Gingrich Promises Moon Colony by 2020
Wants to go boldly into future with 'grandiose' space vision
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Suggested by eric1982a
Posted Jan 26, 2012 2:52 AM CST
Updated Jan 26, 2012 7:47 AM CST
New Newt rising: Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks to members of the media after an event yesterday in Cocoa, Fla.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Newser) – A stellar idea or just lunacy? Either way, Newt Gingrich wants an American colony on the moon by the end of his second term, reports Politico. Speaking in Florida, home to much of NASA, Gingrich called his moon proposal a "Northwest Ordinance for space," and "grandiose," comparing it to visions by Abraham Lincoln, the Wright brothers, and John F. Kennedy. "I accept the charge that I am grandiose and that Americans are instinctively grandiose,” Gingrich said. “Does that mean I’m visionary? You betcha.”

Gingrich also called for 10% of NASA's budget to be dedicated to prize money to spur private inventions toward space travel, manned Mars trips by 2020, and maybe even a moon state, once 13,000 people are living there. His ideas may sound out there, but Gingrich has actually been calling for the colonization of the moon since at least his 1984 book Window of Opportunity, notes Slate. And with Florida's Space Coast unemployment higher than the national average and expected to grow because of contractions in NASA and space funding, proposals to increase cosmic exploration could boost Gingrich's campaign.