Election 2017: South Suffolk UKIP hopeful aims for interstellar travel

Election 2017: South Suffolk UKIP hopeful aims for interstellar travel

PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:55 19 May 2017

South Suffolk UKIP candidate Aidan Powlesland.

South Suffolk UKIP candidate Aidan Powlesland.

Archant

Election candidates often make ambitious policy claims – but South Suffolk UKIP candidate Aidan Powlesland is hoping to kick-start inter-stellar travel and mining in the asteroid belt if he is elected on June 8.

The General Election will take place on June 8The General Election will take place on June 8

Mr Powlesland, from Long Melford, includes eye-catching proposals to support the eye-catching projects in his list of more typical policies.

He says he would like the government to: “Offer £1.2 billion worth of prizes, in the form of share capital, to the companies that win competitions to:

a) Design an interstellar colony ship.

b) Profitably mine the asteroid belt for water and/or platinum, so long as they do so by 2026.

c) That convert the ML86X design into a flying aircraft carrier. This is a giant airship being designed by an American company as a cargo-carrier.

In more down to earth policies, he wants the government offer British citizenship to all EU citizens living in the UK, to increase the army by 16,000, take £157bn less a year from taxpayers, and cut the price of housing by 70% over the next 50 years.

Mr Powlesland said technology was rapidly advancing and research was already being undertaken into designing a tiny spaceship that could travel fast enough to reach the nearest start system.

He said: “The entrepreneur Yuri Milner has offered $100m to create a photon-powered spaceship.”

Working with Professor Stephen Hawking, Mr Milner’s company believes it could create a “nano starshot” that could travel to the Alpha Centuri star system after a 20-year journey.

Current technology suggests a full-sized spaceship would take 2,000 years to make the journey.

Mr Powlesland said he did not want to create a “British NASA” for the work.

He said: “I do not want to see a UK space agency developing this, but I would like to offer an incentive to scientists and entrepreneurs to look at this great leap forward.”

Humans had always looked to expand their horizons – such as when people had colonised America and other parts of the world.

He said: “People left to set up new colonies in America because they did not want to be governed by the constraints in their homelands. I think the same thing could happen in space in the future.”

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