October 3, 2019 2:10 pm

Friday, We Celebrate World Space Week with Cosmic Queries!

It’s World Space Week! Since 1999, World Space Week takes place October 4th to October 10th “to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.” This year, to celebrate, Neil deGrasse Tyson answers your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on a variety of topics to help get the festivities underway.

NASA photo by Tony Gray and Kevin O’Connell of a test version of the Orion crew spacecraft soaring upward during NASA’s Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test July 2, 2019.

A test version of the Orion crew spacecraft soars upward on NASA’s Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2) flight test July 2, 2019. Image Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O’Connell.

In-studio, Neil is joined by comic co-host Matt Kirshen and astrophysicist and StarTalk Geek-in-Chief Charles Liu, PhD. We’re also celebrating the release of Charles’ new book 30-Second Universe: 50 most significant ideas, theories, principles and events that sum up… everything which explores exactly what the title suggests.

To get these questions rolling, we start with an easy subject: parallel universes. We discuss certain theories of physics that allow for “compactified dimensions” in our universe. Find out more about Edwin Abbott’s iconic book Flatland. Then, we move from deducing dimensions to exploring asteroids. We investigate the challenges of mining asteroids. Neil tells us why the drive to obtain resources will be greater than the drive to find other life in the universe, and we find out why even if there is an abundance of curiosity, it’s still all about the money.

Next, we put a spotlight on solar energy. Why hasn’t there been a greater number of advancements? We break down where the cost really comes from when developing solar technology. Charles sheds light on the difficulties and roadblocks of moving from old technology to new technology. (Puns intended.)

Discover more about speed of light travel. You’ll hear about terraforming Mars and why the lack of atmosphere poses a big problem. You’ll learn about the benefits of putting space telescopes on the far side of the moon. Lastly, we think of ways to market space exploration to those who deem it unimportant, unnecessary, or extravagant. All that, plus, we debate whether the government, the private sector, or a combination of both will continue the human journey into space.

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries – World Space Week 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 a StarTalk+ Patron or 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