February 7, 2019 9:53 pm

Friday, Neil deGrasse Tyson Answers Cosmic Queries on Space Exploration

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined by comic co-host Eddie Brill, back for a second flight in the co-hosting seat, to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about space exploration. Is a Space Force actually a good idea? Why hasn’t human space travel gone past the Moon, or, even back to the Moon? Are we on the brink of a new Space Race? Should we keep funding the ISS?We answer these questions and a lot more.

NASA photo of the International Space Station, photographed in October 2018.

Shown: The International Space Station, photographed in October 2018. Credit: NASA.

We start by discussing the idea of a unified space program to represent all of Earth, like a United Nations for space. You’ll learn about The Outer Space Treaty of 1967:how it suggested we operate in space, and the abstract and philosophical language it used. We investigate the idea of a Space Force and Neil explains how one already exists.

You’ll hear how the militarization of space is nothing new, as we look at the first Space Race and the real reasons we went to the Moon. You’ll hear how the grand notion of human exploration served as a nice front for the real reasons we wanted to get to the Moon first. Now that we’re setting our sights further out, we ponder how land ownership will work on Mars and Neil suggests using a similar idea to the Homestead Act. Find out why space serves as a reconnaissance platform above all else. You’ll learn more about the great power of war and how it can drive humans to do, and spend, great amounts. We discuss the idea of sending world leaders into space in order to give them the cosmic perspective and Neil shares his favorite quote from Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell. We also discuss the role the ISS has played in the international exploration of space, and whether the US should continue to fund it.

Discover more about sending another Voyager-type mission to wander the solar system. All that, plus, you’ll hear about Zeno’s paradox and Neil gives advice to young STEM majors.

Lastly, on a personal note, the new trailer came out for Apollo 11, and upcoming documentary that features never-before-seen 70mm film footage from the Apollo 11 mission. It’s as if someone was filming the Apollo 11 mission as a made-for-IMAX experience that brings you right into the heart of the mission. I highly recommend you watch it. If you need to be re-invigorated by your love for space exploration just give the trailer a quick watch, then, tune in to StarTalk® tomorrow night!

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries – Space Exploration at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen