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Breaking Down Space Army, Space Travel, and More Strange Science News

The great theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking passed away last night, the president is talking about building a military “space force,” and Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are still competing to see who will dominate space travel. Talk about a big day for science. This is why we dedicated today’s Nerdist News Talks Back to breaking it all down.

Today’s guest host Hector Navarro was joined by Nerdist editors Alicia Lutes and Kyle Hill, as well as Nerdist News writer Aliza Pearl. They start with the sad news that the great Stephen Hawking, one of the most important scientists and thinkers in the history of mankind, passed away at the age of 76. But rather than dwell on this immeasurable loss we wanted to celebrate everything he gave us, so they discuss what made him so special and important.

While we normally prefer to avoid politics on the show, it’s hard to ignore when the president says he wants to start a military-style “space force.” No, not NASA, think like the Navy but for space. Um, could this actually happen? If so, there are a number of sci-franchises to model it on. But we’re way more intrigued by the fact that a year in space changed seven percent of astronaut Scott Kelly’s DNA.

Finally, definitely-not-supervillains Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos continue to ramp up their investments in space travel. Who do we think has the edge in the future of space exploration? And just in case these two mega-rich guys are intent on world domination, which one would make for a better supreme leader?

Nerdist News Talks Back airs every Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. PT live on our YouTube and Alpha channels, and we end the week with our all new show Nerdist News What the Fridays at 1 p.m. PT, only at Alpha. We’re here for all of your pop culture needs, as well as all of your science ones too.

We want to hear from you now, so talk back to us in the comments below.

Images: HBO, Lucasfilm

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