It was a big week for the Science Guy, and for science. Bill Nye served as honorary co-chair of the March for Science in Washington DC. His new Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World, premiered the next day. Two of the show’s thirteen episodes are devoted to space science and exploration. Bill talks about all this in a special conversation with Mat Kaplan.
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00:00:00bill Nye saves the world with space this week on planetary radio one example of the planetary society with more of the human adventure across our solar system and beyond a conversation with the science guy just days after premiere of his Netflix TV series that prominently features space exploration
00:00:26and space science no surprise there later we'll get Bruce steps take on the night sky and who are random space factor too Emily locked the wall he is not yet back from sabbatical but she will be next week planetary society digital editor Jason Davis is here to talk
00:00:44about the real beginning of the end for one of the greatest missions of exploration ever chasing you wrote last week about well an event that's already under way happened over the weekend tell us about the the latest from Cassini yes of the space craft did its final close
00:01:02flyby of tightened after all these years all these cool images and fly bys Anne I'm on the outer side of Saturn's rings went by Titan closely for the last time and that Bennett's trajectory this was on purpose of course under this new path that's going to send it
00:01:19actually between the planet and the ring so right now it's kind of marking up over the planning getting ready to plunge between the plane and the rings for the very first time this is the beginning of what we've been calling miss Linda spilled her and I talk about
00:01:33this the grand finale yeah yeah that the bigger hand finality so we get on to this new trajectory %HESITATION twenty two orbits I believe is the is the count and then the spacecraft will be intentionally sent into the planet itself so it's %HESITATION it's going to be a
00:01:49wild final phase of the mission here going out in the bank but we should see some really cool stuff has the spacecraft goes through these wild orbits that first pass between the planet and the rings a will already have happened as most people here this prop program it's
00:02:06it's going to be the on Wednesday the twenty six and we will be talking to Emily locked wala our long lost colleague about that she is returning from her sabbatical and she's going to be a GPL for this is their concern about the danger to the spacecraft yeah
00:02:22there is it it seems like a slight concern so %HESITATION they're they're using the GPL that scientists and their press conference were saying we're pretty sure we know where the innermost ring ends so they do a lot of modeling in a and look at the data they already
00:02:37have from the mission but they can't say with certainty where that bring kind of ends it might be that some next trip straight particles of dust and rock and ice Sir are left there in that final on gap if that happens then it could be catastrophic for the
00:02:53spacecraft if one of these things were the kind of slammed through it %HESITATION is it's traveling at very high speeds through that gap they're pretty sure that won't happen but just in case there worry and sing the main antenna at the the big dish on the front of
00:03:06it to kind of act as a shield just for a little extra precaution as it goes through for the very first time which I suppose means that we will not be hearing from Cassini as it makes this pass yeah when it comes out on the other side internal
00:03:21starts sending its its first dated back to earth on actually the nominal signal acquisition and looking at the the little schedule they have here actually comes right after midnight on the twenty seventh and that that's when they'll know that %HESITATION everything went well and then shortly after that
00:03:38I believe they expect to start getting some some early images down and that's what hopefully Emily will be there to cease that's really exciting yeah this is going to be amazing and exploration involves risk doesn't Hatcher does that station Davis he's a digital editor for the planetary society
00:03:55you can read his even more recent piece about the space launch system that giant rocket which shone sounds Jason Laika maybe it's gonna be awhile longer before we see that first lunch yeah we're starting to see a lot of signs that are kind of piling up to that
00:04:11point to a possible delay it was always pretty iffy whether they could do twenty eighteen near the end but %HESITATION I'm minds and kind of officially calling it that I think it's going to be delayed so this article I'm kind of lays out that three key pieces of
00:04:26evidence that I see that are all pointing to a delay at this point and you can check out all of Jason's reasoning have to planetary dot org thanks Jason thank you Matt hi folks I'm bill nine you may remember me from the science guy show one back talking
00:04:42science again with a new show and the new lab I'm loving me some Netflix on electric internet machines that all the kids are using I've got some new friends hand picked team of brilliant correspondents who've traveled the globe to bring us some astonishing stories as you probably guessed
