Campaign '12

Gingrich offers new goals but same philosophy in space speech

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich offered some new—and attention-grabbing—goals for American space efforts in a speech Wednesday afternoon in Cocoa, Florida. However, while he offered some bold new goals for spaceflight, he didn’t go into much detail about how the US would achieve them, and his underlying political beliefs about space, including support for prizes and a disdain for NASA bureaucracy, remained the same as his previous comments during the presidential campaign.

The pronouncement he made before a reported audience of about 700 people involved the establishment of a permanent lunar base. “By the end of my second term,” he said, a line that itself generated a round of cheers, “we will have the first permanent base on the Moon and it will be American.” In addition, he said, there would be “commercial near-Earth activities” for science, tourism, and manufacturing. “It is in our interest acquire so much experience in space that we clearly have a capacity that the Chinese and the Russians will never come anywhere close to having,” he said, to another burst of applause. He also vowed that by the end of 2020 the US would have “the first continuous propulsion system in space” to allow for far shorter trips to Mars.

He also even suggested that lunar base could some day apply for statehood. Noting that his rival for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, had ridiculed Gingrich’s earlier calls for lunar colonies, he suggested Romney had missed something even bigger to poke fun of. “At one point early in my career I introduced the ‘Northwest Ordinance for space’,” he said, a reference to the 1780s act that enabled the creation of several Midwestern states. His act, he said, would allow a lunar base that reached a population of 13,000 to petition to become a state. “I will, as president, encourage the introduction of the Northwest Ordinance for space to put a marker down, that we want Americans to think boldly about the future, and we want Americans to go out and study hard and work hard and, together, we’re going to unleash the American people to rebuild the country we love.” That line got a loud and sustained round of applause.

Gingrich did not go into a great deal of specifics about how he would achieve those goals. One approach he suggested was to be “practical” about using equipment. “The Atlas 5 ought to be interchangeable, and ought to be as usable for NASA projects as it is for Air Force projects,” he said. (The Atlas 5 is, in fact, used for launching some NASA science satellites; an Atlas 5 launched NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission just two months ago.) He also called for a radical increase in space launch activity: “We need to learn how to do five or eight launches a day, not one.”

In his second space-related appearance of the day, before a space industry roundtable in Cocoa, he indicated that American space efforts required a sense of urgency reminiscent of wartime. “Let me take a radical example,” he said. “If we decided to human-rate the Atlas 5, how long would take take?” Mark Bitterman of United Launch Alliance noted that those efforts were ongoing as part of ULA’s Commercial Crew Development award and the company projected it would take three to five years. “But I’m asking a different question,” Gingrich responded, saying he wanted to know how long it would take if it was just an engineering problem. “I want to relentlessly adopt the model of World War Two, where we learned to fly B-26′s off aircraft carriers in a matter of months because we had no choice.” Bitterman suggested that, based on that model, human-rating effort could be “accelerated significantly.”

However, while the lunar base goal was new and got a lot of media attention, some of the core themes of his space policy philosophy remained unchanged. He expressed once again his interest in prizes. “I would want 10 percent of the NASA budget set aside for prize money,” he said, reiterating comments he’s made in the past, such as a town hall meeting in Texas in October. This was part of his design “to become lean and aggressive” instead of bureaucratic, as he perceives NASA today. “How can we build a bureaucracy this big and get into a period where we rely on the Russians while we watch the Chinese plan to surpass us, while we sit around bureaucratically twiddling our thumbs with no real reform?”

How well will that rhetoric play on Florida’s Space Coast, which is dealing with the economic fallout of the retirement of the Space Shuttle? We’ll find out on Tuesday when Republicans go to the polls. In the meantime, we may get a response from the Romney campaign later this week: he’s scheduled to make a Space Coast campaign appearance Friday afternoon in Titusville, Florida. In addition, CNN is hosting yet another presidential debate Thursday evening in Jacksonville, where, as in Monday night’s debate in Tampa, a state-specific issue like space could merit a question.

90 comments to Gingrich offers new goals but same philosophy in space speech

  • DCSCA

    “I want to relentlessly adopt the model of World War Two, where we learned to fly B-26′s off aircraft carriers in a matter of months because we had no choice.”

    Uh. in fact, we did. We din’t have to do it but if Newton Leroy was referencing Doolittle again, they were B-25s and the highest paid historian in the history of everything’ shouldn’t make that kind of error.

  • Dennis Wingo

    At about $1.7 billion per year, that is a lot of prize money. There is also an incredible amount of capital sitting on the sidelines and if the prizes were structured in a manner as to be milestone based there are significant possibilities afoot.

    For $1.7 billion a Bigelow or hard type space outpost could be put into either a HEO orbit or at EML-1.

    An Atlas V heavy and or Falcon heavy using the J2-X as an upper stage could be fielded.

    We could easily put a 100 kw power lander on the surface of the Moon at the north pole for $1.7 billion.

    ISRU for metals and oxygen, easily done for that amount of money.

    Running a WWII model along with prizes that would enable a profit (Gingrich also said the prize money would be tax free, a version of ZGZT for those who paid attention), would substantially change the world in space.

    I repeat I don’t like any of the candidates but this would lead to an explosion of advances in Aerospace in this country.

    Have a little imagination.

  • Anecdotally, it appears that outside of Brevard County this got very little media attention. The Orlando Sentinel mixed in a few paragraphs along with its coverage of the other candidates. Nationwide it appears to received little attention.

    It’s the main story on Page 1 of this morning’s Florida Today, which might win him some votes here in Brevard County but might also cost him votes from those who guaranteed-for-life jobs from the space-industrial complex.

    I thought it was very telling in the roundtable how the space-industrial complex leaders sucked up to Gingrich. But when Newt asked how quickly the Atlas V could be human-rated if we “cut the red tape,” they hemmed and hawed and couldn’t really give him a straight answer. I think that’s because they make a lot of money off that red tape, i.e. their government monopoly.

    The SpaceX rep spelled out who they’d built a new rocket and capsule for under $1 billion. He also said that NASA’s commercial program office had been “nimble” and suggested that was a lesson for the rest of NASA.

    Hopefully Dale Ketcham will check in here and comment on Newt’s response to his question about how Newt would get past the Congressional porkers. Newt’s response was fairly weak, in my opinion, in particular because he chose not to be more critical of his former colleagues who’ve reduced NASA to their own personal porkfest. Newt said he’d ask them to choose between pork and exploration. That really doesn’t cut it, Newt.

