Wednesday, February 1, 2012

To The Moon, Alice


*Sigh* Newt, Newt, Newt... I don't even know where to begin. If he knows even a handful of details about the 94 missions to our lunar satellite, I'll eat Mitt Romney's dog carrier.

We shall pause for a graphic display of what everyone was thinking after Gingrich visited Florida:

Jon Stewart discusses Newt Gingrich
Part of my brain loves that Gingrich wants to build a base on our dear satellite Luna, because I'm pretty sure the word "lunatic" was invented for folks like him. And while I appreciate Newton (if only he was named after Isaac!) doesn't want to drag us back to the Dark Ages like many conservative politicians, the logical part of my brain shouts, "If Constellation couldn't engage support and funding among the non-scientific neckties, where does he imagine moon money will come from?"

Hey, remember when Obama was elected, and CNN started counting his days in office, as if he was supposed to enact radical change in his first month? Newt, in contrast, stated boldly that he has a grand plan for what he hopes to accomplish "by his second term in office" and the moon base will be part of that. How grand that he allows himself two terms before he's even elected, while Obama is under fire for not changing enough in 3 years.

Irony? Anyone? Bueller?

Newt Gingrich Moon Base
So, The Gingrinch thinks he can repeal decades of risk-averse bureaucracy and get a moon base built by 2020.

O RLY? You mean like the idea that's been around since the early 1970s, even before Nixon nixed Apollo? You mean like the existing International Lunar Network (ILN), encompassing ten nations who understand the value of lunar science and lunar resources?

In an ABC sponsored article, which emphasized how Gingrich "thrilled" a crowd of 700 on the still-stinging-from-layoffs Floridian space coast, the candidate said the answer to funding was to offer prizes to stimulate investment by the private sector.

O RLY? You mean like the existing Google Lunar X Prize? Or the Astrobotics and MoonEx companies who are already designing habitability and mining initiatives?

Lunar Base by 2020
Trusty SPACE.COM and the New York Times offered a fairly realistic assessment of what would be necessary to sustain a moon colony, and mentioned Newt's plan to claim parts of the Moon as United States territory, with colonists eventually petitioning for statehood status.

O RLY? You mean in violation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967? Who didn't do their homework before writing this convenient Floridian directed-at-disappointed-unemployed-space-coast inhabitants.

Not only are the ideas not his own, not new, not original, and not affordable in the foreseeable future, the plan is illegal the way he described it. Then there's the tiny detail about the US having no spacecraft capable of reaching the moon.

JFK you are not, dude.

Don't get me wrong. I would embrace a lunar base wholeheartedly. Grinning. With pom-poms. I hope to see it in my lifetime... but, I will believe it when I see it. And it will have utterly nothing to do with who is President.