back to article Newt Gingrich wants Moon to be 51st US state

Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is telling the people of Florida about his plans for a permanent base on the Moon, and suggesting it may be possible for the satellite to become the 51st US state. "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon, and it will be American," he told supporters at …

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      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Pint

        Not at all!

        Lord Sutch made good sense (occasionally). And he had a better dress sense

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re Sutch's better dress sense

          I'd say comparing the two's dresses is like comparing rotten apples and rotten oranges.

          Otherwise I agree, Sutch made some sense. But wouldn't it be very Sutch-like, from little sense to complete nonsense, from the National TEAnage Party...?

  1. ACx

    Er, Dr Evil was a fictional character, right? This man wants a "moon base", does he? Next thing we know, he'll be banging on about a big "LASER", and preparation "H".

    Sorry, have we slipped in to some really creepy messed up parallel universe?

    1. John G Imrie

      Sorry, have we slipped in to some really creepy messed up parallel universe?

      Unfortunately not. This is the real creepy messed up universe.

  2. Deadlock Victim

    I used to work in the same building as Newt

    Right after he left congress. I'd bump into him in the elevator or on the way to the lunch counter. He just exuded this aura of disgust. I don't think we're in any danger of him being elected and trying to seize the moon in the name of 'merica.

  3. Charles Manning

    So what to do with the Chinese?

    Will Newt go into Korean War mode if the Chinese get there first?

    1. James Loughner
      Alien

      You mean those Chinese illegal aliens. Deport them of course.

  4. Crank58
    Trollface

    Newt, the Rocket is standing By

    Obama has cleared you for flight status by special order. We need a dynamic governor at moon base alpha. You are just the man. Your constituents will be up shortly.

    I love the guy screaming about government exceeding its budget, but offering no help.

    A helpful hint, take short breaths, your oxygen will last longer.

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      I hope he doesn't mind a rocket...

      called Phobos-Grunt II. If it gets a little warm, he can open the window.

      1. annodomini2
        Boffin

        They have plenty of LGM-30 Minuteman 3's! ;)

    2. Chemist

      "a dynamic governor at moon base alpha"

      To manage all the telephone sanitizers and hairdressers that'll be arriving soon after.

      HHGG

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And this guy is part of the party that wants to dramatically decrease the government's revenue by cutting taxes on the wealthy. This type of thing simply isn't possible without a LOT of money.

    .

  6. Chad H.

    Well

    Given its probably going to take more than half that time to actually return to a capability of being able to get people to the moon, its clearly not going to happen.

    However it does show that Newt has no concept on what other countries are; as the idea that other countries may have issues with him claiming the moon as American territory clearly has either not occurred to him, or he doesn't care.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    The 51st State?

    I saw that movie. It's Britain of course. With Australia, New Zealand and Canada (in that order) being the 52nd,3rd and 4th.

    As for Israel . What makes you think its leaders would submit to that much loss of control of their budget. They already influence enough US miltary thinking to get all the money they need from the budget.

    Pretty much *all* candidates will sound enthusiastic about space in Florida. It's the NASA connection. As for having a *funded* plan to get there that's another matter.

    When people want to talk about NASA's "vast* size they emphasize its $18Bn budget.

    When they want to talk about how *small* it is they point out it's 0.5% of the total *federal* budget (not US GDP) and that the Pentagon spend more than *double* that on aircon for it's overseas bases. Or people in the US spend more on home delivered pizzas ($27Bn).

    1. Cunningly Linguistic
      Black Helicopters

      Aren't you forgetting Sweden?

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Just out of curiosity, what % of the federal budget was it when we were actually sending folks to the moon? I bet matching that today would be expensive!

  8. Eugene Goodrich
    Paris Hilton

    Seriously...

    This is his plan for smaller government and reducing the debt?

  9. _Matty

    I am not a lawyer but...

    Presumably there's a difference between offering american citizenship to lunar residents and making any sort of territorial claim over the moon.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      You are most likely entirely correct. However, politicians are coated in a layer of bullshit, and one of the remarkable properties of bullshit is that it is completely impermiable to logic, facts or reality. It also seems to leech out all morals and cause long term memory loss, especially when it comes to expense reports and intern shagging.

  10. Grease Monkey

    Do people really believe this sort of shite? Even if they started today there is absolutely no way they could have a permanent moon base by 2020.

    1. Martin
      Happy

      Why the hell not?

      If the political will was there, and the finance was available, it would be perfectly possible.

      If we could start more-or-less from scratch in 1961 and get a moon landing by 1969, then with our additional technical knowledge, and our massively more powerful and efficient computers, I can see no good technical reason why we couldn't have a base on the moon by 2020.

      I agree with you, of course. It'll never happen.

      1. Grease Monkey

        You would have a point if landing on the moon were not so far from a permanently staffed moon base. A permanently staffed moon base would need supplies, a lot of supplies, and that would in turn take a lot of flights and landings to supply. Building the base in the firsr place would take even more. To do this realistically you will need a reusable space truck capable of landing on the moon and returning. A sort of shuttle squared if you like.

        Yes you could do it with non-reusable craft, but imagine having to effectively write off something like an oversized Apollo 17 every time you needed to make a delivery. A reusable craft makes a lot more sense, but nobody has even started building it yet. Developing and building such a craft in time for the base to open would be a tall order, but they would have a lot less than seven years it would need to be operational on the day they began building the base.

        It's a completely empty promise and Newt knows it is. We know the finance is not available, but I don't believe that the political will is their either because I don't believe the man has any intention of following through on this promise should he be selected and happen to get into the white house.

  11. Paul Johnston
    Alert

    Thanks!

    Ever since I read this I've had that bloody "New Model Army" song going through my head!

  12. squilookle
    Pint

    Friday

    "[Singing] We're whalers on the Moon, we carry a harpoon. But there ain't no whales so we tell tall tales and sing our whaling tune"

    1. Lord Midas
      Happy

      ROFL

      Dunno if you just made that up, but it was effin' funny

      1. perlcat
        Coat

        @ Lord Midas

        Futurama.

        Good episode.

        Even if they couldn't carry a tune.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own moon base. With blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the moon base.

  13. Eddy Ito

    Bless 'im

    Pandering moron that he is you really do just have to stop in wonderment at the words that come out of his mouth... and think wft is this guy on?

  14. Purlieu

    "By the end of my second term"

    Newt, you're not going to get a first term. Face it.

    1. Lord Midas
      Thumb Down

      President Newt

      Doesn't have a cool ring to it. In fact his whole name should be enough to not get him in.

  15. Herby
    Go

    No problem...

    As was once said "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard". Some president said this about 50 years ago, or so.

    So, it works for me!

    Disclaimer: I did serve Newt an "adult beverage" once a few summers ago. He seemed like a wonderful guy.

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      That adult beverage...

      It didn't contain hallucinogenics, did it?

    2. Chad H.

      But he didn't say

      "We also do them because they're in breach of our international treaty obligations"

  16. Herby

    As for the 51st state...

    I believe that Canada thinks that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the USA (or is it the other way around). While I can't speak for Australia, or New Zealand, but they are nice states "down under", and they use dollars as currency.

  17. Big_Boomer Silver badge
    Alert

    Don't discount Newt

    You'd be amazed where Newts can get to and they are very difficult to get anything to stick to due to their ability to wriggle out of most situations.

    Also remember that he will be up against a negro incumbent and that this is the USA, otherwise known as the country with the worlds highest concentration of Christian Fundamentalists.

    People outside the US will be hoping that Obama will get re-elected, but inside the US they seem to be hankering to put another dribbling moron in the White House.

    1. perlcat
      Paris Hilton

      What.

      To replace the one we've already got?

      Newt's full of shite. Everybody knows that. The idea has some merits, although the violation of treaties and intercelestial body expansion will never fly. I would love to travel to the moon, but have to resort to alcohol for the time being.

      If we keep shooting down big ideas because we think they'll never work or because we hate the politics of the guy proposing it, we'll be joining the same people that told the Wright brothers that it would never fly. A lot of these ideas being vetted in these debates and the runup to the election will play a big part in whatever administration manages to get elected -- unless they are so damned stupid as to not watch the crowd response.

      I did enjoy the "we've done all the learning there is to learn, so no need to go to space." comments. I believe that's been said before in a lot of civilizations.

      PH -- another celestial body I'll never get to explore.

  18. mittfh

    Lunar-tic

    Well, you can't exactly fault him for having high ambitions...

    ...and it certainly beats his main rival's campaign claim to fame:

    'I believe in an America where

    millions of Americans believe in

    an America that's the America

    millions of Americans believe in.

    That's the America I love."

    Oh, and deity help us if any of them do get into power and either invade Iran or shut down its oil and gas production, the bulk of which is sold to the the likes of Russia, China and India. Given that China holds the majority of America's debt, it's probably not a good idea to piss them off too much...

  19. 404
    Unhappy

    Short-sighted Bastards

    Newt has his issues but at least he has some kind of vision & goals, unlike the other three. Those shuttle airframes were certified for 100 flights each - biggest issue was the launch system.

    I detest Obama for killing the shuttle, I feel he has stolen our kids future by this action - no goals, no vision= no future.