  • craig

    b-25′s newt b-25′s

  • craig

    wait maybe we could build a moon base for same cost as fixing the f-35′s tailhook problem

  • BRC

    I’ll be kind and suggest that maybe his notes referencing Doolittle’s raid had a typo: the “6″ key is next to the “5″ one, after all. Or maybe he’d just as likely mis-read his notes (they look alike) — and should really invest in reading glasses.
    (OTOH, we can’t all be wiz’s at reading hidden teleprompters, either)

  • GeeSpace

    Dennis Wingo wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 8:02 am post is 120% on target (and yes, he doesn’t need my affirmation). As Dennis stated “Have a little imagination” And a little faith,

    Some people would complain even if Gingrich was very detailed in his campiagen speech. Even if Gingrich had stated more details in his moon based object. and Gingrich becames President, those deals would probably be modified as they go through the politicial process to achievement

  • DCSCA

    “I would want 10 percent of the NASA budget set aside for prize money,” [Newt] said.” This is just nonsense.

    Space exploitation is not space exploration.

    If Newt feels so strongly about establishing gimmicky prizes, let him sell off his assets and invest in a private commercial space firm or better still, have him establish the Callista Prize and put up the Tiffany loot as the booty along the lines of the Ortig Prize, which was a private stake. Otherwise, all Newt is doing is spending other people’s money. The place to source and establish incentives like this is the private capital markets- like Romney’s Bain Capital- not from the government space agency funded by the U.S. Treasury. A treasury BTW which has to borrow 42 cents of every dollar it spends in the Age of Austerity. That’s socializing the risk on the back of the many to benefit a select few. Been there, done that w/Wall St., and the banks a few years ago. Bad boy, Newt.

  • amightywind

    Umm. The B-25′s never made it back to the carrier. One way raids are un-American.

    “How can we build a bureaucracy this big and get into a period where we rely on the Russians while we watch the Chinese plan to surpass us, while we sit around bureaucratically twiddling our thumbs with no real reform?”

    This at least is accurate. We are spending a lot of money on NASA and getting very little back. I miss launch day…

  • DCSCA

    The problem w/commercial HSF firms is they don’t have the guts to take the risk and just go fly. Failure moves in tandem w/success in the capitalist model. It’s coming up on 50 years after Glenn’s three orbit flight– a flight in an era when missile technology had a 35%-40% failure rate- and still no commercial HSF has followed in Friendship 7′s wake. Iy’s a risk level commerical firms would not take then or now. That’s why governments do it. If commerical HSF wants street cred, its time to stop talking and start flying.

  • Monte Davis

    The Doolittle raid was understood at the time as a morale-booster for the home front rather than a significant military blow. That NG could claim “we had no choice” shows that either he doesn’t distinguish symbol from substance… or he doesn’t think we can.

  • Jeff Foust

    Anecdotally, it appears that outside of Brevard County this got very little media attention.

    I will humbly disagree. I did not see how it played out across the various TV networks, but did see plenty of coverage in outlets as diverse as SPACE.com, The Washington Post, Reuters, and POLITICO, as well as in the blogosphere. It was also one of the top stories on an all-news radio station in Washington I was listening to early this morning. (I was surprised, though, that the Orlando Sentinel gave it less coverage, making it part of a broader article about the campaigns.) Given all the other issues in the presidential campaign, it’s hard for me to make the case that Gingrich’s speech deserved more media attention than it received.

  • DCSCA

    Jeff Foust wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Agreed. Newt’s moonbase comments are getting quite the play in cable TV land- mostly as a point of humor or just a reaffirmation of his grandiosity.

  • Lee

    Newt has three major problems… 1 – his own party doesnt like him; 2 – for a “historian” he has forgotten his own history; 3 – he promises everyone anything they want to hear.

    How can America get back to the moon without money? I wish I was wrong, but there wont be any money for this fantasy of his. And it all assumes he will be the next President… not very likely.

  • MrEarl

    Does anyone have a link to the trascripts to these speaches?

  • DCSCA

    MrEarl wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Try CSPAN. THey should be airing them again and its probably in their archives. And tonight there’s another debate.

  • MrEarl wrote:

    Does anyone have a link to the trascripts to these speaches?

    Haven’t seen any transcripts (and doubt there will be). Click here to watch the Florida Today videos through my blog (lots easier to find than on their site).

    Jeff Foust wrote:

    I will humbly disagree. I did not see how it played out across the various TV networks, but did see plenty of coverage in outlets as diverse as SPACE.com, The Washington Post, Reuters, and POLITICO, as well as in the blogosphere. It was also one of the top stories on an all-news radio station in Washington I was listening to early this morning. (I was surprised, though, that the Orlando Sentinel gave it less coverage, making it part of a broader article about the campaigns.) Given all the other issues in the presidential campaign, it’s hard for me to make the case that Gingrich’s speech deserved more media attention than it received.

    Just heard Stephanie Miller mock the moon colony idea, although her show is political comedy.

    My point is that for the folks who continue to insist that we’ll have a robust government space program if only a President seizes the initiative, the lack of significant coverage shows otherwise.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Stephen. it has gotten some air and “ink” (what I call the internet). The “air” was some CNN, a reasonable amount of MSNBC…Rachel M did a pretty fair evaluation of it (she is a bit of a space junkie), Larry OD was fair in the political context and Ed S pretty much missed the entire thing. Politico and The Hill have covered it, on my facebook page there are some CBS and other stories that have been linked. Plus it was on PBS News Hour with some realistic coverage. (I know liberal shows)

    It has gotten little air here in Houston that I Notice although I dont do much local news.

    Robert

  • Doug Lassiter

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am
    “My point is that for the folks who continue to insist that we’ll have a robust government space program if only a President seizes the initiative, the lack of significant coverage shows otherwise.”

    It’s more than the media coverage. The media coverage on his grandiose idea is just waving Newt’s trial balloon for him, inflated by his campaign in Florida. In fact, the mainstream media, while reporting it, has been largely non-committal about it. The reporting has been notably absent of any kind of real excitement about it. The big question now is whether influential members of congress and leading decision-makers (especially in the GOP) are going to rally around his trial balloon. “Great idea, Newt!” Boehner could say (perhaps shedding tears of inspiration). “Fiscally, I think this might work!”, Cantor could chime in.

    I mean, seriously, if all Newt gets out of this is applause from the self-styled space advocacy community, that’ll tell him what he needs to know, and his grandiose idea will just fade away as he leaves Florida behind him. What that trial balloon will leave him with when it does is the mark of a bold thinker rather than a real plan for space. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s that mark that he’s fishing for here, and not a real plan for space.

  • Robert G. Oler

    “I want to relentlessly adopt the model of World War Two, where we learned to fly B-26′s off aircraft carriers in a matter of months because we had no choice.”

    Newt can be forgiven for this modest slip…but it is not a complete “slip”.

