Rocket City Rednecks

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About This Episode

Get ready to blow up a few stereotypes when Neil deGrasse Tyson meets Rocket City Redneck Travis S. Taylor. You’ll find out how 100 German rocket scientists ended up in Huntsville Alabama after WWII, where together with a city full of “geeky, redneck scientist engineers” they built the Saturn V rockets that took America to the Moon. In addition to stories about Travis’ dad working with Wernher von Braun, you’ll hear how Travis built a working radio telescope in 11th grade and then went on to get 3 master’s degrees and 2 PhDs, write textbooks on rocket science, 14 sci-fi novels and more. Discover how the Rednecks built an Iron Man suit out of junk cars, a steam-powered car catapult that sent Jay Leno and Travis rocketing from 0-40 mph in a distance of 8 feet, and a radar dish out of a dirt crater on a hillside that may prove useful for Lunar exploration and communication. As Bill Nye tells Neil and co-host Chuck Nice back in the studio, “Engineers use science to make things and solve problems.” Or, as Travis says, “May the Force Be with Y’all.”

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: Rocket City Rednecks.



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