Ben Ratner’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Artemis, and Andy Weir in Neil’s office.
Ben Ratner’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Artemis, and Andy Weir in Neil’s office.

A Conversation with Andy Weir – Special Bonus Episode

Photo Credit: Ben Ratner.

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About This Episode

Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with Andy Weir – best-selling author of The Martian – to discuss Andy’s new book, Artemis. Artemis follows a daring heroine in an “irresistible new near-future thriller – a heist story set on the Moon.” Neil and Andy chat in-depth about Artemis (no major spoilers revealed) and the creative process behind its making. To start, Andy explains why he wanted a city on the Moon in the first place, how he used tourism to justify there being a city there, and how much it would cost to get to the Moon in the near-future based on the current plans of the commercial space industry. You’ll hear about Lunar Cyclers, and the transportation methods Andy used to get humans to the lunar surface. Discover what people eat in this lunar city, what energy source would power the habitat “bubbles,” how residents and tourists adapt to 1/6th gravity of the Earth, and the importance of anorthite. Andy explains why the city’s governance works like an 1800s-frontier town, the currency used in the novel, and why he chose Kenya as the global center for the space industry. Andy also tells us why he deems himself a “gentlemen scientist” and why Artemis is more scientifically accurate than The Martian. All that, plus, Neil gets astronomical to see if Andy really thought of everything, our pair geek out over classic Star Trek inaccuracies, Andy shares details about the film adaptation, and much, much more!

Special thanks to Audible for making this bonus episode possible.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: A Conversation with Andy Weir – Special Bonus Episode.

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  • David Robert Genge

    Imagine a space ship(s) landing on a Lunar pole and disgorging a variety of solar powered AI guided machines. When a critical number of these units have been deposited (and performed their preliminary duties ( like surveying )) they start to work together to construct ‘domes’. Some of the machines dig up the Lunar soil, some crush the soil to suitably sized granules, some transport the crush to a ‘depositor’ unit. The depositor unit deposits a trail of granules in a circular pattern on the surveyed and prepared surface. Another unit follows the trail and melts the granules into ‘lava’. From whence the energy to do the melting? Mounted on the melter unit is a large parabolic mirror. Spotted at various locations around the construction site are a number of heliostats that direct sunlight onto the mirror of the melter. Because the site is always in sunlight the process proceeds without interruption. Thus, by a stereo-lithographic process, domes may be constructed.
    Tunnels may be constructed and mirrors used to direct sunlight through the tunnels and through glass plates and onto the the interior surface of the domes to provide light and heat. The mirrors can be programmed to move so as to simulate day and night. etc.

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