Cosmic Queries – The New Space Race with Neil deGrasse Tyson

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  • Published: 27 September 2019
  • Without the fear and clashing political ideologies of the Cold War to fuel a space race, what will fuel the “new” space race? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with comic co-host Ray Ellin to explore what will push human space exploration further out into the solar system.

    You’ll learn why the United States’ history as space “pioneers” needs adjusting. We investigate why we haven’t gone back to the Moon in decades. Find out if the Moon would be a good launching and refueling station for missions going further out. You’ll hear why human endeavors on Mars will require survival based on Martian resources. We also explore why traveling to another star, like Alpha Centauri, will take more rocket power than we have currently, possibly even requiring a development like warp drives.

    Explore why the Space Force is not necessarily a crazy idea, and why it partially exists already. We talk about the possible activities of the Space Force, and whether or not they might include cleaning up space junk. Brush up on the International Space Treaty of 1967 as we ponder what would happen if another country destroyed the flag planted by the United States on the Moon. We also address the question, “Can you own space?”

    Get details on NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection and how it protects the Earth and other celestial bodies from contaminating each other. Discover more about which countries might be involved in a “new” space race and whether there’s any merit to the idea of sending world leaders into space. We also discuss if this new space race should even be framed as a “race.” All that, plus, Neil shares his thoughts on why exploring space should eventually be like exploring your own backyard.

    This episode originally aired as a podcast on February 22, 2019

    #SpaceRace #NeildeGrasseTyson #SpaceForce
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 615

  • DJ DarkGift
    DJ DarkGift  2 days back

    Speaking of Mars Travel, I find it appalling that NASA would give a contract to a man whose main company, Amazon, makes an enormous income allowing their third-party sellers to hawk their counterfeit, bogus, refurbed and otherwise useless goods, and even to let them to continue to do so upon countless enraged and out of money customers. Any Amazon shoppers out there who have ever had this happen to you please chime in. Those not believing it, just look up most Apple or Tech products on there and just page through some of the reviews. They don't care either way because they are getting their commission either way. If I'm the only one that has figured this out I'll personally join the Flat Earthers on the first trip off-world. I know that my statement is a little off-topic, but if people aren't aware of the deception, they will continue to be blinded by it and I'm just trying to help out the next person from losing their hard-earned money.


    Thanks as usual Dr. Tyson, great co-presenter this episode, good to see the comedians out there getting more science-related gigs.

    • Brian Clarke
      Brian Clarke  4 days back

      unfortunate how the state of affairs with the economy/country exposes how the decisions of federal lobbyist politicians & their corrupt judgment/criticism, affect citizens.

      • 2011201120112013b
        2011201120112013b  4 days back

        Neil seems like a kind warm-hearted uncle i've always loved.

        • Ryan Tab
          Ryan Tab  2 days back

          Hahaha yeah youre right

      • stu mcintyre
        stu mcintyre  5 days back

        He wasn't the first guy in space

        • Daniel Roden
          Daniel Roden  5 days back

          but its cheaper / more energy efficient to make fuel on the moon than to try and launch it from the earth. so wouldnt a base on the moon be a better place to stage fuel and materials and launch it to the lagrange point and then go from there? or i guess the ideal would be a captured comet to produce fuel. is that feasible?

          • Houston Dmc
            Houston Dmc  6 days back

            Cheers from Moscow, Mr. Tyson, sir! Huge fan! Thank you for making science reachable for everyone!

            • martin aakervik
              martin aakervik  6 days back

              I'm sorry, but I belive it is harder to get worldrecords in contest because of the contest. The contest is not any help to reach goals, it actually makes it more difficult. When ateleths are training it is not their peak of form. Their peak form is set to be at the greatest events. I belive that the only reson for "spacerace" is to try to make it more entertaining... and that is so... eh... stupid. Space is not a sport. Space is mysterius and that is what trigger us. It have never been a race. AS a Norwegian I don't care if China, India, GB, Old Soviet or the US went to the moon first. It Did't make me belive USA had any more knowledge than any other country. It is wars that make scientist not work together. Knowledge should be free in a free world! A sad fact actually. But I'm happy the US did go to the moon tho' because I guess it was the most informative country that also love to make stuff entertaining. The thing USA gave the world for real was starting a sosiety from scratch with people form all over the world. What happen musicly down in New Orleans fx is probably the most global expression of mankind. That is what I belive USA should be prowd of. Not any spacerace. That just give me a reminder of politicians that made a cold war after a real war.

              • Andy Walker
                Andy Walker  6 days back

                Love Neil

                • e1123581321345589144
                  e1123581321345589144  6 days back

                  29:00 that exactly why SpaceX isn't a public company. The goal of SpaceX isn't to make money, but to establish a colony on Mars.

