NASA Artist’s concept of the SLS (Space Launch System) and Orion capsule.
NASA Artist’s concept of the SLS (Space Launch System) and Orion capsule.

Let’s Make America Smart Again: The Future of NASA

Shown: Artist concept of the SLS (Space Launch System) and Orion capsule. Credit: NASA.

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About This Episode

Continuing with our Let’s Make America Smart Again series, we turn our attention towards NASA: where they’ve been, what they’re doing now, and where they plan to go in the future. Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about NASA and its endeavors with the help of Dr. Ellen Stofan, former chief scientist at NASA, who was a part of numerous interplanetary missions during her tenure and who specializes in planetary geology and volcanology. You’ll hear Ellen’s thoughts on NASA’s global role in the future and how private/public partnerships will play out once humans colonize Mars and continue traveling deeper into the solar system. You’ll learn about NASA’s funding and how micro-increases in budget could drastically accelerate the process of getting humans to Mars and beyond. Get the details on possible plans for NASA to send missions to the inner planets. Find out if everyone is on board for a mission to Mars, and whether we should return to the Moon at all. Our trio ponder the notion that the United States needs to be challenged, à la the Space Race, to provide a kick start to space exploration activities. Also find out where commercial space exploration will stake its claim in the solar system, and what the future holds for the International Space Station. You’ll also explore the growing problem of space junk and discover what NASA mission Ellen wanted to have greenlit that ended up being turned down. #LMASA.

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Let’s Make America Smart Again: The Future of NASA.

In This Episode

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Episode Topics

  • Ronald Robbins

    When we get to the Moon let me Know

  • Inspiration

    audio 2/5 into the episode is messed up, please fix.

    • Could you please be a bit more specific? I just reviewed and I’m not hearing what you’re describing.

  • AJS11019

    Is there any good discussion forums for the topics raised in these episodes after they air? I always come up with interesting questions after I listen.For example, on this one I would love to ask about the feasibility of having a moon base and testing out a space elevator from the lunar surface to lunar orbit. Could be a good way to test the technology of that or dealing with the issues of taking off/landing from the moon but still able to use it as a supply depot for further missions.

  • Dr. Tyson, you were talked about in The Big Bang Theory, First ep of the new season. Have you seen that yet? Best regards, and I keep looking up! 🙂

  • MiltonCitizen

    I too would enjoy learning what Dr. Tyson’s thoughts are on the “Big Bang Theory”.

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