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.
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.

Cosmic Queries – World Space Week

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

About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we celebrate World Space Week! The annual event has been celebrating the “contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition” since its ratification by the United Nations in 1999. This year is no different except for the fact that our own Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Matt Kirshen, and astrophysicist and StarTalk geek-in-chief Charles Liu, PhD, are joining the celebration by answering your fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on a variety of cosmic topics!

Explore the possibilities of higher dimensions in our universe. We investigate certain theories that allow for “compactified dimensions.” We also discuss Edwin Abbott’s iconic book, Flatland, and ponder how to explain a third dimension to someone in a two-dimensional universe. Next, we raise our sights to asteroids. What are the most common metals found on asteroids and how do mine them? Neil explains why, even if there is an abundance of curiosity, money is still always the driving factor. 

You’ll hear about the state of solar energy. Find out the real costs inherent in the solar marketplace. Charles sheds light (pun intended) on the difficulties of switching from old technology to new technology. We harken back to the rapid switch from horses to cars and debate why the switch from fossil fuels to renewable resources has taken so much longer. 

Discover more about speed of light travel: how you would protect those traveling in a vehicle at the speed of light, how The Flash is able to travel at the speed of light, and why it’s possible that you might not even be you at the speed of light. You’ll also hear about terraforming Mars and why the lack of atmosphere presents a big problem. Learn why it’s beneficial to put space telescopes on the far side of the Moon. Our trio weighs in on who will lead humanity’s journey through space? Governments, the private sector, or a combination of both? All that, plus, we discuss how to market space travel to those who find it unnecessary or extravagant. 

Thanks to this week’s Patrons for supporting us: David Vives, Kelly Holman, and Nick Bryant.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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