    What I thought Newt was referring to was the Jimmy Do Very Little (grin) raid where they did fly B-25′s off Hornet (CV-8). I always enjoyed the little recognized irony of the Do Very Little raid going off of Hornet and Apollo 11 coming back to CV-8′s namesake CV-12.

    That was an impressive feat of “make do” and pilot (and Naval) learning. (and a fun bit of history when Walter Winchell figured out about three months early what was going on and got a nice phone call from FDR…tha is how he got to be on board Hornet). But the B-26 analogy is not bad either.

    The home of B-26 training was Tampa…the 26 was a handful and along with the B-17 was the start in the USAAF of really professional pilot training. “One a day into Tampa Bay” was a common statement concerning pilot error. The USAAF needed the 26 and so they started in a very short time the training regimes that the USAAF passed on to the USAF…and they learned it from NavAir based on the Do Very Little training that occurred. (I still have the Ronald Reagan and James Stewart training films!)

    Both are examples of what Newt was driving at and in my view he can be excused for getting the B number 1 off.

    BTW the B-26 did leave from some CV’s. They were ferried over (particularly to Africa) and usually were off loaded at ports…but on some occasions very light they flew off at least twice of both Ranger and Wasp…along with P-40 and P51A attack planes. Unlike Do Very Little’s B-25′s they were very light and carried no real armament.

    we should not lose sight of Gingrich’s point which is valid RGO

  • vulture4

    Gingrich is another in the chain of Republicans who slash taxes and think the only reason we don’t have moon colonies is that nobody has thought of their “bold ideas”. Remember Reagan and the “national aerospace plane”, and the interminable delays in the Space Station? How Nixon cancelled Apollo and cut funds for the Shuttle and left it only partly reusable? How Bush II radically lowballed the cost of Constellation?

    Prizes do work in situations where cost is low and ingenuity is the main requirement, such as the light aircraft efficiency prize, the space suit glove competition or the lunar mining robot competition. Where the project costs billions investors want assurance of a profit.

  • I’m not a Newt fan in many other realms but I would welcome his view of Americas space future over what President Obama’s has achieved and what that of Congress promises (both parties).

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:03 am

    The problem w/commercial HSF firms is they don’t have the guts to take the risk and just go fly.

    For someone sitting in the peanut gallery, you sure like telling people what they should do with their money. Problem is you don’t have the guts to even do what you say others should do. How telling.

    And the facts are that lots of companies are taking risks, spending their own money over the past couple of decades to improve our access to space. You just don’t want to acknowledge it, so you keep setting up fake goals just beyond where everyone is.

    Let us know when you’ve had the guts to risk a significant amount of your assets on a dream. Until then you just sound like a yapping Chihuahua trying to get attention.

  • Das Boese

    Lee wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    he promises everyone anything they want to hear.

    A great deal of women, homosexuals, scientists and science teachers might disagree there.

  • On Clark Lindsey’s blog regarding the topic of this thread
    http://hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=35211

    I posted a relevant conclusion I came to:
    ” I still think Romney is probably going to be the Repub candidate. But if Newt were to somehow win the nomination, it could be a positive move for the advancement of spaceflight even if he loses to Obama in the election. This is because if Newt gets the nomination, space WILL be brought up in the debates against Obama before the election and there would probably at some point be a focus on the “rocket to nowhere” in the same manner that “the bridge to nowhere” was spotlighted before the previous election. It could possibly result in the general public becoming aware of the SLS/MPCV rip off, which is much bigger by orders of magnitude than the infamous bridge. Yes, SLS/MPCV is a miniscule fraction of the overall budget, but the bridge was a much smaller fraction than that and it still caused quite a ruckus once it was made known to all.”

  • GeeSpace

    It’s interesting (not really) how negative most of the previous comments are. Very head down and buried in the sand and not very hopeful and forward looking.

    Yes, there are missing parts to Gingrich’s moon base proposal and funding issues, etc.

    Another question is what is and will be the cost of not having taking the opportunity to develop an active, fast moving human and robotic space exploration and development program

  • One way raids are un-American.

    But one-way rockets, like Ares or SLS, aren’t?

  • @DCSCA:

    Space exploitation is not space exploration.

    Then space exploration is worthless.

    Otherwise, all Newt is doing is spending other people’s money.

    Which is precisely what NASA did yesterday, does today, and will tomorrow.

    The place to source and establish incentives like this is the private capital markets- like Romney’s Bain Capital- not from the government space agency funded by the U.S. Treasury.

    Then you don’t need a treasury. Let the markets handle everything.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Umm. The B-25′s never made it back to the carrier. One way raids are un-American.”

    I have found some joy reading your post as a sort of “Rorschach” ie what pops into my mind while reading them…and here it is the exchange in Kelly’s Hero’s between Donald Southerland aka “Oddball” and Don Rickles aka “Crap Game” where Oddball tells Crap Game “to you a Hero is a sandwich”

    to chickenhawks like you “hero” is someone who appears on Fox News watching Megan cross her legs and telling how we should spend more on defense spending.

    Americans have since the dawn of the Republic volunteered for “Low probability of return” efforts in military action. One cannot even come to imagine the thoughts that were going through the militia’s mind as they lined up against the Blackwatch at both Lexington and Concord…and the folks who were training for the Do Very Little Raid knew the odds of return were slim….at best the mission required taking off from a flattop that had to get close to Japan in very bad weather, dead reckoning to a target then a very long leg dead reckoning to airfields that might or might not have a homing beacon or even be in friendly hands… and for which maps were mostly blank in terms of details…all with very low gas to start with…

    and that got worse. When Big E and Hornet’s task forces were discovered far earlier then the launch point the odds of reaching friendly fields fell just about to zero. Jimmy D. knew this and called all his men together presented the facts to them and made it clear that this was not what they signed up for and walking away was OK…the scenes in both Ruptured Duck and Pearl Harbor portraying that are separated by a few generations in terms of the portrayal but they are in tone very very accurate.

    A professor of mine at college was on Hornet (she was fresh out of the yard) working on the CXAM radar and grew pretty fond of Ted Lawson…they both played poker…and as they said their goodbyes, Casey told the class “we both had the feeling that we would never see each other again”

    People like you think of the military as a load full of weapons that make your particular harmones flow…but it really is about people who are ready to die for their country.

    In January and Feb of 42 the ships of the Asiatic fleet were slowly being “depleted” in a pretty hopeless effort to slow down the Japanese. As the Cruiser USS Houston sailed on her last voyage she knew she might tangle with Mogami class cruisers and she had exactly 8 rounds left for each of her remaining long rifles. The Captain made it very clear of the odds. Not a person jumped ship.

