August 20, 2018 10:59 pm

Tuesday, Bill Nye and Iliza Shlesinger Debate Whether Space Should Be Private, Public, Or Both

Is cooperation the best strategy for our expansion into space, or does competition lead to greater achievements? Is there room for both? On this week’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars, Bill Nye the Science Guy is back alongside comic co-host Iliza Shlesinger to discuss the politics and privatization of space as they answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on the subject.

You’ll find out whether or not anyone owns the Moon, other planets, and asteroids, or even if it’s legal to do so. We also discuss the similarities between space exploration and the early quests of European explorers.

Image of astronaut claiming asteroid for StarTalk survey, Who Owns Space? Image Credit: JuanDarien/iStock.

Image Credit: JuanDarien/iStock.

Bill helps us understand how private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin function in unison with government space agencies like NASA and the ESA. You’ll learn more about the proposed “Space Force,” NASA’s new “big rocket” – the Space Launch System, and Bill’s experience working on the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Speaking of putting things into space, you’ll get a crash course about space debris and how we’re trying to solve the problem of space junk. I can’t help but be reminded of the scene in WALL-E where the ship is leaving Earth’s atmosphere and passes through a wall of space junk and billboards on the moon – hopefully that’s not the future we’re headed towards, although, sometimes it seems like it just might end up that way. (If you want to know more about the current state of space debris, you can read the European Space Agency’s informational, yet somewhat depressing, Annual Space Environment Report article.)

Next, Bill turns to what he considers a more pressing matter: the choice between planetary exploration and extra solar system exploration. You’ll hear if Bill thinks the privatization of the International Space Station is a good thing and also why going back to low Earth orbit is key to traveling to Mars and beyond. All that, plus, Bill tells us where he’d buy real estate in the solar system just to brag that he owns it, and we get a history lesson about Isaac Newton’s birthday!

Please join us tomorrow night for Politics and Privatization of Space, with Bill Nye at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channel 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

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more