Gingrich blasts NASA, imagines private sector creating permanent moon station

Newt Gingrich took aim at NASA Monday night during the New Hampshire GOP debate, calling it “an absolute case study in why bureaucracy can’t innovate.”

“If you take all the money we’ve spent at NASA since we’ve landed at the moon and you applied that money to incentives for the private sector, we would today probably have a permanent station on the moon, three or four permanent stations in space, a new generation of lift vehicles,” Gingrich said.

“Instead what we’ve had is bureaucracy after bureaucracy after bureaucracy and failure after failure,” he continued.

The question was on whether or not the candidates thought that space exploration was a worthy investment of federal money.

“We’re at the beginning of a whole new cycle of extraordinary opportunities, and unfortunately NASA is standing in the way of it when NASA ought to be getting out of the way and encouraging the private sector,” Gingrich said.

Watch below:

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  • Mark Matis

    It is truly a shame that the Newster is not smart enough to realize that, first of all, SIGNIFICANT portions of the NASA budget were NOT spent on space exploration but instead on Climate Research and other such “useful” research. Can you say “James Hansen”, Newt? I thought you could! There has also been significant aviation research conducted by NASA. Where does he think that winglets, which save the aviation industry significant fuel each year, came from? And there are many more in the aviation field. Because, after all, NASA does stand for National AERONAUTICS and Space Administration.

    But let’s set that aside and concentrate on the Space aspect, since that obviously is what the Newt is sucking on here. Now it isn’t very clear whether the Newster is talking robotic space, such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as well as the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, or manned space. But do note the NASA budget is further split between those two separate disciplines. Let’s assume he’s really talking manned space, since that is USUALLY what the wonks scream loudest about.

    Just exactly how does the Newtster propose that NASA “ought to be getting out of the way and encouraging the private sector”? From the lead-in, it seems he wants to be shoveling government money to them. Well, Newt, could you bother to note that the vast majority of manned space funding DOES INDEED go to the private sector, to those companies who BID on proposals to develop space stations and crew vehicles and…? Or are you parroting your advisors who want to just shovel the money out there and accept WHATEVER comes back? Didn’t you and your Congressional buddies make laws against doing that, Newt?

    And by the way, just exactly WHICH part of the “private sector” is willing to accept responsibility for unpleasant events while they are developing and operating their new systems? I know the answer to that. And so do you. What you’re looking for is an opportunity for some of your buddies to suck up the government bucks and deliver nothing in return. While Uncle Sugar cleans up their mess afterwards.

    Newt, you are NOT the answer. You, and the rest of your “good buddies” in Congress who brought us here, are the problem. A NASA with decent leadership (examples that are NOT? Try Goldin or Bolden.), a consistent mission, and reasonable funding can do wonders. With NONE of the above, due to the OUTSTANDING leadership by Congress as well as the Administration, well…

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