Neil DeGrasse Tyson -- one of my favourite space people -- was interviewed by MSNBC's Martin Bashir about Newt Gingrich's moon base plan by 2020. The short version: Newt got it wrong. The long version: watch the video.
I want the world to have a permanent base on the Moon. It will be great for the US and humanity as a whole. Just setting up a liquid space telescope -- hundreds of times more powerful than any telescope ever created -- would justify it. The things we would learn as species would push civilisation forward in a way we never imagined before.
But doing this by 2020 in the current situation is a pretty crazy idea... unless all the governments -- US, Russia, Europe and China -- put all their weight behind it. Like the US did with Apollo. Which is precisely what the Newtanaut -- which his illegal idea of a US-only base funded by private companies -- doesn't want to do.