    RGO

  • gregori

    @ DCSCA

    “The problem w/commercial HSF firms is they don’t have the guts to take the risk and just go fly. Failure moves in tandem w/success in the capitalist model. It’s coming up on 50 years after Glenn’s three orbit flight– a flight in an era when missile technology had a 35%-40% failure rate- and still no commercial HSF has followed in Friendship 7′s wake. Iy’s a risk level commerical firms would not take then or now. That’s why governments do it. If commerical HSF wants street cred, its time to stop talking and start flying.”

    NONE of the commercial spaceflight firms are making any claims that they are going to put people into LEO right now, this minute!!

    You’re basically setting unrealistic goalposts so gigantic, so you can blame and tear down companies for having “failed” by the standards you just made up from the top of your head. Its a deliberate and dishonest tactic.

    The companies in question are no way ready to send people into orbit tomorrow. Many of these companies are the same companies that already contracted to do work for NASA under Shuttle/Constellation/SLS…. They are MORE than capable of developing these systems. The government doesn’t have any special mojo that makes its unique in the human spaceflight arena. The military is a perfect example of this. They develop systems all the time for government needs without having the equivalent of NASA.

    2015 is the earliest realistic date and most of the companies involved have stated this. They are also not stupid enough to develop a system that won’t be used by NASA for failing some arbitrary safety standard. NASA is going to the biggest customer initially so they are going to do everything in concert with NASA. This is after all a service the government needs in order to utilize the ISS effectively.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Doug Lassiter wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 10:23 am

    “I mean, seriously, if all Newt gets out of this is applause from the self-styled space advocacy community, that’ll tell him what he needs to know, and his grandiose idea will just fade away as he leaves Florida behind him. What that trial balloon will leave him with when it does is the mark of a bold thinker rather than a real plan for space. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s that mark that he’s fishing for here, and not a real plan for space.”

    this is about like saying nice things about Lori Garver…yikes…I want Newt to be POTUS like I wanted Bush (the last) to be…but

    I am reasonably impressed by what Newt said. I’ve read most of the stuff and seen some of the video…and there are some gaping holes…but looked at carefully this is part of a call for the US to go back to the 1950′s and 60′s in terms of bold persistent efforts to start technology and try new things. It is not much different then what the POTUS called for in his speech and we need this.

    We need bold technology experiment with a sense of purpose and mission to try and remake the US economy.

    The biggest thing I GOT out of this speech is what I already knew. An Obama/Gingrich race would be a treat for The Republic. It would be two people who think grandly and who are (and this will blow the GOP nuts here) COMMITTED TO USING GOVERNMENT TO SHAPE THE COURSE OF THE REPUBLIC.

  • yg1968

    I am surprised and disapointed on how anti-Newt, the article and the comments on this board on Gingrich’s announcement have been. I expected more from a website and board that many consider to be pro-commercial.

  • Florida Today reports that Romney will hold a campaign rally tomorrow at Port Canaveral:

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120126/NEWS01/120126003/Romney-schedules-Cape-Canaveral-visit-Friday

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, canvassing the state this week in hopes of becoming the GOP nominee, will be in Brevard County on Friday for a rally in Cape Canaveral.

    According to Romney’s campaign, he’ll visit Astrotech Space Operations Inc, 260 Magellan Road at 3 p.m. The event is open to the public.

    Interesting that this wasn’t announced until after Newt came here to deliver a space policy speech. I wonder if Romney will bash Newt for endorsing Obama’s space policy in 2010. Mitt sure doesn’t have one of his own …

  • Robert G. Oler

    HIT RETURN TO FAST (CONT)

    COMMITTED TO USING GOVERNMENT TO SHAPE THE COURSE OF THE REPUBLIC…and this is what we need. Private enterprise coupled with Government Industrial complexes trying to shape the future gives us what we have at NASA; sloth, torpor and timidity. WE have to have a government and leadership that sets goals and pushes private enterprise to meet them. We are seeing how that works in SpaceX, Boeing (the CST100) and OSC.

    Newt recognizes that RGO

  • Doug Lassiter wrote:

    I mean, seriously, if all Newt gets out of this is applause from the self-styled space advocacy community, that’ll tell him what he needs to know, and his grandiose idea will just fade away as he leaves Florida behind him. What that trial balloon will leave him with when it does is the mark of a bold thinker rather than a real plan for space. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s that mark that he’s fishing for here, and not a real plan for space.

    My thought watching the speech was that whatever else I might think of Newt, he was sincere about what he proposed — “passionate,” to use his word. There really wasn’t much upside for him; the safe thing to do would have been to propose lots more government spending through NASA, which would have appealed to the locals who want guaranteed-for-life jobs with the government space monopoly.

    But he didn’t say that. And he was quite critical of NASA’s bureaucracy.

    There were a lot of things he didn’t say. He didn’t say how he’d pay for the lunar colony. He didn’t say how he’d pay for his ideas, other than his prizes would be 10% of the NASA budget — yet what should NASA’s budget be? And he certainly didn’t lay blame at the feet of Congress, which he’s been reluctant to do throughout his campaign.

    But he gave a speech he’s probably wanted to give his entire life. He may have given it here yesterday in case he’s defeated and never has the chance again. He outed himself as a science fiction fan and space geek, which gives him no upside whatsoever in the mainstream. He did it because he wanted to. And I give him credit for that.

    If he’s elected President, I’ve no doubt he’ll be back here in front of the VAB delivering that speech on steroids.

  • yg1968

    Concerning Newt’s comments on the Atlas V. It’s obvious that Newt meant that the Atlas V should be used by both the Air Force and NASA for commercial crew (not just NASA unmanned missions).

    But I wonder if this also says something about the HLV.

  • Coastal Ron

    yg1968 wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I expected more from a website and board that many consider to be pro-commercial.

    All the Presidential candidates claim that they are pro-commercial, and proposing a Moon program doesn’t prove that Newt is anything in particular but interested in going to the Moon. Join the club.

    Politicians have been promising a turkey in every oven and a car in every driveway for decades, but the challenge is in proposing the right goal that leads to the best use of taxpayer and private capital.

    We don’t need another one-off program like Apollo, and since there are no commodities yet that can provide a revenue stream for private industry in space or on the Moon, this whole thing will need to be funded largely by taxpayers. And yes, I know Gingrich thinks that prizes will provide incentives, but prizes won’t get us to the Moon by the end of his 2nd term – only massive government funding will, and I don’t see that happening.

  • @Coastal Ron:

    All the Presidential candidates claim that they are pro-commercial.

    All candidates are pro-commercial. So is Congress, for that matter.

  • Rhyolite

    A couple points:

    1) Newt seems to be genuinely interested in space. He is going way beyond the minimally required pandering to Florida voters

    2) This speech has been picked up by plenty of non-spacefan sites that I to so it seems to be getting some wider traction.

    3) That being said, not all of the press coverage is favorable. There seems to be more than a bit of ridicule mixed in the main stream sources.

    4) Prizes are a good idea for motivating solutions that can be solved decent rally, i.e. small problems that lots of possible innovators can tackle. 10% of NASA’s budget seems to be way to much money to be usefully spent on prizes.

    5) Giving two senators, a congress person and three electoral votes to a colony of 13,000 people is nuts. We have enough of a problem already with small overly represented states wallowing in pork.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    If he’s elected President, I’ve no doubt he’ll be back here in front of the VAB delivering that speech on steroids….

    end quote

    I dont either…the Gingrich metric for President to me is A Newt Presidency with a heavy Democratic Congress. In such a campaign I would vote for Obama…but it would not be a cherry vote (it would be a cherry vote if Willard was the opposition I cant stand him).

    I also think that if Gingrich were POTUS 1) he would shake the stuffings out of NASA and 2) he would get most of what he wants on space policy…

    on a policy note (then politics)

    the thing one has to ask oneself (and the Clear Lake Group use to debate this question handily) is which is more likely to cause a commercial “break out” into space microgravity research or a lunar effort? I tend to think the former. Everytime I get discouraged at microgravity research I just remember who is doing it now and rethink my sadness.

    The second thing in terms of politics one has to ask is how do we change NASA and space politics from “we have to do something operational” to “we develop technology”.

    Robert G. Oler

  • JohnHunt

    > Have a little imagination.

    If we don’t don’t get stuck with Newt’s specific ideas I think that it could a launchpad 4 some pretty good ideas. rather than huge prices I think that a COTS-like approach with the same amount of money could do wonders. in particular I would like to see or orbital depots, a cis-lunar water truck, Falcon Heavy-sized lunar lander, telerobotic and other lunar assets. But payments for milestones not huge prizes (except for small components).

    Unfortunately Newt has publicly stated his ideas and so would probably be reluctant to modify them. what do you guys think about the possibility of another candidate presenting a some what better vision?

  • SpacePolicyOnline.com reports that Rick Santorum has cancelled his Brevard County appearance on Saturday:

    http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/santorum-cancels-space-coast-visit-but-romney-still-on

    Santorum also labelled Newt’s space policy as “crass politics”:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/01/santorum-moon-base-idea-is-crass-politics-112383.html

  • Robert G. Oler wrote:

    I also think that if Gingrich were POTUS 1) he would shake the stuffings out of NASA and 2) he would get most of what he wants on space policy…

    I think it would be tremendously amusing if a second-term Obama offered Gingrich the job of NASA administrator … :-)

  • Neil Degrasse Tyson sent out a tweet that he’ll be on the MSNBC Martin Bashir show at 3:15 PM EST to talk about Newt’s space plan.

  • So much going on here. So much is happening so fast. We just wrote about Mr. Newt’s speech and you can read it here (it pertains to this thread):
    http://www.teapartyinspace.org/?q=content/newts-big-ideas

    I would like to make it evidently clear that the base does like Newt. I work with a lot of people not only in the tea party but also with the GOP. The people who do not like Newt are the talking heads and the Rockefeller do nothing republicans.

    They fear Newt, and they should. I have openly stated before and I will again. I will not vote for Mr. Romney under ANY circumstances. Period. End of story. Privately, a lot of people tell me this as well. Frankly, the base does not want to see another John McCain in Mitt Romney clothing.

    Newt’s ideas are solid. We could easily have 10% of the NASA budget go to prizes if we restructured NASA. That restructure is coming by the way. NASA leadership can either embrace it or go down with it like the Titanic.

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser
    TEA Party in Space

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    “I think it would be tremendously amusing if a second-term Obama offered Gingrich the job of NASA administrator ”

    I wonder if the Senate would confirm him. It would be a good choice. RGO

  • Vladislaw

    Just watched Neil, I believe he would jump on the bandwagon if a President pushed for it, just for the STEM aspect of it.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Andrew Gasser wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    “They fear Newt, and they should. I have openly stated before and I will again. I will not vote for Mr. Romney under ANY circumstances. Period. End of story. Privately, a lot of people tell me this as well. Frankly, the base does not want to see another John McCain in Mitt Romney clothing.”

    Andrew. In some manner that statement is both correct and wrong. McCain and Willard have both suffered in large measure because they have tried to morph their beliefs into things that were/are palatable to “the base” and came off in large measure as frauds…on the other hand what the McCain of00 believed, he really believed. I am not sure Willard believes anything really.

    The issue of “the base liking Newt” is going to be interesting to see. IN my opinion the leadership of the base (or at least the self styled spokespeople for it) are mostly frauds. (thats OK you can go to the MoveOn site and see that the folks there are pretty much unhappy with me for beating up on the picture of Romney that they are trying to pan off as “special treatment” when it is really routine security screening.

    I am going to be interested in watching the next week or so because what is starting to happen is that the “mouthpieces” of the GOP who keep the base excited are starting to get the word from the corporate wing (and they really are quite tied together) that they need to oppose Newt and his effort.

    Ann Coulter and Drudge are already banging the gong pretty hard, as you know I dont like Rush but I suspect once a devotee of “Mr. Newt” he going to shift pretty hard to the anti Newt line (keep me posted on that).

    this is what the mouthpieces do, they did it in 00 when the corporate wing got worried that McCain would beat Bush and they are following that same play book.

    Newts ideas for space are solid and coupled with a “rebuild America” economic message they could I think travel pretty far. The odd thing is that Newt is getting a better shake for his space plan on MsNBC then he is on say Fox…they are getting the word as well.

    Curious times RGO

  • @Gasser:

    In what world is Romney like McCain? More importantly, in what world is Gingrich’s concrete vision for national space policy any different from the one that’s been pursued for the last decade?

  • Martin Bashir was very snide and mocking about Newt’s proposal. Neil Degrasse Tyson was more objective, basically saying vision was good but Newt has an internal contradiction between his goals for deep space exploration which require massive government funding, while at the same time bashing NASA bureaucracy and massive government funding. Bashir seemed clueless about the finer points of the government space program; he even said, “NASA’s Cape Canaveral” whatever that means.

  • New Tommorrow

    Well, if Tyson doesn’t like it, it must be a great plan!

  • amightywind

    I like the idea of seizing territory on the moon.

  • DCSCA

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    It’s leaving a respectable media footprint- albeit fodder for comedians. But then, Bill Dana, Rob Reiner and Mel Brooks yucked it up over astro-nots back in the day as well. What matters is how the public reacts- and it’s clear they’re rolling their eyes and more concerned w/paying the mortgage and securing jobs than expensive, grandiose plans for moonbases these days.

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Saw it. Same rah-rah space patter he always gives.

