January 26, 2012
Newt Gingrich promised last night to establish a permanent base on the moon by 2020 if he’s elected as U.S. president.
Gingrich, the former House speaker, told a packed room that he wanted to develop a robust commercial space industry in line with the airline boom of the 1930s, leading to a permanent base on the moon.
On a campaign stop ahead of the Florida primary next Tuesday, the GOP presidential hopeful told an audience in Cocoa, on Florida’s space coast, his plan would benefit ‘science, tourism and manufacturing’. Gingrich, a long-time space enthusiast, also said he wanted to expand exploration of Mars, saying NASA could pay for ambitious plans by teaming up with the private sector.
The claims appeared to thrill the 700-strong crowd. The region is primarily known for NASA and was still suffering from a round of federal cuts to the space program last year.