… to find that Slate is opposed to a manned space program, since Newt Gingrich is in favor of it.
Note that one of the claims the author of this article makes is:
Perhaps we could put mirrors on the moon to beam sunlight to Earth for power.
Take a look at the link in that line. It goes to a 2011 Daily Mail article about a Japanese company that wants to put not mirrors on the moon, but photovoltaic cells hooked up to laser or microwave transmitters. Given that lunar regolith is composed largely of the elements need to make PV cells and microwave transmitters… turning the surface of the Moon into a *vast *Solar Power Satellite is not only possible… it’s a Really Good Idea. But the author, who should (and almost certainly does) know better, makes it sound like simply putting mirrors on the moon.
Krauss appears to be an otherwise reasonable sort of guy… but I suspect his politics has jumped in front of his reasoning power here and simply derailed it. He makes the usual mistake of assuming that the way NASA has done spaceflight in the past is the *only* way that spaceflight can be done in the future.
Anyone who works in the sciences – and Krauss is a theoretical physicist – who thinks that manned space exploration, exploitation and colonization is a bad or dumb idea is a…