Saturday, January 28, 2012

28 January 2012 “Standing on the moon…

Where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon
But I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco
On a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven
At this crescent in the sky
("Standing On the Moon"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing.)
Lunar Colonies, Lunacy and Losses
Published: January 27, 2012

“Newt Gingrich is spaced-out. Literally.
 Gingrich told a crowd on Florida’s so-called Space Coast on Wednesday that “by the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the Moon. And it will be American.” And he said that he would push for the introduction of a “Northwest Ordinance for Space” so that when the number of colonists reached 13,000, they could petition for statehood.
            While I grew up watching the Cold War’s Space Race take place, and regret the loss of excitation about inter-planetary exploration that is now the norm; Gingrich’s hollow proclamation is nothing but empty lies offered for votes from another downsized technical industry seemingly abandoned by the government and population. 
            This lie demonstrates a decided lack of historical awareness as well as a horrific lack of technical and astrophysical education on the part of the liar.  The Space Race with the Soviets was always a demonstration of military capability played out against the peaceful vista of a cold, dead, rocky satellite.  Every orbital flight demonstrated possessing enough heavy-lift capacity to lob thermo-nuclear warheads.  Every  survey mission dealt in some manner with surveillance of another power.  Every capsule, every command module, every shuttle flight was highly experimental and carried the risk of fiery death, explosive decompression, radiation storms, and countless other hazards that cost the lives of pilots, flight crews, and even ground crews and entire design and production teams.  The flights today still carry all those risks. 
            The goal of a moon base has been postulated by every science fiction writer who has gazed skyward.  We’ve put men on the moon and outlasted the Soviets.  Truthfully, given the state of instrumentation today there is little we can gain from putting men on the moon again that can’t be determined by miniature robots such as those that have performed so remarkably on Mars. 
            Gingrich’s promise of a moon base demonstrates that he has as little knowledge of what engineering and scientific challenges would have to be overcome as he did of the combat in the VietNam war.  He’s willing to take credit for the hard work of others but like most of the GOP/teavanagelists of his era, don’t ask him to take part in any of the scut work or endure any personal sacrifice.  
            The 51st state boast is clear evidence that the “former speaker” would do everything possible to annex a global satellite as an American territory.  He, of course, would have no historical clue about how the other industrialized/technical nation would take offense at such action.  Nor would he care.  He’d be quite willing to start the first inter-planetary war, just as long as no one asked him to give up anything. 

No comments:

Post a Comment