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Space

U.S. Presidential Hopeful Promises Moon Base by 2020

RIA Novosti

13:54 26/01/2012

Moscow, 26 January (RIA Novosti) - US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has promised to build a moon base by 2020 if he becomes the next U.S. President in November, the Former Speaker of the House of Representatives said in an address to a crowd of over 700 people on Florida’s “Space Coast” on Wednesday.

"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American," Gingrich promised to an applauding crowd, as well as saying that he would push to develop "the first continuous propulsion system in space" that would enable humans to travel to Mars, Politico.com reported.

The topic of Gingrich’s latest campaign struck a particular chord with the residents of Florida’s “Space Coast” who are still struggling economically after recent US federal cuts to the space program.

"We will have commercial near-Earth activities that include science, tourism and manufacturing, and are designed to create a robust industry precisely on the model of the development of the airlines of the 1930s”, CBC News quotes Gingrich, “the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching.”

Gingrich’s rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, mocked the idea of a lunar settlement, but Gingrich simply commented that “here's the difference between romantics and so-called practical people”. He referred to John. F. Kennedy, who first spoke of a national mission of landing a man on the Moon in a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961.

“John F. Kennedy was grandiose,” Gingrich spoke on Wednesday, “I accept the charge that I am grandiose and that Americans are instinctively grandiose”

Both Gingrich and Romney are campaigning to secure Florida’s primary vote next Tuesday.



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