00:05:01we're not really making a kid show is for you grown up kids all over the world we're gonna be talking about important perhaps even controversial issues from scientific points of view we're gonna make a lot of fun along the way I know I know a lot has changed
00:05:16but one thing hasn't the process of science how we know what we know and there's still so much we don't know see for me curiosity is part of what makes us human is what drives us the joy of discovery is the essence of science are you with me
00:05:33yeah are you excited if you think together work together good things are gonna happen and that's what starts his new Netflix show bill Nye saves the world is taking a break from saving the world too would join us maybe this is saving the world to Hey bill mad
00:06:01this is consistent with the big message this this is another brick in the saving the world Xerox the stepped pyramid of world savings thank you for taking a few extra minutes beyond the regular %HESITATION segment with this today so we can talk about the show but before we
00:06:16talk about the show everybody out there saying March for science he was of the March for science it appeared to go well %HESITATION went really well arms ruled it would I think everybody was very pleased so the March for science everybody was started by a physician in New
00:06:33York and her body and it just became this worldwide phenomenon six hundred more over six hundred marches around the world to get you get messages that you'd expect from Berkeley %HESITATION in Seattle but Paris no Parisians are always on board with what the United States has in mind
00:06:55and this is the Australian are and it just was it was the age as we say in modern parlance Berlin had a a normal sedan because everybody's concerned about science being set aside in our policy making and I like to remind everybody if you read it closely it's
00:07:14not too much effort you'll see in the US constitution it refers to of promoting the progress of science and useful arts and I think my opinion is useful arts in the nineteen started the eighteenth century referred to city planning and architecture and %HESITATION plow crafting and things like
00:07:35that it engineering what I would call engineer within the constitution everybody its niche it is political but not partisan just like space exploration are good segue thank you and by the way I'd have been marching but I was in southern Illinois talking to kids about space science di
00:07:56had a great time doing it because that's all be going back to an August stuff for the eclipse at Southern Illinois University Carbondale but enough of that was a little blood yeah what what got you into this new show which by the way I love I think that
00:08:14what you don't think you've done a lot of good television between the science guy show and this I was a big fan of %HESITATION bill my stuff happens but this seems to me to be the return of the science guy to TV in in some ways well here
00:08:29is we have a commitment from Netflix by the word commitment is %HESITATION bills %HESITATION euphemism for money yeah the snow but really we had the resources to build a cool sat to hire some very %HESITATION very skilled the audio guys video guys and the remarkable crew the %HESITATION
00:08:49the correspondence the on camera department as I like to call us and we had the resources to send Carly cost to Italy to send Derek maul or to South Korea and Holland to send our family calendar only to India this thing she's always wanted to be there and
00:09:04she did a story she space girl she just on on the electric internet she did a story what that you'd expect where she went to team in this this %HESITATION lunar X. prize X. price team of which a bunch of young Indian engineers many of whom are women
00:09:20by the way then she did this story on polio she met the guy that is generally believed to be the last person or to get Polly to have gotten polio he's in his twenties is software engineer who lives in a wheelchair as I like to remind everybody went
00:09:38to elementary school with a kid who had a guy who had polio you do not want polio nobody wants polio and you avoid it by getting vaccinated not by eating organic soybeans they don't do it you got to have the vaccine you avoid it was science yes yes
00:09:56Matt yes I started to binge yesterday because I was away Matt I think you might want to clarify for your listeners your binging on watching television yeah well I don't know is that worse either well there's a lot of there's some debate about that she was the only
00:10:13thing we don't have what on earth is time yeah so yeah some but I appreciate you getting or doing I've seen four episodes so far including the opening from which we grab that %HESITATION that piece that we started this already out of the problem the problem but then
00:10:29of course I went to the the two episodes two of thirteen on Netflix that you devote to space and and what space house for us here down on earth of the first you look at this concept which is come up on the show before episode number five you
00:10:46talk about hand sperm mia and how did you choose these topics I mean there are so many that you could've taken you had to Whittle it down to thirteen and two for space mated in our Matt here's a feature of talk shows wind and you have one I
00:11:02guess on the radio it has to be an extension of the of the host whether not you like the host is almost secondary it has to be extension of the person on camera be it Stephen Colbert error Chelsea handler or Jimmy Kimmel it's got to be an extension
