The Final Frontier
Mark your calendars, friends, because Betabeat is heading to space in 2016!
In September 2016, NASA will launch its OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, a mission to bring back a pristine sample of asteroid Bennu. In honor of the mission, the Planetary Society has set up a program called “Messages to Bennu,” whereby ordinary Earth folk can send the text of their names on a seven-year round-trip ride to and from the asteroid.
Millennial icon Bill Nye the Science Guy, whom this reporter once had the immense pleasure of interviewing, currently serves as the CEO of the Planetary Society. There, he’s worked to raise awareness about the Curiosity Rover’s mission to Mars, as well as advised Elon Musk on what the space research community needs out of a commercial space program. (“We need cheap access to orbit,” Mr. Nye told us in an interview. “It’s the key first step. Getting to orbit right now is too expensive.”)
Mr. Nye is working to raise awareness about NASA’s gutted space exploration budget. Yesterday, his team published a YouTube video of Mr. Nye urging viewers to send a letter to the President, asking him to restore the budget.
Last week, we learned that we would have the lovely opportunity of interviewing Bill Nye–yes, the Science Guy, that bow-tie-wearing, zany engineer whose PBS show taught the majority of twenty-somethings much of what they know about magnetism, the circulatory system and electricity. Most kids who grew up in the 90’s were shown at least one of his videos in a Friday afternoon science class. Mr. Nye occupies a specific corner of our collective nostalgia, his kooky presence and love for science hearkening back to a simpler time when getting an A on a test was our biggest worry.
When this reporter woke up for the interview this morning, she found herself struggling to find something to wear. (“All my lab coats are in the wash,” we tweeted.) Turns out that we should’ve opted for a bow-tie, as Mr. Nye showed up to our interview in Bryant Park in that signature sartorial choice, a green paisley one tied around his neck. On the lapel of his jacket, a Planetary Society pin gleamed in the sun.