Up Next Explores the Future of Space Exploration… and Death

8232Since the launch of Up Next eight months ago, Marty Lasden has produced programs on the future of everything from artificial intelligence to Judaism to marriage. In The Future of Being Dead, Lasden interviews Stanford University humanities scholar Robert Pogue Harrison. (Back in 2005, Harrison published a fascinating book called The Dominion of the Dead, which describes how both the living relate to the dead and how that relationship has changed over time.)

Lasden admits that his interest in this topic probably has something to do with turning 60 last April. “I’m not one of those guys who’s afraid of dying,” he maintains. “I’m terrified. In fact on a 1-to-10 scale, with 10 being absolutely paralyzed with fear, I would say that I’m about a 9.5. And that’s on a good day. So, of course, when Harrison told me that on that same scale he would rate himself about a one, I was naturally intrigued.”

8232Also, just in time for the latest Star Wars movie, Lasden interviews Chris Impey on The Future of Space Exploration. Impey is a professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona, and in his latest book (Beyond: Our Future in Space) he envisions not only a vibrant commercial space industry within 20 years, but also viable colonies on both the Moon and Mars. However – those Star Wars characters notwithstanding – Impey doesn’t think humans will ever be able to travel faster than the speed of light. “Physics,” he says, “is a bitch.”

Upcoming episodes explore the future of our oceans, American military power, and poverty. Browse all episodes of Up Next.