Last weekend marked the 35th anniversary of The Planetary Society — the world’s largest public space organization, co-founded by Carl Sagan in 1980. To celebrate, a stellar panel of scientists, actors, and communicators took the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in front of hundreds of fans. The Martian author Andy Weir read his (fake) novella about explorers on Venus (spoiler alert: they die instantly), and Star Trek royalty Nichelle Nichols presented Neil deGrasse Tyson with the Cosmos Award for outstanding public presentation of science.
The evening ended with a new music video (above) from Melody Sheep — creator of the fantastic “Symphony of Science” series — made specifically in honor of the Society’s anniversary. In it, Bill and Neil get down, Planetary Society Senior Editor Emily Lakdawalla reminds us that exploration of the Solar System is anything but complete, and Carl Sagan debuts the lightsail on Johnny Carson (a real, crowd-funded version of the ligthsail completed its first successful test last May).
Like most of Melody Sheep’s science videos, “Beyond the Horizon” is a sweeping, inspiring song that uses CG imagery of space and the auto-tuned speeches of scientists and science communicators to make a point. Listening to Bill Nye remind us of our unassailable desire to explore lifts your spirit. Neil Tyson proving the value of space exploration to Congress lifts your soul.
If you want to find your place in space, head over to The Planetary Society to find how to get involved. Because science.