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Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Hosting a Debate on Private Spaceflight Tonight, Watch It Live at 7:30PM ET Right Here

He has to host it, because it wouldn't be fair to the other participants if he was in it.

This year’s Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History will be focused “selling space” and private spaceflight. It will be hosted by none other than Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, so if you can’t wait for this week’s Cosmos for your Tyson fix, watch here at 7:30PM EDT.

Proceeds from the debate, which honors museum supporter and incredibly influential science fiction author Isaac Asimov, go to fund the planetarium’s science and education programs. Here’s what they’ve got in store for you tonight, courtesy of the Museum’s event page:

Space exploration is entering a new era. Dozens of aerospace companies have emerged in recent years, all with the goal of commercializing space as never before. From serving NASA’s cargo needs to sending tourists on space vacations to mining asteroids for profit, this next generation of entrepreneurs, and not NASA, may be the ones who transform space into our backyard, possibly creating the first-ever trillionaires. Join host and moderator Neil deGrasse Tyson for a lively conversation with a panel of entrepreneurs and space historians on what may be our real future in space.

Panelists for the debate will include:

Wanda M. Austin, president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation 

Michael Gold, Director of DC Operations and Business Growth, Bigelow Aerospace

Serves as Chair of Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee, Federal Aviation Administration

John Logsdon, Professor Emeritus, Space Policy & International Affairs, George Washington University

Space Policy analyst and historian

Elliot Pulham, Chief Executive Officer, Space Foundation

The Space Foundation advocates for commercial, military, and government space interests

Tom Shelley, President, Space Adventures, Ltd.

Space Adventures provides opportunities for private spaceflight and space tourism

Robert Walker, Executive Chairman, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates

Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology (1977 – 1997)

(via Space.com, image via American Museum of Natural History)

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