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From the 8/26/27 Saturday Night Special on WGN Radio (listen):

This week, millions of Americans turned their– hopefully protected– eyes skyward to observe the eclipse, and social media filled with blurry images of the event, stories about when the total eclipse last passed this way and of veteran reporters getting endearingly misty at the sight of totality, and tons of other stories about that proverbial final frontier: space.

Indeed, once merely the backdrop of moonlight and twinkly stars, or something in a galaxy far far away, space is still a source of awe and wonder for even the cynical, especially as we now begin to factor in tech giants like Amazon flirting with the technology of sending cargo to future space settlements, big players in the tech space like Elon Musk of SpaceX and others taking steps to privatize space travel. The future, as it is often said, is now.

Although we learn more and more about space every day, and events like this week’s eclipse help us to learn even more still. It’s a scientific, logical and exact place and academic area of study, yet it also has the power to inspire a sense of awe to defy all that logic, even by those in the field itself.

Tonight on the Saturday Night Special, we’ll talk about space, the things we’ve hypothesized as we’ve gazed upon the night sky for centuries, all the way to how we’re thinking about it and venturing into it now. We’ll look at those players in the tech space and the ethical, historic and scientific issues their work raises… we’ll learn a little about what we learned from scientists’ work during this week’s eclipse, we’ll take a look at the study of space and where we’re looking next, and we’ll look back the great Space Race, and look at who made history and why.

As ever, we’ll be joined by experts to help us talk through this topic that is, perhaps literally, infinite.

We’ll be joined by author and tech writer Alex Salkever, by head of Astronomy Education at Adler Planetarium, Michelle Nichols, who you right remember– we talked to her earlier in the summer to help us get ready for the eclipse, and with Dr. John Tures, professor of political science.

As ever, we have a lot to do, a lot to discuss and a lot to learn tonight, but we’re going to make some time for your calls, 312-981-7200– and esteemed producer Tom Hush will be the voice on the other end of the line or you can find me on twitter and tweet about how you geek out on space.

We’ll be right back to get this conversation underway, on 720-WGN.