Newt Gingrich's Fantasy Moon Base Is Illegal

Not only is Newt's plan for lunar statehood completely insane—it's also against the law! Not just any law, but space law, the most powerful of all laws, because it comes from the sky. Sorry, Newt.

BuzzFeed points out that Gingrich's plan for an emphatically American moon colony and resultant 51st Moon State violates the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which was pitched by the USSR, UK, and USA. Back then, the worry was putting nukes on the moon pointed at Moscow and/or Washington. Fast forward several decades, and it's spoiling Candidate Gingrich's low-gravity wet dream.

The treaty states, among other things, that:

The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;

Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;

Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;

Extending the United States of America directly onto the moon runs contrary to just about all of that.

So, sorry, those of you who hoped to cross state lines across the vacuum. But think about it—what would the moon's state flower be? Who could afford tuition at University of Moon, even at in-state rates? This thing just wasn't going to pan out anyway. [BuzzFeed]

Original photo: Joe Raedle/Getty