Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Man's first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969. NASA/Newsmakers
Mid-day Update

A moon colony for the economy?

Jeremy Hobson and Stacey Vanek Smith Jan 27, 2012
Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., Lunar Module Pilot, stands near a scientific experiment on the lunar surface. Man's first landing on the Moon occurred July 20, 1969. NASA/Newsmakers

So last night’s Republican presidential debate in Florida covered a lot of ground, but it also covered space.

Specifically, the four candidates talked about how important Florida’s space industry is and how much the country should invest in space. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich grabbed the most headlines with his proposal to establish a “moon colony“.

In today’s Mid-day Extra, we look at how much such a plan would really cost — and if it is worth it.

To tell us about the pros and cons, we have Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History.

He says that to some extent, the mention of building up space program in Florida might be a strategic move for politicians hoping to get voters on their side. But at the same time, building up a space program — even one focused on the moon — has a lot of secondary benefits, like creating a society that ones again values scientific development.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.