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Uh no, nobody really cares if you fly or not- certainly the American public hasn’t cared for 50 years- we have a government funded and managed space program as it is, thank you, and it has been quite successful– just don’t ask the U.S. taxpayers to subsidize your commerical efforts to make a buck on the backs of the many to profit a select few-and that is the ultimate goal of any commercial venture- to make money. Good grief.

    .————

    There’s no reason why NewSpace needs prizes, incentives or sweeteners, etc to get flying. It’s just gimmickry. The Russians has been flying and maintained HSF capability for half a century through some very harsh political and economic change and they weren’t chasing cash prizes– they were after something of high value to them. The fledgling PRC space effort is not chasing down prizes, either and whining for incentives. Only commericial NewSpace cries for subsidies, tax breaks and other buffers to reduce their own risk in vain attempts to subsidize or socialize the risk on the many to benefit a select few to make a buck. And that is the goal of commercial space firms- in fact, any commercial firm- to make a profit. It’s fifty years after Glenn’s three orbits on an iffy, risky missile system. Take the risk. Stop crying. Get flying. Put someone up- or shut up.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I like the idea of seizing territory on the moon…

    and what popped into my head reading that is General Ripper from Dr. Strangelove “Mandrake have you ever seen a commie drink a glass of water?”

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    in what world is Gingrich’s concrete vision for national space policy any different from the one that’s been pursued for the last decade?”

    Andrew can answer for himself and I would be curious as to his answer…but in my viewpoint at least on paper and in Speeches Newt seems to envision the actual use of private enterprise; not companies pretending to be free enterprise functioning like Soviet design bureaus.

    Robert

  • Scott Bass

    ……I praise the ideas….. Now just hoping either someone in office or has a chance to be in office takes note……at the very least the prize thing might spur some innovation…..on a side note, I doubt he could do the job of Nasa administrator unless he was actually given free reign to do what ever pops into his head on any given day

  • E.P. Grondine

    Historically,

    Doolittle had to launch early because of Japanese observation/detection.

    I seem to recall that the plan was to land further into China, where the B 25′s would have continued in use.

    So one could think of it as a ferry flight with attacks made along the way.

    No one here should forget the tend of thousands of Chinese who were killed by the Japanese military in reprisal for the raid.

  • Egad

    > I think it would be tremendously amusing if a second-term Obama offered Gingrich the job of NASA administrator …

    A hoot, and it might do some good. Loathsome and destructive as he is in many respects, Newt does bring some needed vision to the political scene that is otherwise totally lacking. If it were possible to bring back the National Space Council and make it effective (never happen), he’d be just the guy to run it.

  • DCSCA

    @amightywind wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    ROFLMAOPIP seizing territory and holding on to it are two different things. Ask a Briton.

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    LOL agreed.

  • Newt contradicted his own anti-government story about the Smithsonian by strongly endorsing John Kennedy’s big government program to the Moon.

    But he is right, we do need a Moon base. The Moon is the next logical step in our manned space program. And logic trumps politics, IMO.

    Ironically, we’re already building a Moon rocket (the SLS) which he has been critical of. And the SLS could be delivering habitat modules and solar power units to the lunar surface by 2020 if we also start seriously funding a single stage $6 to $12 billion lunar lander within the next couple of years.

    I thought it was very smart of Newt to continuously mention two of America’s favorite presidents: Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. That’s the best way to get votes from independent voters who may be worried that he might be too extreme. Unfortunately, Obama seems to be content on running as the anti-JFK candidate when it comes to space– which is never good for Democrats– especially in Florida!

  • DCSCA

    @Prez Cannady wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Interesting mind set you have. Ivan Boesky, the convicted insiderv trader, one quiped to his wife, “What good is the moon- you can’t buy or sell it.” Boesky went to prison and served his time at Lompoc, near Vandenberg AFB. Where thwey fire off government funded missiles.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Since everyone here has wandered so far into fantasy land, in other words bat s*** crazy,

    I wonder if Newt has ever considered China declaring the Moon a province?

    RGO, have you thought through the international property rights issues?

  • @Earth to Planet Marcel
    “Ironically, we’re already building a Moon rocket (the SLS) which he has been critical of. And the SLS could be delivering habitat modules and solar power units to the lunar surface by 2020 if we also start seriously funding a single stage $6 to $12 billion lunar lander within the next couple of years.”
    “Ironically” is a suitable word. But the irony comes from people who maintain your position. Assuming we want to go the lunar base direction, why do it the more expensive SLS way when we could do it sooner and faster without it? That is something that Newt is knowledgeable enough to know. In short, why waste more money and time than we have to? You might not mind waiting the extra decade for us to start deep space faring, but a lot of the rest of us aren’t.

    It almost appears that there is some kind of Freudian phallic obsession with you people for a rocket bigger than everybody elses. If that is the case, sorry about the size of your _____, but the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay the price. :)

  • gregori

    If AMW likes the idea of seizing territory on the Moon, I hope he likes footing the bill through taxes. Defending any large piece of territory on the Moon and sustaining humans would cost trillions a year.

    That would seem reasonable if there was anything to defend like the worlds largest oil reserves or arable land but its actually a barren resource poor wasteland that has nothing on it that would pay for itself.

    There are vast amounts of territory not settled on Earth that are cheaper, more benign to life, have vaster resources and easier to access than the Moon. Those are barely being explored because even those are hard to justify economically other than science and exploration.

    We may WANT a Moon base but that is a far cry from NEED one. “Logical Next Step” makes sense if the underlying logic is “because its there”….. which i think a lot of people here operate under.

    Given the world’s economic troubles, I doubt there is money there to have anything more than a small base made of small modules like the ISS, but on the Moon. I think it would be sensible to use the industrial capabilities that various nations actually have to build and supply such a base rather than using SLS.

    This would mean using lots of EELV class rockets or evolutions of them, which Gingrich was hinting at. Giant rockets which share no uses or parts with the rest of industry are going to be no more affordable for the USA than they will be for China.

  • if we also start seriously funding a single stage $6 to $12 billion lunar lander within the next couple of years.

    There is no reason a lunar lander should cost such an insane amount of money.

  • Coastal Ron

    Marcel F. Williams wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Ironically, we’re already building a Moon rocket (the SLS)

    The SLS is no more a Moon rocket than any other rocket.

    It’s too small to launch everything needed for occupying the Moon in one launch, so in that respect it’s no different than any existing or near-term rockets.

    Claiming it’s a Moon rocket would be like claiming your car is a Rhode Island car, and can only be driven in Rhode Island…

  • Doug Lassiter

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 1:13 pm
    “My thought watching the speech was that whatever else I might think of Newt, he was sincere about what he proposed — “passionate,” to use his word. There really wasn’t much upside for him; the safe thing to do would have been to propose lots more government spending through NASA, which would have appealed to the locals who want guaranteed-for-life jobs with the government space monopoly.”

