Lunar colonization emerged as a source of contention between the two front-runners for the U.S. Republican presidential nomination in a Dec. 10 debate in Iowa. notes that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, when asked how his positions differed from those of former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said, “We could start with his idea to have a lunar colony that would mine minerals from the Moon. I’m not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.”

Gingrich responded: “I’m proud of trying to find things that give young people a reason to study science and math and technology, and telling them that some day in their lifetime that they can dream of going to the Moon, they can dream of going to Mars. I grew up in a generation where the space program was real, where it was important, where, frankly, it is tragic that NASA has been so bureaucratized.”


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