July 3, 2018 11:32 am

Tonight, We Deploy the Solar Sail with Bill Nye and Iliza Shlesinger

On tonight’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars, we welcome back the inimitable Bill Nye the Science Guy to the hosting chair to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries about LightSail 1 and 2 (the Planetary Society’s solar sail projects), space exploration, and more. Right beside Bill we welcome back another StarTalk co-host: Iliza Shlesinger!

Ben Ratner’s photo of Bill Nye, Iliza Shlesinger, and Blanche in the Planetary Radio studio.

Bill Nye, Iliza Shlesinger, and Blanche in the Planetary Radio studio. Photo Credit: Ben Ratner.

In 2015, the Planetary Society launched the citizen-funded space project LightSail 1 which completed a successful shakedown cruise. This coming fall, the LightSail 2 will launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, and once again we will watch the solar sails deploy and ride the sunlight. However, this time around it’ll be a much more capable ship.

You’ll hear about the development and plan for LightSail 2 and why we shouldn’t worry too much about the sail ripping due to micro-asteroid collisions. We discuss Breakthrough StarShot – a solar sail to be propelled into another star system by laser pulses – and how long it will take us to reach our destination. Plus, Bill and Iliza talk about going back to the Moon.

Next, we take a slight detour to explore a straw-less world as Bill and Iliza ponder the future of plastics manufacturing and how we can keep our world as clean and uncluttered as possible.

After that, we’re back on track as we explore the impact artificial intelligence will have on space travel – hopefully not the same impact that HAL 9000 had! Lastly, we investigate how the discovery of life outside of our world will impact our society. Will it be accepted? Seen as evil? Maybe both? Tune in to find out!

Please join us tomorrow night for Solar Sailing, with Bill Nye at 7pm EDT right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

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