00:11:18of that person so I have an interest a deep and abiding interest in space so it had to with the first thirteen on space now Matt it is to be hoped that this is just the first thirteen was keep going was to a show on the brain and
00:11:35consciousness let's do a show on evolution was to a show or an addiction let's do a show you know its dues another show on space and it's been proposed in this was not my idea that that we have a climate change episode account change related episode in every
00:11:54batch that Netflix chooses to pay for ha because climate change is such a serious issue and that was your first episode and in this new series yeah not rebodied here's what happens is you pick thirteen you do one and then the man who was you are often a
00:12:12woman a Netflix makes a decision about how to arrange them what order to publish them on their website but in the modern era that is to say right now all thirteen episodes are posted the same day same moment it was %HESITATION midnight Pacific time three AM eastern time
00:12:31here in North America they put climate change first because I felt I I believe they felt that it was an important issue they want people to see that one in whatever the order is I love the show I think it's really love your mad mad and that's that
00:12:46said is fantastic that said no urine is reading at school it goes on and on yeah yeah goes way back in the that was not my vision everybody but I want with it and so you know Matt just technically we didn't used to have that many white surfaces
00:13:02of their cameras it was believed would explode in the world to stop spinning if you had white anything right on camera engine used to be so brightly lit and it didn't used to be so big but it is we shot in a enormous sound stage at %HESITATION in
00:13:19at Sony big lot in Culver city California which is part of Los Angeles all right I was going to mention this because we got other things to talk about but never see the movie fantastic voyage I mean how many times is a guy my age seem fantastic voyage
00:13:35yeah so for me to add when I looked at both your ceiling in your floor I thought all that's the shrink room in fantastic yes yes the lab is so the gang there because their medical researchers their wet suits were white which a little unusual but it was
00:13:52a year I went right to it as we say Yap panspermia important stuff to you because of course you have those two great questions that you like to ask which are where did we all come from and are we alone in the universe yeah which panspermia addresses both
00:14:09of those so I could see why you choose that and plus map by everybody you know we're talking about all sorts of things retirement television retirement space exploration what I'm interested in you like the shows but everybody it is a real thing that we are living at a
00:14:25real time we need we could actually discover real life on another world or evidence of life in those did to Canada worlds in the short in the immediate term our Mars in Europa moon of Jupiter with twice as much the waters the earth yes and sell us yes
00:14:42at Saturn want to go bring it on but everybody the significance of this would be enormous I think the modern expression is huge the significance would be world changing it would be it really would be a can to discoveries made by gal late work Parker's be profound and
00:15:01we are on the cusp of making those discoveries using very carefully crafted instruments aboard a very carefully cleaned rover why anybody would not want to spend a little bit of an elected treasurer on this would be a little bit of a mystery but with that said here in
00:15:18the United States we have two members of Congress who are passionate about this who don't agree about much anything else but Adam Schiff and John Culberson pretty much agree that Europa is the greatest thing ever and they want to send a mission there bill Nye the science guy
00:15:34more from bill about his new TV series is just ahead this is planetary radio I'm Casey dryer the planetary society's director of space policy in the last five years our members have help to achieve pretty much every single advocacy priority we've had it's been amazing NASA's planetary science
00:15:52budget is about one and a half billion again and it's growing we have new missions to Mars and twenty twenty and Europa we sent over four hundred thousand letters to Congress and the White House in order to achieve this and your generosity has enabled us to grow this
00:16:07program up to three full time staff dedicated to space policy but we have a new Congress a new president and soon a new NASA administrator decisions are being made right now that are going to impact the future of NASA for a generation if not more so we need
00:16:25your support now more than ever to build on the momentum we've created here so please join us invest in our advocacy program go to planetary dot org slash advocacy thank you welcome back to planetary radio I'm at Kaplan with my boss planetary society CEO bill Nye the science
00:16:47guy is fresh from co chairing the March for science and from the April twenty first premiere of his new Netflix series bill Nye saves the world it's the return of bill to a TV laboratory the one with a much bigger budget than his science guy show of twenty
00:17:04years ago you bring in these correspondents they seem sort of universally energetic passionate attractive and other on camera you know that it mean understand when people go on camera they put on make up I don't want to shock you all full of both genders yeah dress up I
