Not too giant a leap for mankind

Amanda Hickman and Amanda Hickman

A moon colony? Really? Now what would be the purpose of that?

January 27, the media mocked Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s idea, creating talk about moon colonies, leaving many of us are still caught on his outlandish comments and confidence of a colony by his second term. The reality of it, Gingrich isn’t president, nor a nominee. But a moon colony: that is realistic.

Since the beginning of time, the urge to conquer and explore has been embedded in our framework. Just as Columbus convinced many the importance of exploring the new world, or Charles Lindberg defying the odds to be the first to fly transcontinental, science has been at the beginning of each of their explorations.

Paulo Afonso, ARC Astronomy professor says, “ The moon is probably just a step out there, it’s a huge Universe out there. We should have been on the moon decades ago.” Afonso was born and educated outside of the U.S. but is still very active in the international science community would be the one to testify, “If anything that identifies the U.S. as a technologically capable country is the moon, they were there first.”

Here are my reasons why there should be a moon colony.
1.    We’ve been there before; we have the technology to get there it just needs some tweaking, cheaper tweaking too.
2.    America was there first! Let’s keep it that way. Face it, the Apollo missions created a lot of competition, with that came innovations and progression in science.
3.    The excitement of a moon colony might actually produce some good scientist and mathematicians through our educational system, Americans are deathly afraid of math and science.  Knowledge is power.

Alonso suggests the creation of an underground moon colony so avoid the harsh conditions. But artificial gravity is a must within the colony; we humans love to be grounded.

As a culture, we are obsessed with Mars. Humans are not going to get there until we colonize the moon. The moon has a similar weather, gravitational, and geographical features as the Martian planet, the moon will teach us about Mars.  It’s baby steps that got us to the moon in the first place so it’s baby steps that will get us to Mars. Afonso agrees, “Start by a solid presence on the moon and then gradually move outwards.”

It is obvious space exploration and development has been crucial to the development of society. Common items found in your lives developed from space technology, termed “space spinoffs”, would include, smoke detectors, cordless power tools, Tang, and even pace makers, to name a few.

Landing on the moon in the Apollo missions united our nation and pushed us beyond our capabilities. In this crucial time in our history, America needs something to unify us, put the confidence back into our hearts, and make our children/future more excited about learning. Americans take the politics out and look at the bigger picture; space technology is the key to our future.

So maybe Gingrich isn’t so off on his ideas but rather his timing. Don’t forget this man was around when President Bush approved Constellation; a program with plans to colonize the moon. Obama cancelled the program because there was no immediate turn around, truth is, it’s science and that takes time. We might not be there in eight years, but it is possible if the purse allows it. At this point it doesn’t matter whose purse either.

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