Newt Gingrich’s Big 1986 Idea: Farmers In Space

Newt Gingrich prides himself on “grandiose” ideas. Few ideas, however, live up to the grandiosity of his 1986 plan for space exploration. Gingrich suggested that if the United States cut farm subsidies and transferred that money to the space program, farmers could instead be put to work on “orbiting space factories.” Gingrich was speaking at World Science Fiction Convention in Atlanta. In 1984 Gingrich called for sending astronauts to Halley’s Comet.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at

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