00:17:24mean you're on TV for crying out loud and they do up a heck of a job I mean you know not that there's anything wrong with old dudes like us but they do pretty well and it when we go to that episode which you could watch randomly as
00:17:37bill said saving the world with space you already said that to you send Emily to India and that was fantastic watching the her talk to these kids about to about sending stuff to the moon sign on average for your for your listeners reminder this is Emily callin dreadfully
00:17:55not and we walked the walk but they know each other women in science journalism all seem to hang out Diana the physics girl she like everybody they all know each other is very cool you've also got other terrific guests that you bring in ID guess there's one of
00:18:13these panel discussions I'm going to assume in every episode and there were some people been on the show George white sites Chris Louis Michelle faller I hope I got her name right I've not talking of her she's great but they're different view points %HESITATION brought to this said
00:18:27George of course virgin galactic chrisley wiki from planetary resources the folks who wanna mine asteroids I'll follow representing NASA not always total agreement among these there is some diversity of opinion well that's our goal yes Matt we want diversity of course and that's not that hard to get
00:18:47but we are not going down the road in the example of climate change where we make it look like it's fifty fifty where there's always there's crime change not hers who have a valid and reasonable point of view is that we should know in the case of vaccines
00:19:03will we have a some anti VAX are people who make thirty no no no it's not science we're done we're done with you but in the details of that's where that is I think it's fascinating you talk about the value of exploring space a you come out of
00:19:19from different angles you start with that pretty prosaic but practical one of up showing us some of the stuff we wouldn't have if we had been going out there and it's not just it's not just a spin offs so called everybody it's basic things that we take for
00:19:38granted now that are a result of trying to explore space because when you when your store space you're solving problems that have never been solved before because you're going to a place that note human generation before the twentieth century had any access to so all these %HESITATION remarkable
00:19:55price including the technology that enables our transcontinental radio recording Matt podcast recording would not be here without this investment in the space program and all everybody acknowledges that is worth it's worth reminding people you have a lot of terrific props during the show and of course you do
00:20:13experiments one of my favorite props is loves the props are due you know young man I'll just tell you isn't as a producer as a television producer I like to tell everybody I remind everybody every day what is the greatest thing about this next segment were about to
00:20:31shoot here on the sound stage ops what's the worst thing about this next thing we're gonna shoot the props is the blessing and the curse of the borders here's one of my favorite props you reach under your table in the lab and you pull up a globe and
00:20:47their flags all over this globe and and that even surprised me I knew they were space programs everywhere %HESITATION it's wild how every country every a great many countries including Vietnam as a space program because they know that that they've seen the value of having their academic people
00:21:06and engineers engaged in the endeavor of exploring space and there are tremendous practical things now everywhere in the developing world it's quite common to meet people who have mobile phones and have never used a land line not never not chosen not to have one just never seen it
00:21:25or to retirement when you mean the landline to communication that results from those mobile systems are depend on space exploration everybody wants the weather and everybody wants everybody countries around the world wanna have navigation systems for their citizens both our motion going kind of countries which you'd expect
00:21:46and then countries that are landlocked they also want navigation systems and that depends on space assets and you wouldn't have any of this without starting to explore space sixty seventy years ago we make that point on Mars yes colonies on Mars not for me you don't work I've
00:22:06been to Greenland the summaries say this often it's it's a lot of work where you live where it's extremely cold it's just a lot of work to move around and I'm not talking about Eskimos because they have access to all this protein Eskimos traditionally hunt fish so they
00:22:24have a remarkable diet that heretofore was considered quite healthy now they got all the sugar flown in from around the world but when you go to Mars there's nothing to eat there are no fish there are no apples there are no orange trees there's no notes snowed nope
00:22:42no peanuts no almonds nothing let alone vegan anything is just not there the model for this you can try it yourself is go live in Antarctica where is very cold and every thing you deal with everything you use everything you eat comes in from someplace else on a
00:23:00plane and so everybody we want to have a science base on Mars in the same way we have a science based on an article but I don't think you really want to go there and set up a playground with swing sets in the maternity ward and an elementary
