What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
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.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.