                  • e1123581321345589144
                    e1123581321345589144  6 days back

                    15:32 There actually are such events that make use of mobile devices to track progress

                    • Akanaro O.O
                      Akanaro O.O  1 weeks back

                      Well, here's the thing. Quantum Field Theorists keep telling us there are all these other realities. Then you have quite a number of people who are firm in their belief that the earth is flat. So, I have come to the conclusion that some people live or have lived in a different reality where the earth was indeed flat and then somehow they ended up here. Perhaps when science can actually figure out what reality is people will stop getting lost in other realities. :p

                      • Gregg_J
                        Gregg_J  1 weeks back

                        Ray is great.

                        • andy huf
                          andy huf  1 weeks back

                          sorry Neil i believe your wrong we will continue to go space mars and more because of resources when they discover all the riches out there the greed will be hi, platinum, iron and so much out there. ill never understand why he doubts our space endeavors

                          • Dutch Eve
                            Dutch Eve  1 weeks back

                            I listen to StarTalk when my mind is driving me nuts. It's a moment to let go of whatever is bothering me and to just listen.

                            • terry Sullivan
                              terry Sullivan  1 weeks back

                              You talk about return on investment regarding Elon Musk but Space X is not a public company and is totally controlled by Elon. If NASA doesn't participate, and I think it will, he will finance the trip to Mars himself. Might take until the late 2020's but he would do it on his own dime if he has to. By then his net worth, that of Space X etc., could very well be in the hundreds of Billions. The majority of that will not be Space X or Tesla cars, or Tesla Energy. It will be his Earth spanning low orbit telecom neural link satellite network. By the way; there are plenty of very rich folks who would invest in such an enterprise for the goal without any anticipation of profit. There's already one Japanese billionaire financing a round the moon trip.

                              • terry Sullivan
                                terry Sullivan  1 weeks back

                                Ray Ellin is too scientifically illiterate for this.

                                • terry Sullivan
                                  terry Sullivan  1 weeks back

                                  Would it not be better to make Methane with the Hydrogen and the CO2 from Mars atmosphere ?

                                  • Josh Woods
                                    Josh Woods  1 weeks back

                                    dont get me wrong i love neil even have a few of his books, but man does he love people complimenting him, also i noticed on the 2nd joe rogan podcast he kept interrupting him and almost punching down on his intelligence

                                    • ordinary Bear
                                      ordinary Bear  1 weeks back

                                      Mirror lakes and then the Bolivian salt flats! Go and have a look . . . . . . Horizon based on horizontal these words mean something.

                                      • ordinary Bear
                                        ordinary Bear  1 weeks back

                                        Combustion doesn't work in vacuum or near vacuum. This actor is controlled by his past. Submariners know ask a veteran, water is level, I have asked 70 military personnel, No Globe.

                                        • Tom Beaven
                                          Tom Beaven  1 weeks back

                                          People that get all bent out of shape because they sent dogs and monnkeys to space before human are retarded

                                          • Tom Beaven
                                            Tom Beaven  1 weeks back

                                            I like to get into Katey parrys space

                                            • KingDave Durosier
                                              KingDave Durosier  1 weeks back

                                              Russians also spent the first rover on mars.

                                              • Louman 11
                                                Louman 11  1 weeks back

                                                terrible and not funny

                                                • Paul Adams
                                                  Paul Adams  1 weeks back

                                                  I love Neil but he's wrong about the business case for going to Mars. If Elon had a practical monopoly on the planet's resources then used automated mining equipment to exploit its vast mineral resources there would be $trillions to be made. Elon is a self-taught rock engineer with SpaceX, a self-taught mining engineer with the boring company, he was programming competently as a child and is the founder of Open AI. If anyone was to pull off the commercial exploitation of Mars, it's Elon.

                                                  • Ada Darling
                                                    Ada Darling  1 weeks back

                                                    The Mistreatment of the Darkest Matter...Darkest Mother...Black Wombman...is enough evidence to show that humans do not deserve access to extraterrestrial intelligence. To kill the source is the most ignorant act known to man.

                                                    • Ada Darling
                                                      Ada Darling  1 weeks back

                                                      I didn't know Chandler was into Astrophysics.

                                                      • Sam
                                                        Sam  1 weeks back

                                                        That's only part of why they set world records at the Olympics. Other factors include that you need timed test conditions with top notch equipment, which generally is not there for training. And then the biggest factor is that they specifically train so they will be at their peak at that specific event. That should generally be the best chance for them to perform because their workout schedule is set up to make that their peak.

                                                        • bRandomFPV
                                                          bRandomFPV  2 weeks back

                                                          Wait we went to the moon?

                                                          • Paul Mohr
                                                            Paul Mohr  2 weeks back

                                                            I was under the impression space followed something very close maritime law. Am I wrong about this?

