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'I Want the Solar System to Become Our Backyard,' Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Says

Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of "StarTalk," talks to the crowd at New York Comic Con on Oct. 3, 2019.
Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of "StarTalk," talks to the crowd at New York Comic Con on Oct. 3, 2019. (Image credit: Knightmare6)

NEW YORK — Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (opens in new tab) appeared at New York Comic Con yesterday (Oct. 3) to chat about space, science and the return of his show "StarTalk" to TV.

"StarTalk," a space and science program on the National Geographic Channel based on Tyson's long-running radio show, is returning to TV after sexual harassment allegations against Tyson caused a months-long hiatus while Fox and National Geographic looked into the claims (opens in new tab). In March, Fox and NatGeo announced they had completed their investigation and would return the show to TV.

While discussing the future of the show, Tyson revealed his thoughts about the future of human spaceflight. On NASA's Artemis program (opens in new tab) and efforts by space agencies and commercial spaceflight companies to return to the moon and go to Mars, Tyson's opinion is it's "all good, more of it," he told Space.com. 

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But it's not just a general excitement, Tyson said, as he made some specific suggestions about what the future of human spaceflight might look like.

"What I want is, I'm imagining a day where you walk into a warehouse with suites of different launch engines, and you send me three of those, two of those, strap them together, that gets me to Mars. One of those, two of those, that gets me to the moon. Three of those, fives of those, that gets me to the asteroid," he said. 

So, essentially, "you just walk into the warehouse and design your rocket," he added. "I want the solar system to become our backyard."

"I don't want people to say, 'What destination next?' No. All of space is destination," he said. 

In "StarTalk," Tyson explores and explains aspects of space and science ranging from the basic to the strange and unusual. And with the upcoming episodes of the show, Tyson explained, they will explore even further, and even include guests whom you might not immediately associate with science or space, but whose work and lives intertwine with science in interesting and unexpected ways. 

Tyson even hinted at Elon Musk coming on as a guest. 

"Psst, next week, I'm in L.A., I'm gonna interview Elon Musk, don't tell anybody," Tyson joked, careful to not reveal too much about the upcoming episodes. 

In addition to hosting NatGeo's "StarTalk" and his radio show, Tyson is also the host of Fox's "Cosmos: Possible Worlds." which was also put on hiatus as Fox and National Geographic investigated the claims against the astrophysicist. Fox and National Geographic completed that investigation in March, clearing Tyson and the shows' return. Tyson is also curator of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. 

Follow Chelsea Gohd on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined Space.com in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.