April 4, 2015 12:56 pm

Sunday: Explore the inner solar system from StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest 2015

Comic co-host Eugene Mirman and guest host Bill Nye. © 2015 Photo by Jakub Mosur. All rights reserved.

Comic co-host Eugene Mirman and guest host Bill Nye. © 2015 Photo by Jakub Mosur. All rights reserved.

I didn’t get to see StarTalk Live! at SF Sketchfest 2015, which was recorded at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. But just reading the tweets from our guest live-tweeter, Heather Archuletta, I knew the show was going to be a blast.

First of all, the show features not one, but two comedians from the show Bob’s Burgers. Of course we had the voice of Gene in the person of our co-host, Eugene Mirman. He was joined on stage by his dad on the show, Bob himself, H. Jon Benjamin.

The show also featured two other guests with connections: Dr. Yvonne Pendleton and Dr. G. Scott Hubbard. Yvonne is the Director of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute at the NASA Ames Research Center. And Scott is the former Director of the NASA Ames Research Center, along with being our first “Mars Czar.” Scott’s responsible for the successful Mars Rover programs.

These days, Scott is more concerned with protecting Earth from asteroids as the program architect of the Sentinel Mission.

Scott has a connection to our guest host, Bill Nye, too. Bill wrote the forward to Scott’s book, Exploring Mars.

And that brings us to the subject of this outing of StarTalk Live!: exploring the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars.

From practical fashion tips (wear spacesuits containing metal to protect you from being zapped by plasma on an asteroid) to where to find water on the Moon (there are three sources – can you name all three?), SSERVI’s mission is to research “what you need to know before you go… we’ll tell you what to wear, where to touch, what to flush.”

On the other hand, the Sentinel Mission is more concerned with visitors to Earth, in the form of asteroids. You’ll hear about the search for planet killer asteroids a mile wide down to smaller asteroids like the meteor that exploded in the air over Chelyabinsk recently. (Remember, it’s an asteroid until it hits our atmosphere, when it becomes a meteor, and, if it hits the ground, the pieces are meteorites.)

By the way, this is the second time Bill Nye and Eugene Mirman have brought StarTalk Live! to SF Sketchfest. While you’re waiting patiently for Sunday’s new show, you can listen to last year’s show here.

And please join us for StarTalk Live! from SF Sketchfest 2015 this Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 PM ET on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and SoundCloud.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Jeffrey Simons

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