    Ya'll laugh, but a moon base would be an excellent choice for exploiting anything the moon may have under the surface, as well as an excellent place to conduct the kind of experiments we cannot do on earth to expand our holdings in space. Anything made or mined on the moon would be relatively easy to retrieve due to being in Earth's gravity well - all downhill.

    NCC-1701 baby! I want it. I'm with Professor Farnsworth - I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Anything made or mined on the moon would be relatively easy to retrieve"

      After burning up on re-entry !

      1. Chemist

        Re : After burning up on re-entry !

        So some people think that a heat shield, steering mechanism and parachutes are going to be feasible for 20000 tonnes of iron ore or whatever

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obama didn't kill the Shuttle!

      Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration", released in February 2004 (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/55583main_vision_space_exploration2.pdf) said that the Shuttle should be retired by 2010"

      "Retire the Space Shuttle as soon as assembly of the International Space Station is completed, planned for the end of this decade;"

      By the time Obama arrived, in the middle of a massive financial meltdown, restarting the shuttle program wasn't really practical (more's the pity).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fifty-second more like

    We (the UK) will eventually become the fifty-first.

    And yes. What a loony.

    1. g e
      Mushroom

      I thought we already were

      Given that the British Military seems to be the deniable elite ops arm of US foreign policy, notwithstanding the way UK.gov bends over every time a ranking Yank politican yells drop 'em city-boy.

      Are we really still owned by the USA following the cost of hiring them as cannon fodder at the end of WWII with our gold reserve & British US-based businesses? Perhaps if we did something to keep our top boffins and inventors INSIDE the UK for a change...

      Kaboom, cos no doubt someone will offer to nuke my scrawny limey ass back to the stoneage for me. As they do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We are ...

        Its just not been officially announced yet. I'll give it to 2015.

        By then we'll also have a similar privatised healthcare system with a private health insurance to match.

  21. Zog The Undeniable
    Thumb Up

    So the front runners are:

    Newt Gingrich - old and mad

    Rick Frothybyproduct - homophobic, Bible-bashing and mad

    Mitt Romney - pantomime slimy plutocrat who's more out of touch than Marie Antoinette

    Should be a shoe-in for Obama.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you'd think so, wouldn't you?

      Unfortunately, Republicans have been told repeatedly over the last four years "anybody but Obama is the #1 goal". And they do seem to vote as instructed, in lockstep, regardless of the qualities of the candidate (look at Bush). So whomever the final GOP candidate turns out to be, the Republicans will vote for him. Democrats don't vote in lockstep, to their detriment.

      1. perlcat
        Unhappy

        What's that they say?

        "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line."

        I think that's changing, though. The field of candidates is quite off-pissing.

  22. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    In the Gift of Global Operating Devices ...

    Newt can have his fans too if he is serious about delivering the inevitable.

    <blockquote>HonourableMember ….. on http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/jan/26/newt-gingrich-moon-base-dream

    27 January 2012 3:44AM

    Hi, Alok Jha,

    Maybe wily coyote Newt is gonna recolonise the world as if starting on the moon

    ...... http://www.ur2die4.com/?p=1473 ...... drivering Uncle Sam to build Paradise Cities and Seventh Heavens. Dropping pre fabricated units together in the alien environment of space without first having built and realised what is to be built in similar terrain on Earth as a SMART Intelligence Base for Natural Network and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Systems Control, would be a recipe for continual failure to lead in Space Exploration and Virtual Colonisation and Population of CyberSpace.

    IT is certainly something all executive administrations on Earth are confronted with and/or advised of here, by virtue of this introduction.

    Moving the Mountain ….. on http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2012/01/23/russia_nasa_moon_station/

    Posted Monday 23rd January 2012 15:20 GMT

    Phil O’Sophical,

    Create a modern population for planetary seeding on Earth, in a Mirror Base Station for Lunar Operations.

    What would you build on the Moon ……. a temporary structure or a work of future art. And when built on Earth, would it be a Universal Progress Model </blockquote> ...... for New Prime Alien Life on Earth.

    Ok ... that 's it lit [light blue touch paper and retire] El Reg, Now .... we wait? :-) .....http://youtu.be/WP6gbxskEuw

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Wait a minute..

    I've been given a plot of land on the moon and that's official (I have a certificate and everything). so If America wants to invade that, they have to go through me first!

  24. CmdrX3

    I'm sure it could be done

    While I think its certainly possible I think its highly unlikely. I'm sure there were many who thought it was a bit of a loony idea when JFK made the moon challenge but with determination, the will and lots and lots of money they succeeded. However, in this case it's nothing more than vote catching from a creepy old politician desperate for a bit of power. Shame really as its the sort of thing we really need to happen to progress space exploration further.

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