Guest: Dr. Phil Plait aka - The Bad Astronomer
For a myriad of reasons, NASA is in the news this week. For an update on everything astronomical Skepticality is proud to welcome back The Bad Astronomer himself, Dr. Phil Plait (author of the popular books Bad Astronomy, Death from the Skies and his award-winning blog at Discovermagazine.com). Swoopy chats with Phil about this week's planned launch of the space shuttle Endeavour (one of five final missions marking the retirement of the shuttle fleet by the close of 2010); the surprising recent announcement of President Obama's plans to increase NASA's funding but cancel the Constellation program already five years underway; and, Phil's own tough decision to step down as president of the James Randi Educational Foundation in order to extend his skeptical outreach to a global audience through television.
Date -February 9th, 2010 read by Swoopy.
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Swoopy is headed to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Most of the time she's a Southern Skeptic representing The Atlanta Skeptics.
Maybe I can hang with the Seattle Skeptics.
You can find Darwin Day events here.
Swoopy's birthday is February 11th, Darwin's is the 12th, Valentine's the 14th.
This has been a big week for space news here on Earth and beyond.
President Obama has proposed some budget changes for NASA.
Included in these changes is a budget increase, but the end of Constellation.
Two new rockets, Ares I and Ares V, were being developed.
The rockets were planned to return astronauts to the moon by 2020.
There also have been some great new images from Hubble of Pluto.
Also, an asteroid collision that created an amazing impact and beautiful pictures.
On February 8th we saw the first of the last five space shuttle launches.
Endeavour will be taking the last parts to the International Space Station.
Dr. Phil Plait received his Phd. in astronomy from the University of Virginia in 1994.
He is the author of two fabulous books Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies.
In 2008 Phil was named the President of the JREF.
D.J. Grothe is the newest president of the James Randi Educational Foundation.
D.J.'s work with CSI makes him the perfect replacement to succeed Phil at the JREF.
Buzz Aldrin has been a loud advocate for the space program to move beyond the moon.
The Lunar and Planetary Institute is holding The Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference 2010 in Boulder, Colorado.
NASA and General Motors researchers created The Robonaut2.
Phil thinks this is a distraction from what Skynet is really doing.
Pluto is due to be visited by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015.
The Mars Spirit Rover is stuck on Mars and can't move around a lot.
We're kinda sad for the little guy, but he's still doing amazing work.
Phil will appear on the TV show LA Ink where he got a tattoo.
Kat Von D owns High Voltage Tattoo, home of LA Ink.
Bad Astronomy on Hulu.
You can keep up with Phil through Twitter and his blog, Bad Astronomy.
You can meet Phil at The Amazing Meeting 8 in Las Vegas.
Also in this awesome video where he loves the Whole World (with other geeks).