The Gingrich Prize

This little tidbit of potential future US space policy from Newt Gingrich:
Gingrich, who helped shut down government over spending fights with the Clinton administration in the 1990s, said Republicans must offer a more dramatic platform for remaking government that focuses on private-sector innovation.

In a glimpse of what his candidacy might look like, he said he would shut down public schools that aren't performing and offer a $20 billion reward for the first private company that successfully completes a Mars mission.

"Somebody would be there and back about 40 percent of the way into the NASA process," he said.

Obviously the X-prize has had an effect on the views of decision makers with regards to national space policy. The belief that only the government can do space is dead like the dodo to Newt - good on him.

With regards to this "Mars prize" the destination is all wrong. A mission to the moon is alot more feasible and quite frankly practical. The "Mars First" crowd unfortunately has had a large effect on decision makers as well.

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