Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Fly Me to the Moon


Most ideas are quickly disregarded for standard reasons. It’s not sane, it’s illegal, it’s too expensive or it is impossible.

But that has never stopped Republicans before. In fact, it usually propels them forward, like no Wall Street regulation and no gun control laws. But Republicans continually get elected to Congress, so the media and the public have to acknowledge and discuss the crazy ideas.

But my favorite idea so far is, drum roll please … Newt Gingrich’s moon colony. It’s a favorite not because it is even close to the stratosphere of possibilities, but because I went to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City over winter break and realized I would weigh less on the moon then I do on Earth. Plus I like the idea of no gravity thing. It’s pretty cool.

My dad was a Star Wars nerd in the 1970s: shirts, fake lightsabers, the whole crazy shebang. As punishment one day for sewing all of my brother’s socks shut – I highly encourage it, absolutely hysterical – I had to watch a lot of space movies. From this information I learned the ins and outs of 70s movie magic.

But it was from an episode of “The Magic School Bus” I watched a couple days later while babysitting, where I learned the moon is awesome and space is full of possibilities. I, of course, totally trusted Ms. Frizzle’s teaching; when I was younger, The Magic School Bus was where I got most of my information.

But in all actuality, most children dream of going to the moon, going into space and discovering what is out there. Only 12 men have ever walked on the moon, with about 24 in total that have orbited it, and they all have been American. Russia tried to send men to the moon, but every time resorted to unmanned probes. Canada successfully got a probe in space. Yay Canada!

The last manned mission to the moon – the Apollo program ended in 1972 – was too expensive for the United States government, and Congress ordered NASA to do more unmanned probe missions.

During the Florida primary, Gingrich proposed a settlement on the moon. After the moon’s population reached 13,000, Americans could petition for statehood – an idea usually only said in Hollywood. The United Nations in 1967 also explored the problem, resulting in a ratified treaty stating no one could claim sovereignty over the moon.

The treaty was updated in 1984 but the United States has not signed or ratified it. So Gingrich could say the United States could claim sovereignty on the moon, because politicians love loopholes.

He has also repeatedly compared himself to President John F. Kennedy in his goals of space; it’s scary that they are somewhat alike. They both slept with people other than their wives and they both have ethical grey areas. But Kennedy had a lot more hair.

Another plus for the moon colony in Gingrich’s column is he would have more opportunities to insult people on the moon, because he has already insulted almost everybody on Earth.

It could also be a study abroad opportunity! A chance to study out of the vicinity of your parents, with Moon University. It’s a space nerd’s dream come true.

Or maybe E.T. will be there, and we will have finally found E.T.’s home! Or like that Disney movie “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century,” where they wear neon clothes and their CDs are as big as bottle caps, because let’s be real, I still have a lot of CDs at home.

I have decided to move to the moon because, despite the freeze dried food, all I can think of is finding Ewoks, more commonly known as walking teddy bears. And if Gingrich did become president I would want to be as far away as possible from his reign of terror, something like 238,857 miles from Earth where the moon is conveniently located.

The continued discussion of a potential moon colony could bring up so many more questions. Will other countries try to make moon colonies? Will it be like Epcot theme park where everyone has a little country next to each other and there are fireworks at night? Would it reignite a new space race? Would there be arguments over territory, with insane and funky weapons, literally like Star Wars? In fact, why doesn’t George Lucas design the moon base and then we can call it Base Lucas.

But isn’t it also the American dream – what Republicans talk about all the time –

the idea Americans wanting to explore and see the unclaimed? The U.S. may not create a moon colony, because it is unrealistic. But they should at least revamp NASA, increasing the budget and should attempt again to send people to the moon and beyond, if only to see what is out there. The U.S. government spends money on crazier ideas, so why not this?

Claire Anderson is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *