AS VOTERS in space-mad Florida consider their options in tomorrow's Republican primary they may wonder if Newt Gingrich’s idea for a moon base is a shameless appeal to their parochial interests. But they'd be wrong to doubt his sincerity. For nearly three decades Mr Gingrich has been touting space colonisation; he co-founded the Congressional Aviation and Space Caucus and wrote a book that called for more space exploration. He is as space mad as the Floridians he hopes to win over. But that raises another question: how mad is this idea?
That depends. The idea for a moon base was a feature of George W. Bush’s space policy. But there is a world of difference between sending small groups of astronauts to a lunar base for months at a time, as Mr Bush envisioned, and having tens of thousands of people living permanently on the moon, as Mr Gingrich envisions. [More...]
Picture: Wikimedia Commons, dbking