In an atypical conservative Republican move, Newt Gingrich is calling for colonizing the moon. See the story. Even more, he wants to make it the 51st state of the USA.
Since he was speaking on the Florida space coast, it's no suprise that he's trying to win votes from those who are sorely affected by the end of the space shuttle program. I'm more surprised that he's almost thinking like a Democrat: government spending to produce jobs. What a [liberal] concept!
I see some small problems in his proposal though. First, we have no experience in colonizing; is seven years enough to get to that point? I doubt it, but I do think it could be a worthwhile venture.
What I don't like in Gingrich's speech is the call to statehood. The United Nations passed a resolution stating that the moon could not become the property of any one country, just like Antarctica. Yes, I know that the USA did not sign that resolution, but I personally agree with it. The moon should be a place where we learn to cooperate on all fronts rather than continue dividing ourselves. We have an international space station, let's continue the spirit of working and living together. Let the Human Race advance outwards rather that the Americans, Russians, or Chinese alone.