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

Apollo and the Future of Humans in Space

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

About This Episode

It was just one small step that changed the course of history forever, On July 20, 1969, humans first set foot on the lunar surface with the Apollo 11 mission. 50 years later, we celebrate the anniversary of that mission and look towards the future.

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted questions about Apollo 11 and the future of human space exploration. You’ll learn about Neil’s book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, which takes a hard look at the state of space exploration now. Neil tells us why the original title of the book was too dark to put on shelves. We look back at the state of space exploration before the Moon landing and investigate the Russian’s dominance over the United States.

Find out why we don’t go to the Moon more often even though the computing power of our smart phones now matches the computing power of Apollo 11. What lessons did we learn from going to the Moon that we can apply to going to Mars? Investigate the differences in launching from the lunar surface and the red surface. You’ll also hear why Neil and Chuck think sending Flat Earthers to space is a good idea.

Who takes ownership of Mars? Find out about Neil’s idea of homesteading asteroids. We also explore the idea of terraforming Mars and terraforming Earth. When a fan asks where humans should head next after Mars, Neil explains why the approach should not be about sequencing destinations.

Then, special guest Alyssa Carson, the world’s youngest astronaut in training, drops in to join the conversation. You’ll hear about her involvement in Mars One, and what her current training looks like. We also discuss what “The Right Stuff” looks like in the Mars Generation. All that, plus, Neil weighs in on the importance of the Moon landing and how it shaped our society today.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Apollo and the Future of Humans in Space.

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