    I think we agree. Gingrich sees himself as innovative, creative, bold, and grandiose. He want’s everyone to see him that way. He was absolutely sincere about that speech, because that’s what that speech did for him. A speech promising lots more government spending through NASA would not have served that purpose.

    He may well also want to colonize the Moon, but I think that goal is a secondary one to the one of being seen as innovative, creative, bold and grandiose. This is about him, and not about the Moon.

    I’ll say it again. This speech is at best a trial balloon. Let’s see who comes running to support him. Haven’t seen anyone yet. If no one in power does, the issue is toast if he were to be President. I suspect those with an ounce of political smarts will keep some distance.

    In fact, this speech unfortunately raises space exploration in the campaign as a grandiose, and slightly crazy issue. Newt will be hammered with it, as an illustration of his grandiosity and craziness. That’s not the way we’d really like space exploration to be talked about in this campaign.

    Marcel F. Williams wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    “The Moon is the next logical step in our manned space program. And logic trumps politics, IMO.”

    You’re kidding, right? Logic trumps politics? Ain’t the case. Wouldn’t we like to believe …

  • Robert G. Oler

    E.P. Grondine wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Historically,

    Doolittle had to launch early because of Japanese observation/detection.

    I seem to recall that the plan was to land further into China, where the B 25′s would have continued in use…:”

    The B-25′s were more or less expendable the airfields were only to get the crews down. There was no enough fuel at these fields to refuel the planes…and no engines. The cumulative total of Mitchell was at that time an entire months production.

    The “Very little raid” was an amazing piece of audacity. True the nation needed the morale of striking back; but the main ones arguing for a strike were people like (former) Ambassador Grew and the SecState who knew a bit about Oriental culture…and they risked a lot to do it. Essentially 1/3 of the carrier striking power.

    When Big E and Hornet ran into the fishing/scout boat the boat got a radio message off, but apparently were not heard by the Japanese net they were on. Launching early meant the planes had a “chance” of reaching the China coast…Hornet was suppose to give them 32 knots from her engines but they turned off all the hot water and released the safety catches on the planes and the ship gave them 38 knots through the water. If you watch the video Doolittle gets off early..and thats why.

    Fortune favors the bold. The fleet was running without air patrols depending on her destroyer screen for early warning (one stumbled into the fishing boat which did not show on radar in the heavy seas). Had they steamed to their intended launching point they “might” have run into IJNS Shōkaku her sister Zuikaku and their screen. Who both were out patrolling and post war analysis of their steaming path is entertaining.

    That might have been “not so good”.

    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    E.P. Grondine wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    RGO, have you thought through the international property rights issues?…

    we are decades and some reason away from dealing with that and when we do it will be something like Sea law. Short answer to the question…no. RGO

  • DCSCA

    Rand Simberg wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    please post your budget for same.

  • DCSCA

    Romney lost the space coast vote tonight.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Politico has a good story about how Willard beat up on Newt pretty hard for his lunar base concepts…

    I am curious how the Willard fans here feel about that RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Hornet was suppose to give them 32 knots from her engines but they turned off all the hot water and released the safety catches on the planes >>

    Should be “on the turbines” RGO

  • Explorer08

    Amightywind wrote: “Umm. The B-25′s never made it back to the carrier. One way raids are un-American.”

    This Amightywind dude REALLY needs to be banned from posting here. What an insult to the brave Americans who flew that raid. Maybe you were kidding?!?!?!

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    It’s clear he has been consistently dismissive. Space is not on his agenda. Not a fan of Sir Willard of Romney.

  • Googaw

    vulture4: “Prizes do work in situations where cost is low and ingenuity is the main requirement.”

    Exactly. And, I’d add, where the technological benefits of achieving the goal are obvious to the engineers (as opposed to the politicians or voters).

    RGO: “Newt seems to envision the actual use of private enterprise; not companies pretending to be free enterprise functioning like Soviet design bureaus. ”

    Except that the goal itself and the prize bureaucracy (elaborating no doubt on Wingo’s grand plans for lunar prizes) is to be centrally planned from Washington, DC. What Gingrich, Wingo, and most NewSpace folks don’t seem to comprehend about private enterprise is that _choosing the goal itself_ is the _most important_ thing that the market does better than the government central planning bureau. Not mere efficiency.

    The Soviet state industries could manufacture railroad tracks, cars, and also sorts of other objects with marvelous units output/hours worked “productivity” ratios. They were merely ugly and shipped to the wrong place and soon fell apart. It is the bureaucracy that chose the goals, not the boots on the ground doing the work, that were the Soviets’ problem. And despite training many of the best scientists and mathematicians in the world — they were marvelously good at passing university exams — they completely failed to originate semiconductors, PCs, the Internet, or the other kinds of _new_ ways of doing business that require entrepreneurial originality rather than political fashion.

    The Gingrich/Wingo/MUFON plan is just taking the old daydreams of central planning bureaucrats and pretending that they will invoke the magic of private enterprise to do it for them.

    A real prize effort would start with the goals that private enterprise and the military are already pursuing in space. Especially those two pieces of space most of us use every day, communications and GPS. Then they would ask the engineers who work on these economically real space industries, “what breakthroughs could your fellow engineers make that would make your job easier? Which ones would make your product more useful or less expensive?” And we would give out prizes for solving those. Real space industry with real customers doing actually useful things, rather than a new generation of sci-fi-based political pork barrel, would result.

  • DCSCA

    Googaw wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 1:18 am

    “The Gingrich/Wingo/MUFON plan is just taking the old daydreams of central planning bureaucrats and pretending that they will invoke the magic of private enterprise to do it for them.”

    Well said. It’s just an elaborate gimmick for masking methods of back door subsidies hence socializing the risk on the many to benefit a few. And after Newt’s debate deflation and comic reception to statehood for moon bases– and Romney’s dismissiveness of it completely- space is it’s pretty much a dead issue for any serious consideration in this election cycle. Prizes just don’t cut it as major motivators. Does anyone really beleive w/o the Ortig Prize transatlantic flight would never have occurred and we’d all still be crossing by steamship?

