on the moon?
  5. Jan 26, 2012 #4
    The more I learn about Gingrich, the more he seems to me to be an unsuitable candidate for the presidency.
  6. Jan 27, 2012 #5


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    In some respect I see why he said it, the space race has a huge romance around it that many people (Americans in particular) associate with pioneering and frontier-ship regardless of the fact that the historical parallels are just not there. But I can't see a significant portion of the demographic going for a policy that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars in these times, grand space projects are best left for times of boom.
  7. Jan 27, 2012 #6


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    The man's a fruitcake in this regard. The thought that the American public would be willing to have us spend money on that in these times is just lunacy so it seems to me that either (1) he doesn't recognize that and is thus completely out of touch with reality, or (2) [more likely] he realizes it full well and is just spouting nonsense because he thinks it might galvanize the public even though it's an idiotic idea.
  8. Jan 27, 2012 #7


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    What possible advantage could the US achieve from putting a permanent base on the Moon? Newt is a loon. He might sell more books with this type of grandstanding, but we can't possibly justify the costs of such a colony. Let the Chinese try it and bankrupt themselves in the process. (Frankly, I don't think they are that stupid....)
  9. Jan 27, 2012 #8
    Yeah, maybe it's his bid for the rocket science vote. Whatever, I think statements like this are going to hurt him as the nomination process proceeds.
  10. Jan 27, 2012 #9
    It's looking more and more like that's the case, imho.
  11. Jan 27, 2012 #10
    Reckless spending yet he stands true to fix the economy? Last I checked the moon doesn't have necessary resources readily available, and he wants a "colony" on it, so he would also need to pour money into infrastructure for the new colonists, food, medical care, etc... So, at the beginning of his presidency he'd need to start refocusing funds for the stability of the economy into this program before his second term ends. This means he'd potentially devastate us getting back on our feet economically wise? His passion is conflicting with his reasoning at the moment.
  12. Jan 27, 2012 #11
    I'm guessing he's talking about space initiatives as a way to garner votes from the NASA part (and those who benefot from NASA's presence) of Florida.
  13. Jan 27, 2012 #12
    Garnering a small fraction of votes is not reasonable enough in the long-term, especially in a primary election. It hurts more than it helps.
  14. Jan 27, 2012 #13
  15. Jan 27, 2012 #14
    Unfortunately, US isn't what it was in 1961, in part because of politicians like Gingrich who sell out to the lobbies. There's no money for that anymore... If Gingrich didn't notice, the US national debt is $15 trillion, and it's not going down by "reducing taxes to boost investment".
  16. Jan 27, 2012 #15
    As an outsider to the republican nominations, and even though I want democracy.

    I have to agree with Castro.

    "The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is, and I mean this seriously, the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been."
  17. Jan 28, 2012 #16
    I don't think this is going to endear him to the "NASA vote". I'm an aerospace engineering student who wants to go into the astro field. I have everything to gain from this. I think it's a preposterous proposal on every level. Gingrich, like all the other Republican candidates, are crazy.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  18. Jan 29, 2012 #17
    I find that an absolutely harebrained idea. What would these Moon colonists be doing on the Moon that could not be done much more cheaply in the International Space Station?

    My own preference is for automated spacecraft. They are usually much lighter, thus needing much less rocket to launch them, and they can easily be sent on one-way trips. While no astronaut has gone further than low Moon orbit around the far side of the Moon, automated spacecraft have now visited most of the more massive objects in the Solar System, and some of them are heading out into interstellar space.

    Another Newt Gingrich pretension: Newt Gingrich the Galactic Historian | History News Network He grew up liking Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, and he seems to think of himself as like Hari Seldon. The decline of the Empire = the decline of the US, Trantor = DC, The Foundation = GOPAC and the like.

    As to his past, I've discovered Tim Wise » Fake Newton: Looking for the Real Newt Gingrich. Back in the late 1960's, he was a Sixties radical, complete with supporting Sixties-radical-style educational theories.
  19. Jan 29, 2012 #18
    Eh, there are advantages to human exploration. A small research team on Mars could do what Spirit and Opportunity did within some weeks, I would guess.
  20. Jan 30, 2012 #19


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    With what effect? And with what cost? When we send remote-controllable probes to Mars, we don't have to send food and water, and we don't have to supply them with a rocket (and fuel) to get them back to Earth. Something that the "dreamers" conveniently fail to consider, along with the risk of death of astronauts due to Solar flares. We still don't have the technology to shield the operators of such craft!

    We got lucky during the Apollo program. A CME during any of those flights would have fried the astronauts. Not a good way to die.
  21. Jan 30, 2012 #20
    Actually, one can shield against any ionizing radiation if one has enough material. As an extremely rough rule of thumb, stopping distance is inversely proportional to the material density.

    NIST Physical Reference Data has lots of data:
    NIST: X-Ray Mass Attenuation Coefficients
    NIST Stopping-Power and Range Tables: Electrons, Protons, Helium Ions
    I couldn't find anything on neutrons, however. But that should be enough for improved estimates.

    Our atmosphere's thickness is thus roughly equivalent to about 10 m of water, 3 m of rock or brick or concrete, or 1 m of iron.

    I've seen proposals of a shielded "storm shelter" for interplanetary spacecraft, but that would likely need several tons of shielding material.

    BTW, lead is not really special as a shielding material. It's widely used because it's relatively dense, thus requiring less thickness than most other common materials. Gold and platinum would do even better than lead, but they are too expensive.
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