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‘Cosmos’ returns to TV in 2019 with new twists

Ship of the Imagination on 'Cosmos'
The Ship of the Imagination is getting ready to set sail again in “Cosmos: Possible Worlds,” due to air on Fox and National Geographic in the spring of 2019. (Fox via YouTube)

Like hope, “Cosmos” springs eternal.

That’s the message Ann Druyan is delivering with the news that “Cosmos,” the science-minded TV show pioneered by her late husband, world-renowned physicist Carl Sagan, is returning to Fox and National Geographic in the spring of 2019.

“I would love for this show to be a kind of initiation experience for as many people around the world as possible, into the awesome power of science as a way to keep us from lying to each other, and lying to ourselves,” she told reporters today during a teleconference.

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How Neil deGrasse Tyson got out-geeked

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts “StarTalk” from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. (Credit: National Geographic Channel)

Few people can geek out to a movie harder than astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, but he met his match when it came to Thor’s hammer.

Tyson, who’s the director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium as well as the host of such TV shows as “StarTalk” and “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” is likely to tell the tale during his sold-out lectures at Seattle’s Paramount Theater on Sept. 21 and 22.

He may also touch on the other Hollywood reality checks he’s conducted over the years – like the time he went on a Twitter rant over the scientific inaccuracies in “Gravity,” or complained about a screwed-up sky in “Titanic” (which led director James Cameron to correct the scene for the film’s re-release in 3-D).

After all, the title of his talk is “An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies.”

The tempest over Mjolnir, the hammer wielded by Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel movies), marks one of the rare times when Tyson admits he was out-geeked at the movies.

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Elon Musk’s Mars plan sparks a nerd fight

Image: Musk in Dragon
SpaceX’s Elon Musk sits in a Crew Dragon capsule during its unveiling in 2014. (Credit: SpaceX)

Is SpaceX founder Elon Musk crazy to press ahead with plans to send people to Mars? Or crazy like a fox? A rehash of discouraging words from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has sparked a renewed debate over Musk’s grand plan.

Tyson’s pronouncements actually date back to last November, when he told The Verge in an interview that people were deluding themselves if they thought private enterprise alone could send people to Mars.

“The delusion is thinking that SpaceX is going to lead the space frontier,” Tyson said. “That’s just not going to happen.”

He explained that interplanetary spaceflight is just too expensive and risky, with too little of an initial return on investment, to make sense as a private venture. “A government has a much longer horizon over which it can make investments,” Tyson said. (He told Larry King pretty much the same thing months earlier.)

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