While covering the Orion launch for StarTalk Radio, our Social Media Coordinator Stacey Severn interviewed NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and asked her questions provided by our fans on Facebook. Cady discusses the role astronauts have in planning missions to the ISS and the Orion test flight, the biggest hurdle to establishing a permanent human presence in space, long term effect of zero gravity on astronauts, going to Mars, and what can be learned by playing with your food in micro-gravity.
While covering the Orion launch for StarTalk Radio, our Social Media Coordinator Stacey Severn was able to grab this interview with NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold and Sesame Street’s Elmo. They talk about how the International Space Station, how they got interested in space, exploring Mars, and studying science and math.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Bill Nye the Science Guy and Astro Mike Massimino get into an elevator with a Congressman… No, it’s not a joke, but it is the subject of a fan’s Cosmic Query. What do you think they would tell that legislator about why it’s so important to fund space exploration and NASA?
A fan wants to know the best way to ensure that NASA gets the funding it needs, and the answer doesn’t fit into a sound bite. In this thoughtful conversation, Bill Nye, the CEO of the Planetary Society, and former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino tell Eugene Mirman that the answer is less about stubborn legislators and science illiteracy, and more about increasing public awareness of the value we get from NASA and the space program, from international cooperation to the innovation and optimism that comes from the problem solving aspect of space exploration. That, and voting.
A fan wants to know what percentage of NASA’s budget goes to private sector contractors. Guest host Bill Nye and guest astronaut Mike Massimino can’t give an answer more specific than “enormous,” but they can tell co-host Eugene Mirman just who does what, and why there’s a role for both private contractors and NASA when it comes to the exploration – and exploitation – of space.
Guest host Bill Nye the Science Guy has a question of his own for astronaut Mike Massimino: “Do you guys really drink Tang?” The answer isn’t so simple, thanks to NASA rules, regulations and restrictions, but it makes for a surprisingly “generic” Star Talk Radio “Behind the Scenes” video. As co-host Eugene Mirman says, “There’s no branding in space.” Candy covered chocolates, anyone?
A fan wants to know if we really have to choose between funding Cassini or Curiosity when it comes to NASA funding. Co-host Eugene Mirman and guest astronaut Mike Massimino sit back and listen as guest host Bill Nye gets passionate about why both are important and why we need to increase NASA’s budget for planetary science.