November 29, 2018 9:05 pm

Investigate the Future of NASA and More with Neil Tyson, Ellen Stofan, and Others

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re looking at the past, present, and future of human space travel as we re-visit our Let’s Make America Smart Again: The Future of NASA episode, now extended with a conversation about interstellar exploration!

NASA Artist Concept of SLS and Orion in flight.

Artist Concept of SLS and Orion in flight. Image Credit: NASA.

If you haven’t listened to the original episode, it’s a good one. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice sit down with Ellen Stofan, former Chief Scientist at NASA who took part in many interplanetary missions during her tenure. Ellen also specializes in planetary geology and volcanology so she brings numerous realms of expertise to the episode.

You’ll hear Ellen’s thoughts on NASA’s future position on the global stage and how that position will shift with the rise of private space travel. How will colonizing Mars shape up in the private and public sector? Should we return to the Moon? We discuss NASA’s budget and how very small budget increases could drastically accelerate humanity’s journey deeper into the solar system.

Discover more about the future of the International Space Station. Ponder if another Space Race would jump start the United States involvement and efforts in space exploration. Ellen tells us what mission she tried to get greenlit that ended up being turned down. We also discuss the growing problem of space junk.

Then, in the new extended segment, Neil and Chuck sit down with former HI-SEAS IV crew member Dr. Sheyna Gifford to chat about interstellar space travel and what it will take to survive long-term space travel missions. Sheyna tells us about her time in the HI-SEAS IV mission. Find out more about the idea of terraforming Mars and using ion propulsion to take us further into the universe. Lastly, Chuck tells us why his ideal space ship would look similarly to a W Hotel.

Please join us tomorrow night for Extended Classic – Let’s Make America Smart Again: The Future of NASA at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, 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