00:23:16schools and things that you do in a row in a regular community back here on earth last thing and it's a story that I have heard you tell many times and you repeat on this show because it's what I have no trouble repeating it was repeated again and
00:23:30again over and over repeating it's about the number of stars in the young man's arm and when I was a kid my third grade teacher had told my my older brother and she told us my class that they're more stars in the sky the grains of sand on
00:23:46the beach and you start thinking about a beach water water a lot of grains of sand well currently it's estimated that there are a hundred times as many stars as there are grains of sand on the earth not on a beach on the earth the extent the magnitude
00:24:09of creation is literally hard to imagine I think we are my go impossible to imagine the number of stars and the number of other worlds there are and then the number of other entities there may very well be out there is overwhelming and so to get an appreciation
00:24:28for this we explore space and I claim that our ancestors who were not driven to explore never made it to be our ancestors they never made the cut they they got out competed by the people who wanted to explore wanted to go over the hill and see what
00:24:45was on the other side and seek new resources and learn new things and sort SpaceX rations exciting part of this and it is part of the larger idea of science of using our elected treasurer to understand nature and I I can point out that any country that does
00:25:06not continue to innovate will fall behind economically with respect to the rest of the world in innovation comes from science sort that's that's where that's where we get innovations all the technology were using to produce this podcast is result of science I guarantee you the food you eat
00:25:24today will be made possible through agricultural innovations which are based entirely in every way on the process of science here here your way under certain pin in everyone of those episodes heck yes I am pride for about the planetary society the world's largest non governmental space interest organization
00:25:44based bank sides of explorations of the citizens everywhere one of the cosmos are placed within it space roles beyond that change in the world and %HESITATION and now saving it as well thank you bill thank you Matt that's bill Nye the science guy he's back he's on Netflix
00:26:02thirteen new shows you can binge as he says Turnham up loud on all kinds of wonderful topics and we have primarily today only talk about two of them about space and dumb and hopefully more to come it's a great show respect is the director of science and technology
00:26:27for the planetary society and it's time to hear from him about what's up in the night sky and all the other stuff we do with this traditional finish for the show welcome back high man fun time last week we set a high bar because I thought that was
00:26:42a particularly good segment so impressed the heck out of us I hope there's something wonderful them as new super Nova something like that are yes somewhere there's a new super in the universe like you hear and see it bad you can't see it yeah he's right though well
00:27:00what can we see we can see planets and if you have a telescope you'd be you can see a couple comments if you get a finder chart but if you just look in with your eyes go ahead and check out beautiful Jupiter in the evening sky dominating over
00:27:15in the east got Mars still hang on low in the west in the early evening Saturn coming up in the middle of night predawn Venus is just starting a party over there in the east in the pre dawn likened super bright we move on to this week in
00:27:29space history it was two thousand three this week that the Daleks mission was launched by NASA the galaxy explore %HESITATION was operated until twenty twelve and they gave us all sorts of views of hundreds of thousands of galaxies measuring things like distance and %HESITATION star population in ultraviolet
00:27:50I I think they should have called a galaxy quest myself but but okay all gold with I'll go with explore the name was already taken yeah I forgot all right we move on to random space fact who's supposed to be a high energy show sorry that's more like
00:28:10it thank you a corona mass ejection or CME is an unusually large release of clouds much charged particles magnetic field from the sign from the solar corona here's the here's the real crazy fact a large CME can contain a billion tons of matter they can be accelerated to
00:28:30several million kilometers per hour in this %HESITATION in a spectacular explosion from the sun sending out into the solar system while and and some of that matter comes this way right it does seem to me is will sometimes hit earth and cause more exceptional or Rory and can
00:28:49cause communications problems and power problems because of the charged particles and craziness it's a glorious solar system it is indeed speaking of which the trivia contest we asked you how many solar system moons are larger than Pluto how'd we do math very nice response kudos to Beth mater
00:29:12now get this not only is she a first time entrant in the contest from Eden Wisconsin this was the first show she heard she was a first time listener and she won the contest my out statistically improbable it very improbable but Beth are you beat the odds congratulations
