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Video: The science behind Gingrich’s moon base

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    >>> newt gingrich is known for a lot of out there ideas, but nothing compares to his vision of americans in space.

    >> by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be american. we will have commercial near earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing.

    >> sounds crazy, right? maybe not. in his book "space chronicles" ast astrophsists joins me. it's good to have you here.

    >> thanks.

    >> let's start with beginninewt gingrich. some will say it's nutty. and some will say he's a visionary.

    >> consider that this concept of get a base on the moon, that's not more ambitious than john kennedy saying let's walk on the moon before the end of the decade. when john kennedy said let's walk on the moon , we didn't have vehicle that killed the astronaut to try to launch it. it's a far greater ambitious concept than anything newt gingrich has put on the table. he's not out of it. he's in a long line of people that have ambition.

    >> big ideas . nothing wrong with big vision. as we look what the nasa has done, they have put human space flight on hold for now and may not see it moving forward for another decade. the that a good idea given the financial troubles, the investment of money it would take to move an idea like that forward?

    >> that's the common concern because nasa money is quite visible until you look at how small it is in the federal budget . it's half a penny on the dollar. you get that the for half a penny on the dollar. social programs and education, the united states spends 50 times nasa 's budget on social programs and education. to sigh why are we spending money up there and not down here, we are spending money down here. that argument doesn't fly. the real question is if we do double nasa 's budget to a penny on the dollar, what consequence does that have? i assert it would change the culture in which we think about the value and role of science and technology on our lives. there will be spin offs and jobs related to it, but you will create a shift in the state of mind of people where they will say, hey, we are dreaming about tomorrow again. people who bring tomorrow into the present are the technologist, scientists and engineers. those innovations are what drives tomorrow economies. such an investment would be an insurance policy for what the economic stability of the nation will be going forward.

    >> when we talk about the fact of the money maybe not adding up and the figures don't fly in terms of what we're spending in space flight , what really doesn't fly is the shuttle program . we don't have it anymore.

    >> literally not flying. hitching a ride with -- paying for the ride with the russians.

    >> how would a program and that type of lofty goal of colonizing the moon move forward. you say it's a job creator.

    >> moneys go to make that goal happen in the districts where nasa functions such as where newt was giving his speech. he's going to say things that appeal to that audience. how do you get that to appeal to the country? i assert once you change the state of mind of the nation -- we remember back in the 1960s , you're too young, i remember. back in the '60s, all of this was coincidence with this dreams going forward. that's the kind of country i grew up in.

    >> i drank tang as a kid. i had that as a kid. for those that say the money is better spent down here and doing programs for the country as opposed to thinking about where we're going.

    >> you put a band aid on a problem or get a fundamental solution going to prevent the problem from taking place in the first place.

    >> remind us about the advances are in every day life that we take for granted.

    >> that's an easy case to make. one of the larger case, the stability of our economy and how many people think about inventing tomorrow are in your midst. spin off, yeah. the precision of lasik surgery comes to us because of the docking software that connected the space shuttle to the space station . you wake up in the morning, there's a map of storm that's about to hit your city. that's a satellite took that picture. when we went to the moon with the premise of discovering the moon, we looked back and discovered earth for the first time. so many environmental steps were taken to protect earth from 1968 to 1973 . how do you put a price tag on that? what's the universe worth to you?

    >> nice to see you. stay

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