                                                            • Phillip Alvarado
                                                              Phillip Alvarado  2 weeks back

                                                              Do u think Neil degrasse Tyson takes acid

                                                              • Jeff Newcomb
                                                                Jeff Newcomb  2 weeks back

                                                                I'm glad Elon Musk doesn't give two shits about whether or not there's profit in going to the Moon or Mars.

                                                                • Righteous One
                                                                  Righteous One  2 weeks back

                                                                  I wonder what's his view on the movie/true story "Hidden Figures"

                                                                  • Xeperu
                                                                    Xeperu  2 weeks back

                                                                    Aw, Neil thinks there are more world leaders than flat earthers on this planet, cute <3

                                                                    • Andre Anderson
                                                                      Andre Anderson  2 weeks back

                                                                      Time stamps are the best

                                                                      • 32revia
                                                                        32revia  2 weeks back

                                                                        Must be nice to not get interrupted constantly on your own show.

                                                                        • Stephen Paul
                                                                          Stephen Paul  2 weeks back

                                                                          Two questions: 1) would long term Martian sttlers have to take lifetime supplies of condoms? 2) what was the orientation of the sun and moon to the orbit of the Apollo 11 module piloted by Collins?

                                                                          • Stephen Paul
                                                                            Stephen Paul  2 weeks back

                                                                            Two questions: 1) would long term Martian sttlers have to take lifetime supplies of condoms? 2) what was the orientation of the sun and moon to the orbit of the Apollo 11 module piloted by Collins?

                                                                            • Stephen Paul
                                                                              Stephen Paul  2 weeks back

                                                                              Two questions: 1) would long term Martian sttlers have to take lifetime supplies of condoms? 2) what was the orientation of the sun and moon to the orbit of the Apollo 11 module piloted by Collins?

                                                                              • Stephen Paul
                                                                                Stephen Paul  2 weeks back

                                                                                Two questions: 1) would long term Martian sttlers have to take lifetime supplies of condoms? 2) what was the orientation of the sun and moon to the orbit of the Apollo 11 module piloted by Collins?

                                                                                • Stephen Paul
                                                                                  Stephen Paul  2 weeks back

                                                                                  Two questions: 1) would long term Martian sttlers have to take lifetime supplies of condoms? 2) what was the orientation of the sun and moon to the orbit of the Apollo 11 module piloted by Collins?

                                                                                  • Manpreet Bhattee
                                                                                    Manpreet Bhattee  2 weeks back

                                                                                    We should act as a planetary species - Carl Sagan.

                                                                                    • Akanaro O.O
                                                                                      Akanaro O.O  1 weeks back

                                                                                      We will never be able to do that. It is our very nature that drives us to distrust, hate and make war on anyone not belonging to our tribe. Perhaps one day there will only be one tribe left. Some will promptly decide they are better than others of their tribe and start their own tribe. And so we go back to warring tribes. Why? Because we need a natural enemy to keep population numbers in check. We have only ourselves to compete against so we're wired to make war. The only way it ever stops is if we find intelligent life on another planet that match our strength or even surpass it. Then we will unite, kick their teeth in and once they are all dead we will return to making war on each other as if nothing happened. Sounds rather depressing but that's what it is. We're creatures of war.

                                                                                  • Per-Olof Andersson-Borrebæk

                                                                                    Historically, warships have been required to back up any colonial claims here on Earth. Will colonization in space necessarily lead to our first space war?

                                                                                    • G11B
                                                                                      G11B  2 weeks back

                                                                                      Damn 3 minutes in and Tyson is wrong. GERMANS calculated and tested everything prior to any launch to space. Don't give the USSR credit for the scientist's work whom were stolen from Germany. In fact, NASA was established by/with Germans as well. The "space race" was between captive 'Russian' Germans, and captive 'American' Germans. Learn your history, Tyson.

                                                                                      • Michael Manu
                                                                                        Michael Manu  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Mindless jabber to avoid answering real questions

                                                                                        • Jasmin Busevac
                                                                                          Jasmin Busevac  2 weeks back

                                                                                          Babushka

                                                                                          • Alejandro Moreno
                                                                                            Alejandro Moreno  2 weeks back

                                                                                            Wasn't Neil always crying that the science community was getting nowhere because no funds were ever given to them?

                                                                                            • Glenn Millam
                                                                                              Glenn Millam  2 weeks back

                                                                                              Here’s the thing I don’t think you get about Elon Musk. The business case, the profit, is going to Mars and making a permanent base. That’s it. Starlink, the COTS program, commercial launch, the “dear Moon” mission, the idea of turning Starship into a suborbital “spaceline,’” all these things are merely money-making projects to fund the real profit of SpaceX which is to occupy Mars and make humans multiplanetary. Of course there is no money in going to Mars. That isn’t the point. Musk was rich to begin with. He wants to die knowing we are on Mars.