It’s a good week to be Bill Nye, and it’s a pretty good week if you were a fan of ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy.’.
31 episodes of the venerable PBS Kids program are now available on Netflix for you to say, “Oh yeah! I remember that!” when music videos for songs like “Crust” by Magmadonna plays. (That is a parody of “Vogue” about the Earth’s crust.)
The Daily Dot assures us that most of the science holds up with a few exceptions, namely that Pluto is no longer a planet.
In addition to joining the culture of binge watching, Bill Nye and the Planetary Society (a research nonprofit cofounded by Carl Sagan) will be launching a new spacecraft prototype today, Wednesday, May 20th.
Called LightSail, this vehicle is designed to use solar winds as a source of power. Think of a spaceship with solar panels, except instead of panels that you see on rooftops in a gated community, it’s actually a thin sail made out of mylar. Sunlight would propel the sail forward, similar to winds on a sailboat.
The Planetary Society first introduced this idea in the 70s. Sagan appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ to show a model of the sail to Johnny Carson, which you can see in the video below. The video also includes a more in-depth explanation of LightSail from Nye along with a brief history of the Planetary Society. Unfortunately, there’s no song parody, but as mentioned earlier, you can now catch a few of them on Netflix.