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Gingrich promises 'permanent US moon base' if elected President

January 26, 2012 - Washington

White House contender Newt Gingrich has promised to have a permanent US base on the moon by the end of his second term if he is elected as president.

"By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American," CBS News quoted Gingrich, as saying.

"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, because it is in our interest to acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to matching," he added.

Gingrich made the promise while addressing a group of people in Cocoa, Florida, the area that has suffered major job loss since the cancellation of a space shuttle.

The former House speaker also said that by the end of 2020, America would have "the first continuous propulsion system in space" capable of allowing people travel to Mars.

"I am sick of being told we have to be timid and I am sick of being told we have to be limited in technologies that are 50 years old," Gingrich added.

According to the report, responding to rival Mitt Romney's criticism of his proposal for a lunar settlement, Gingrich said that 'when they would have 13,000 Americans living on the moon, they can petition to become a state.'

"And here's the difference between romantics and so-called practical people. I wanted every young American to say to themselves, 'I could be one of those 13,000. I could be a pioneer. I need to study science and math and engineering. I need to learn how to be a technician. I can be a part of building a bigger, better future'," he added.


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