What were the top five reads on Filling Space for 2019?

This year, Filling Space published over 60 interviews. The experts we interviewed all engage with space in interesting but very diverse ways. They include artists, lawyers, activists, scientists, engineers, historians, musicians, authors, and more. They are all connected by a common interest – their love of space! The following five interviews were those on Filling Space that were most read in 2019.

The Martian Subsurface: A Shielded Environment for Life?

We spoke with a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to hear his thoughts about the potential for Mars’ subsurface to host life. He explained what we known about the subsurface. He described how this knowledge compares to our understanding of Earth’s subsurface. Lastly, he spoke about why we ought to keep looking for evidence of life on the Red Planet.

Helping Hand: From Short Story to Love, Death & Robots

We spoke with the author of a short story that was turned into an episode on this popular Netflix series. She spoke about how it felt to see her story be exposed to a global audience in another medium. She described her personal experience and growth as a sci-fi author. Finally, she provided tips to other aspiring authors.

The African Space Race

We spoke to three experts in Africa about the space sector on the continent. They provided their insights on the interrelationship of the sector’s commercial and military aspects. They described the current state of play for Africa’s launch capacity. They discussed how the development of Africa’s space sector might affect other parts of the economy. Lastly, they suggested ways Africa might develop its space-sector expertise more quickly.

Should Humans Stay on Earth?

We asked a futurist scholar about the existential risk that space colonization poses to humanity. He explained that leaving Earth carries risks, not just benefits. He described why we should be more careful when planning to travel to the stars. Finally, he described how he came to be interested in writing about such niche topics.

Religion and Space Colonization

We interviewed a space philosopher to learn about religion’s potential role in advancing space colonization. He specifically discussed how religious ideology could be used to advance people’s willingness to colonize Mars. He explained how he ended up becoming a “space philosopher”. Lastly, he described others’ reactions to his rather esoteric area of scholarship.