Oddly, failed GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was hooted when he proposed establishing a permanent base on the moon during the last presidential campaign.
But space is cool again, and Seth MacFarlane (no less) is behind the latest series, which is based on the 1980 television show “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” hosted by the late Carl Sagan.
Sagan was the first pop-culture astronomer, astrophysicist and cosmologist, since, well, Galileo in the 16th Century. MacFarlane has teamed up with his widow Ann Druyan to executive produce the new show.
The Fox docu-series is supposed to reacquaint the American people with the romance of space exploration, symbolized by the U.S. landing on the moon in the 1960s.
Since then all manned efforts have been focused on near space through the Shuttle program, although unmanned space probes continue planetary expeditions.
Obama, a space enthusiast has talked about sending a manned expedition to Mars, set the stage for the show with his introduction.
“America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream big and reach farther than others imagine,” he said.
“Today we’re doing everything we can to bring that same sense of possibility to a new generation, because there are new frontiers to explore and we need Americans eager to explore them,” he added.
With a flagging economy, high unemployment and pressing domestic problems, like poverty and health care, it may be difficult to rouse much support for spending scarce tax dollars on space.
Still, it’s a great diversion.
On the premiere show, renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about the universe as a limitless expanse of space and time, a proposition first put forth by Renaissance friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet and astronomer Giordano Bruno.
Tyson also talks about Sagan, who was his mentor at the time Sagan was hosting the original series, the most popular public television show of all time.
Check out Obama’s message below and a trailer from the show and be sure to follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest pop culture news.