PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Newt Gingrich and the Lunar Lion

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich — once nicknamed “Newt Skywalker” for his fascination with space exploration, among other technological pursuits — has been a big fan of Penn State’s Lunar Lion Project ever since having visited State College last spring.

“There’s a real possibility that in 2013 we will have a lion on the Moon — a Lunar Lion,” says Gingrich in his latest “Newt University” interview, which features Lunar Lion Team Leader Michael Paul, a space systems engineer for Penn State’s Applied Research Lab.

Newt Gingrich Lunar Lion
Gingrich examines a 3-D printed mock-up of the Lunar Lion spacecraft.

Penn State’s Lunar Lion team, which is composed of Penn State students, faculty, and engineers, is racing to the moon against 22 other teams as a part of Google’s Lunar X PRIZE competition. The competition will award $30 million to the “first privately funded teams to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon, have that robot travel 500 meters over the lunar surface, and send video, images, and data back to the Earth.”

Gingrich speaks glowingly of privately funded nature of the Lunar Lion project, praising its entrepreneurial nature in comparison to — in his words — NASA’s struggle with bureaucracy and with the “changing political direction on the future of space exploration”.

The “best part” of this privately funded model for space exploration, according to Gingrich, is that no team will receive any money from Google until they successfully land a robot on the moon.

“The prize model ensures that you pay for the achievement, not for the effort,” says Gingrich.

Embedded below is Gingrich’s full “Newt-U” feature of the Lunar Lion project. For more information on the Lunar Lion, check our January interview with the Lunar Lion’s Michael Paul.

(Editors note: Although Newt Gingrich is an outed Onward State fan, he did not influence the content of this post.)

44775_10151561531164028_47500157_n

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Bobby Chen

Writer and photographer, helping tell the many stories of the Penn State community.

Comments

Other posts by Robert

[Photos] Penn State Tramples UMass, 48-7

Relive Penn State’s 48-7 thrashing of the UMass Minutemen through the lenses of our photographers, Bobby Chen and Hannah Byrne.

[Photos] Lunar Lion Debuts New Mission Headquarters

[Video] The Statesmen’s Ben Mays Sings Proposal to Girlfriend, In A Cappella

Looking Back At Justin Fields’ Whirlwind Recruitment By Penn State

Fields went from an under-the-radar four-star recruit to one of the best quarterback prospects in recent recruiting history.

Fact Or Fiction: The Penn State Admissions Tour

There is a lot of information that’s shared on an admissions tour, but how much of it is actually useful and factual?

Send this to a friend