00:29:31and we will get your prize package out to you soon the actual answer I'm I'm gonna let Dave Fairchild are poet laureate provided Pluto once was thought to be about the size of earth but as the years went by it slowly lost a lot of girth and as
00:29:48the measurements came in the facts were getting clearer seven of our moons had left her in their rear view mirrors not bad thank you Dave seven correct right now it is correct from biggest or smallest Ganymede tighten Callisto I own moon the moon Europa and triton now there's
00:30:10a big gap until you get to Uranus this man Titania and Pluto fits in that cap as does heiress here is the way Andruw Jones identified the moon's Andrew in Finland he said is this really the last rubber asteroid why did you tighten supply can you get more
00:30:30triton make that happen and you can sell lean extras I owe you one if you can your rope a really great guy I'll spare you the Callisto and Ganymede plans he said wow it's really funny well their plans you know they're they're supposed to ones I respect prime
00:30:53so I'm not down on buns Alec Washington in la no call harbor New Jersey was musing about these these seven moon seven moons bigger than what used to be a full fledged planted in the eyes of many it still is of course he says makes you think maybe
00:31:09Kirby Runyon's definition of a planet might not be so bad Kirby you'd have to refer back to that to show we did some weeks back about to the degree defining planets in our solar system we cut this I'm not sure what to make of it from a mark
00:31:24little in the UK are that figure seven excludes of course the periodic bets moon that is cold wind with Urse full moon the radius of the bets moon is set to eclipse even that of Ganymede while I don't know if that was an insult or a compliment yeah
00:31:41I'm not sure either but %HESITATION yeah we'll go compliment thank you if it's an insult you can move him of course finally wise I don't think anyone wants to finally this from mark Raymond the director and chief engineer for the dawn mission which is a score at least
00:31:59circling series still and is going to be back on the show very soon he gave the most accurate answer of the bunch the question was how many moons in our solar system are larger than Pluto market opened with the answer is that we don't know because we didn't
00:32:15say known moons we said all the moon's but then he does say seven and he explains that you know we're going to keep looking they're probably could very well be more out there but anyway thank you very much mark look forward to getting you back on the show
00:32:28now I think we're ready for another one what letter is used to classify the most powerful class of solar flares as observed from near earth in X. rays just to be clear because there are different classification systems but one standard we use now what letters used to classify
00:32:47most powerful class of solar flares go to planetary dot org slash Rohrer radio contest I like this and you're going to have this time until Wednesday may third that's the third of may at eight PM Pacific time and we got some good stuff still we're going to give
00:33:06out a a planetary radio tee shirt of course end a two hundred point that's worth a couple hundred of dollars US a two hundred point I telescope dot net account which you can use a two point any of those telescopes all over the world at to anything in
00:33:23the cosmos you like maybe you'll find the next new supernova or about one that's going off right now that to has inside information about we're done all right everybody go out there look at the night sky and think about what creative material you would make a hard hat
00:33:37out of thank you and good night as a pet peeve the whole problem with this is that it's a hard hat I think they should be made out of foam rubber about you know about a five foot diameter piece of foam rubber the hard to get two doors
00:33:55but but it would really protect you very well alright well that's a good point he's Bruce that's the director of science and technology for the planetary society knows a good point when he sees one and he makes a lot of good points in his class what's that you
00:34:10are all again planetary dot org slash bets class BTS class almost over right but it's all archived two more classes and it's it's archived you can find all the classes that you are a great introduction to astronomy and double talk to begin next week here on what's up
00:34:27planetary radio was produced by the planetary society in Pasadena California and is made possible by its science see members Daniel gun is our associate producer Josh well composed our theme which was arranged and performed by Peter Schweitzer I'm at cap clear skies

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Planetary Radio brings you the human adventure across our solar system and beyond. We visit each week with the scientists, engineers, leaders, advocates and astronauts who are taking us across the final frontier. Regular features raise your space IQ while they put a smile on your face. Join host Mat Kaplan and Planetary Society colleagues including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bruce Betts, and Emily Lakdawalla as they dive deep into the latest space news. The monthly Space Policy Edition takes you inside the DC beltway where the future of the US space program hangs in the balance. Visit planetary.org/radio for the space trivia contest, an episode guide, and much more.
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