Gingrich’s Grandiose Plans for American Space Explorationn

Newt Gingrich gave his JFK-style speech in Florida today followed by a round table. As with Newt, it didn’t contain a single overriding goal (build a transcontinental railroad, land a man on the moon), but rather a series of grandiose goals. A summary, based on this video:

  • Invoked both Abraham Lincoln (railroads) and John F. Kennedy (moon program)
  • Proposed setting aside 10 percent of NASA’s budget for prizes
  • Promised to build a permanent lunar base on the moon by the end of his second term and it will be American (Jan. 20, 2021)
  • Proposed commercial near-Earth activity including tourism, manufacturing and science based on the model of the airline industry in the 1930s because he’s sick of being told we need to be timid and we need to use 50 year old technology
  • Wants the U.S. to gain so much experience in space that that Chinese and Russians will never be able to match
  • Pledged to set up a $10 billion tax free prize for devising a way to get to Mars on the cheap
  • Promised to fund the development of the first continuous propulsion system in space to enable short-duration trips to Mars
  • Proposed that the U.S. launch 5 to 8 rockets per day instead of 1 per daymore like airports
  • Change civil service laws to make NASA more like Boeing than….well, NASA.
  • Plans to introduce a “Northwest Ordinance” that would allow a lunar colony with 13,000 people to petition for statehood (What about statehood for DC first? It’s got like 600,000 people in it. Oh, right….not enough Republicans there. Oh man, this is going to REALLY going to piss off Washingtonians!)

Sounds great. What sort of budget would be required for all this was not explained.