Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

A Rocket of His Own

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TIME magazine recently went to interview astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson and noticed a huge crate had been delivered to his office at the American Museum of Natural History. He was kind enough to open it on-camera. The back story of this gift is that Neil was adamant that ABC News include the Saturn V Rocket on its list of The 7 Wonders of America. The folks at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama were so grateful, they sent Neil a replica.

This video just goes to show that boys never really grow up, but their toys sure do [listen to the entire audio recording]


  1. #1 the bug guy
    July 20, 2010

    -Space Geek Alert-
    It’s amusing that the model has the painted roll pattern for SA-500F, the non-flight Facilities Integration Test stack. 🙂

  2. #2 Postman
    July 20, 2010

    I do so love his enthusiasm. His recent lectures at The Rose Center were fascinating, in part because of that irrepressible enthusiasm.

  3. #3 travelgirl
    July 20, 2010

    that is SO cool… i’m in the wrong business… 🙂

  4. #4 Jeff Knapp
    July 20, 2010

    I love it! Despite being this big TV star and media personality, despite being this world-renowned astrophysicist and head of the Haden Planetarium and all, he is, at his heart, still the little nerd kid who gets a thrill out of big rocket ships.

    That simple, child-like thrill is what still drives me in what I do. I too get to play with expensive toys just so I can make really cool looking space ships.

    Neil is truly one of my heroes. A man of many accomplishments who still knows how to be a little kid; still in touch with that simple thrill to this day. I love this.

  5. #5 Peter Lund
    July 26, 2010

    These guys are actually building their own rockets:

    Their first test launch is scheduled to take place about a month from now at sea off the coast of the Danish island Bornholm.

    They built their own sea launch platform for that…

    And they are going to tow the platform + rocket out from Copenhagen with their own submarine…

    Their blog is well worth a look if you can read Danish/Norwegian/Swedish or if you can stomach a google translation:

  6. #6 Sean
    July 30, 2010

    No pun intended, but I love how down to Earth Neil is in his explanations. He really is an inspiration in how to communicate science to the general public.

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