About This Episode
It’s one small step for man, one long vacation for the human race. On this episode of StarTalk All-Stars, primatologist and host Natalia Reagan welcomes a panel of guests to take a realistic look at interstellar travel and find the best destinations for the human race. This episode was recorded live at Caveat in NYC and Natalia was joined by comic co-host Harrison Greenbaum, Jana Grcevich, co-author of Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler!, biomedical engineer Ronke Olabisi, former HI-SEAS crew member, essayist, and poet Kate Greene, and psychologist Jay Van Bavel.
We start by defining what makes a planet ideal for viable life. Find out more about the bright spots and the dangers we’ll encounter on some of the most promising planets and moons in our solar system and beyond. Explore the epic scenery on Mars, the geysers of Enceladus, the excess of water on Europa. Investigate the “quite hellish” surface of Venus, the intriguing nature of Proxima b, and all the ways these places can kill you.
Learn more about the 100 Year Starship project lead by former astronaut Mae Jemison. We discuss how inspiring moments, like President Kennedy’s famous Moon speech, can spark a vast amount of change in very short time. Ponder the reality of warp technology – it might be closer than you think. Discover more about reproduction in space. Learn how much the body changes when off-Earth, from bone density to the “fluid shift.” We look at some options in how to deal with cosmic radiation during long-term space travel.
Kate tells us about her time on HI-SEAS, the NASA-funded Mars simulation mission based in Hawai’i. You’ll hear about her duties as second-in-command and why she thinks good marriage dynamics are a strong base for good crew dynamics. Find out about her work in the “Mars test kitchen” and why women might be better to bring on long-term missions than men. Ponder whether it’s possible to abandon or evolve current social structures during long-term missions. All that, plus, learn why diverse teams are better at solving problems than homogenous teams.
NOTE: All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: StarTalk All-Stars @ Caveat – Gettin’ Off Earth!
Special thanks to Origin, who provided a look at their new sci fi thriller series about colonizing exoplanets premiering November 14 on their YouTube Originals channel.