    Take, for example, what some might consider a ‘prize’ just three miles away- the loot aboard the Titanic. Put aside any and all of the legalities and redtape and such around it and just consider it as a ‘prize’ to win effort– the prize of recovering valuables- sitting there to be won and claimed by the team that recovers it. They weren’t clamoring to invent technologies and race down three miles to look for it over over the decades after 1912 – before or after it was found. And when it was found, it was an off-shoot of a government project to check on the status of sunken nuclear subs. Prizes in the space game really don’t work. It;s not like going after sunken spanish gallions. Sure, you can offer cash incentives for manufacturing goals- such as weight saving prizes during Apollo hardware design- but using a huge cash prize as a motivator for lunar trips is just gimmickry– and sort of smacks of desperation. As noted on another thread, you might as well offer prizes for building bullet ttains between Fresno and Bakersfield or bridges between Russia and Alaska. The risks and immense costs involved for space projects of scale in this era are just to big for quarterly driven, private enterprisred firms which expect to prifite from such an enterprise to absorb. That’s why governments do it. And that is essentially a position Neil Armstrong has held over the years, notably reiterated on the 20th anniversary of Apollo 11 in Washington.

  • @Oler:

    Andrew can answer for himself and I would be curious as to his answer…but in my viewpoint at least on paper and in Speeches Newt seems to envision the actual use of private enterprise…

    In other words, the same policy pursued by three Presidents over the past decade.

    …not companies pretending to be free enterprise functioning like Soviet design bureaus.

    No worries. Such things occur only in your imagination.

  • amightywind

    What an insult to the brave Americans who flew that raid.

    There is certainly no disrespect for great men who did their duty and then some. I am disrespecting the commanders who frivolously risked such men using kamikaze tactics that achieved nothing of strategic value.

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ January 26th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    The B-25′s never made it back to the carrier. One way raids are un-American.

    Apparently we can add military tactics to the list of things you don’t know much about.

    And are you implying that dying to save America is un-American?

  • “I am disrespecting the commanders who frivolously risked such men using kamikaze tactics that achieved nothing of strategic value.”
    Oh, but it did have a strategic value. The Japanese government had told their population that their homeland would never be attacked. The shocked reaction that any kind of raid on Japan happened at all (no matter how little the destruction) shook their confidence to such an extent that it caused them to hold back a larger percentage of their forces to protect the homeland. Those forces would have increased their battle effectiveness had they been employed elsewhere. It also boosted the morale of the American populace, that at the time had some doubts as to whether we could hit back. As any military commander will tell you, morale is an important intangable asset in war.

    I hate to say it, but I think I would actually miss the entertainment value of your B.S. if you were banned. That comment was actually one of your more lucid ones. I really think you say a lot of obviously idiotic things just for shock value. No sane person could say some of the other things you have said and mean them. Of course, for all I know you could be locked in a loonie bin somewhere with internet access. :)

  • E.P. Grondine

    RGO –

    I don’t think that there are decades left for that discussion.

    Once again, I believe that the Wolfe amendment is unconstitutional, as it intrudes on the Executive’s ability to conduct foreign policy.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    What an insult to the brave Americans who flew that raid.

    There is certainly no disrespect for great men who did their duty and then some. I am disrespecting the commanders who frivolously risked such men using kamikaze tactics that achieved nothing of strategic value.”

    back to the “Oddball” quote.

    The Do Very little raid (or something like it) was argued for by Ambassador Grew and others for the reasons that Rick noted…and it worked…the Japanese timetable and plans for what they were going to do “next” after taking Java etc were completely modified by the Doolittle raid…and the battle of Midway is a result.

    The Army (which was running Japan) wanted a series of “fast carrier raids” along the Hawaiian frontier and the West US coast supplemented by raids on India and Australia with an emphasis on eventual landings in Aussie and taking Ceylon . The Imperial Fleet was resisting this and instead was hoping for a concentrated battle with US carriers which were starting and accomplishing fast carrier raids of their own. FDR fooled no one when he said the planes came from a mythical place…the IJN staff knew where they came from.

    At this point the Army relented and started allowing the IJN to draw the US into a series of battles of which Coral Sea and Midway were the result…

    Had the Do Very little raid been responsible for none of that…the raid still would have changed the notion of how the war was going.

    Sadly you know nothing about military history. I would have to grade you at an F. RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    @Oler:

    Andrew can answer for himself and I would be curious as to his answer…but in my viewpoint at least on paper and in Speeches Newt seems to envision the actual use of private enterprise…

    In other words, the same policy pursued by three Presidents over the past decade.>>

    NO and that you do not know the difference speaks volumes RGO

  • Call me Ishmael

    The shocked reaction that any kind of raid on Japan happened at all (no matter how little the destruction) shook their confidence to such an extent that it caused them to hold back a larger percentage of their forces to protect the homeland.

    Even more important, it put the operation to sieze Midway Island on the fast track . . .

  • amightywind

    and it worked…the Japanese timetable and plans for what they were going to do “next” after taking Java etc were completely modified by the Doolittle raid

    It worked? Such parlor games had no effect on the outcome of the war. Japan was already over extended before the war started. There was no ‘next thing’. After the declaration of war the empire could only retrench, as the rational Japanese leadership knew.

    The Doolittle Raid was one of many inaccuracies and unforced errors made by a war US leadership with tarnished credibility. It was a wholly symbolic attack of no strategic value designed by FDR to manipulate public opinion, already solidly behind the war. In retrospect the US strategic plan could not lose. Use an ever increasing advantage in men, material, and Navy forces to constrict an over extended, supplied aggressor. Our advantages multiplied with time – like chess game where one side’s pieces multiply while the other’s dwindled.

  • @Oler:

    NO and that you do not know the difference speaks volumes.

    Put up or shut up time again, Oler. List the differences.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    “. After the declaration of war the empire could only retrench, as the rational Japanese leadership knew.”

    More Oddball. The rest of your post is valuless you dont seem to understand that “rational” leadership was not running Japan…goofy leadership was much like Bush 43 and his klutzs

    RGO

  • Vladislaw

    “It was a wholly symbolic attack of no strategic value”

    That is just plain wrong. It helped change the moral on both sides. Gen. Petraus will gladly tell you the importance of that.

    Four squadrons of planes were pulled from the front and sat idle on Japan, how much more damage could have been caused if they had stayed on the front lines?

    There was a strategic difference in the Japanese high command. Yamamota said take out the Americans, Nagomo said take out Australia & India and the Army generals want china. The Doolittle raid said Yamamota was correct and it made for the attack on Midway, which allowed for the breaking of their codes and our ability to sink their carriers.

  • The only problem I have with newt’s speech is that he is being to restrained. Why only 10% of NASA’s budget as prizes? What do we really expect NASA to do with the rest. $20 billion a year rather than $2bn would produce a development race not seen since they discovered gold in California. When Obama has been willing to spend $2 trillion on “shovel ready” stimuli even $20 buillion is small beer.

    THe evidence is clear that prizes achieve 33-100 times more per $ thyan conventional government spending whenn they work (& infinitely more, since nothing is paid, when they don’t – and since Apollo, how many government programmes worked as promised?

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