Image of the Planetary Society’s Light Sail, credit: Josh Spradling/The Planetary Society.
Image of the Planetary Society’s Light Sail, credit: Josh Spradling/The Planetary Society.

The State of Space Exploration Now, with Bill Nye

Credit: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society, via Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we deploy the solar sails and take to the stars! Bill Nye the Science Guy returns to the hosting chair alongside comic co-host Iliza Shlesinger to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on LightSail, space exploration, and more. In 2015, the Planetary Society launched the citizen-funded space project LightSail 1 for its shakedown cruise. This upcoming fall, the more capable LightSail 2 will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. Learn about the development of LightSail 2, the new features it has compared to LightSail 1, and why we shouldn’t worry about micro-asteroids ripping holes in the sail. Find out about Breakthrough StarShot, a light sail deployed and pushed towards another star system by laser pulses, including how long it might actually take to arrive at its destination. We also discuss if we will ever go back to the Moon. Explore the impact that artificial intelligence will have on space travel. You’ll also hear how Bill thinks finding life on another world will impact our own. Lastly, we turn our attention to our own planet as Bill and Iliza discuss a straw-less world and ponder the future of plastics manufacturing and how we can keep Earth as clean and uncluttered as possible. 

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: The State of Space Exploration Now, with Bill Nye.

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