When I originally set out to interview Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, I sought his commentary on the Blue Marble photograph taken during Apollo 17 in 1972. I was putting together a retrospective on the image, and after having spoken with Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt and CSA astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, I thought that Dr. Tyson could provide great commentary given his status as an astrophysicist and tenure as the director of the Hayden Planetarium. The piece, however, went to press before I secured the interview with him, so the Blue Marble was a very brief jumping off point into a conversation far more insightful than anything I could have anticipated.
This is one of the longest interviews we’ve done, so settle in with a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed.