July 18, 2019 10:00 pm

Friday, We Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 and the Future of Space Travel

It was one small step that changed the course of history forever. A small step that was the result of a decade-long journey to aim higher than humankind had ever aimed before. On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 by answering your fan-submitted questions on the mission and the future of space exploration.

NASA’s photo of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin raising the flag on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

Apollo 11 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin raise the flag on the Moon. Credit: NASA.

Before we get into the questions, Neil gives us some behind-the-scenes info about his book, Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, which goes in-depth on the future of space travel. You’ll learn why the book originally had a different title, but it was deemed too dark by the publishers. We discuss the state of space exploration before the US landed on the Moon. Neil and Chuck look back on the political factors that drove the Space Race between the United States and Russia.

Then, we get into the Cosmic Queries. After a fan asks why aren’t we sending stuff to the Moon ourselves given that our smart phones have the same computing power Apollo 11 did when it launched, you’ll find out why computing power wasn’t, and still isn’t, the biggest cost of space travel. Neil examines what lessons we learned from going to the Moon that we can apply to sending people to Mars. Should we bring Flat Earthers into space?

Discover more about the concept of homesteading asteroids. We ponder where we should send humans after Mars and Neil tells us why it shouldn’t be about sequencing destinations. Then, special guest Alyssa Carson, the world’s youngest “astronaut in training,” joins the conversation. She discusses her role in Mars One, what it means to have “the right stuff” in the Mars Generation, and how she is already training to set foot on the red surface.

Lastly, Neil and Chuck ponder what ownership of space will look like in the future. All that, plus, we investigate how the Moon landing changed the psychology of our society. Tune into our episode tomorrow night, and, if you want more Apollo 11 content, I can’t recommend the new documentary Apollo 11 enough.

Please join us tomorrow night for Apollo and the Future of Humans in Space 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