26 January 2012

Speaking of the moon: Gingrich v. Kennedy

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has told us that, by the end of his second term (about 2 minutes into the above), there would be Americans living on the moon. With enough of them there, they'd even be able to become a state of the USA.

And why not?

After all, in 1961, President Kennedy had made the first of two famous speeches about American plans to send a man to the moon. The first was to Congress (below), followed up a year later by his "We choose to go to the moon" speech at Rice University (HERE).

So if Kennedy could get away with such an ambitious goal, why not Gingrich?

Er, at least 3 reasons:
1. Kennedy had already been president for more than a year when he went public with his proposal.

2. Before that, he'd already had time to consult with the relevant experts and no doubt had a pretty good idea that a man on the moon within a decade was entirely possible.

3. Kennedy never made any colonial claims on the moon. Nor, though he may have left a US flag there, did Neil Armstrong - or anyone else.


Will Marshall said...

To be fair, NASA had a plan under Bush to establish a permanent moon base.


Anonymous said...

On point 2 - Gingrich serves on the National Space Society Board of Governors.

Formed the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus.

Probably knows more about space & more space experts than Kennedy.

Max Atkinson said...

Will - Maybe so, but was it going to be big enough to house 13,000 people and did he have any plans for it to become state of the USA?

outsider said...

Ron Paul seems more attractive by the day to young and old (though not of course to the middle-aged).
Having followed your link, Kennedy's Houston speech still gave me a tingle, like an Obama campaign speech. He managed to tie the moon in with knowledge, peace and "a better world" and must have inspired many young Americans.
Speaker Gingrich also seeks to inspire and re-energise America. In a sense one hopes he succeeds but I wonder if a colony built by the "space-industrial complex" conveys quite the same vision as "knowledge and peace". Ironically, you may think, old Ron seems to tap today's idealism better.