PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

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

About the Author

Bobby Chen

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

Comments

More 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

Athletics

North Dakota Interested In Playing Against Penn State Hockey In Nashville

North Dakota is working towards an agreement that will see its hockey team play against Penn State in Nashville during the 2020-21 season.

Former Cal Swimmer Says She Emailed Sandy Barbour About Sexual Harassment Claims

Max Sauve Commits To Penn State Hockey

Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Student Life

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

State Theatre Recognized As A State College Historic Site

As it approaches the 80th anniversary of its opening, the State Theatre has been recognized as a State College historic site.

Penn State Love Stories: A Chance Meeting On A Service Trip

When Abby Wilt went on a service trip to Nassau, Bahamas, she had no idea she’d meet the love of her life.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend