Neil Armstrong's photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA.
Neil Armstrong's photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA.

Extended Classic – Cosmic Queries: The Space Race

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. photographed on the moon on July 20, 1969) by Neil A. Armstrong. Credit: NASA.
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Neil Armstrong's photo of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA.

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About This Episode

This episode is now extended with Neil and Chuck answering questions on time travel, relativity correction of GPS devices, wormholes, Doctor Who and Back to the Future, black holes and spaghettification, defending Earth from asteroids, the creation of the asteroid belt, and more. 

What did politics and the Cold War have to do with the space race? On the flip side, how did the Apollo program and landing on the Moon impact us here on Earth? Neil deGrasse Tyson, our host and the author of Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, answers fan-submitted questions chosen by co-host Chuck Nice about the Apollo program, landing on the Moon, and so much more. Explore whether John F. Kennedy’s role in pushing for a lunar landing was more important than the geopolitical realities of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Neil explains how going to the Moon influenced our relationship with our home planet, coinciding with the first Earth Day, the passing of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the founding of NOAA and the EPA, the banning of DDT and leaded gasoline. Discover how comparing samples of lunar soil and minerals to terrestrial samples helped us discover that the Moon is the result of a collision by a Mars-sized protoplanet with Earth’s crust. Also, Neil tells us who he thinks “won” the space race. Plus, you’ll learn about plans to mine the Moon for Helium 3, and find out what cosmic event Neil would want to witness if he could travel back in time.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Extended Classic – Cosmic Queries: The Space Race.

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