I've been fortunate to work on some very interesting projects and technologies -- and, at times, the media have taken interest. I've also consulted on a few science fiction books; talk about fun!
Les was interviewed for this "Encyclopedia Galactica" of non-Earth life forms, and an investigation into the latest scientific understanding of life beyond planet Earth. ALIENS: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE showcases the scientists who are currently grappling with extraordinary questions about alien life including: what will aliens really look like?; how will they sound?; how might they get here? what might their words look like; and, of course, will they come in peace? This two-part special takes viewers to stunning, remote locations on Earth as well as elsewhere in the universe.
If we faced a countdown to destruction, could we build a spacecraft to take us to new and habitable worlds? Can we Evacuate Earth? NGC's two-hour special examines this terrifying but scientifically plausible scenario by exploring how we could unite to ensure the survival of the human race. If you want to know my favorite way to take us to the stars, then watch the show and find out...
I am honored to be featured as an interstellar explorer in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic Magazine "125th Anniversary Special Issue - Why We Explore."
Les appeared in 3 (of 5) episodes of the The Science Channel series, "Exodus Earth." They interviewed me last fall about solar sails, aerocapture, and the feasibility of interstellar travel.
Les was one of many scientists and engineers interviewed for this documentary in which we describe how we might one day travel to another star. Segments of the interview were used in their "Saucer Tech" series, interwoven with stories of UFO sightings. While I don't believe we are being visited by aliens, the documentary is still interesting. If you would like to learn more, click here.
Space is a visually impressive six-part popular science series from the BBC. Sam Neill is our earthbound anchor, and he takes the viewer on journeys across the universe in each half-hour segment, thanks to some nifty special effects. Like Carl Sagan's pioneering Cosmos from 1980, Space delves in to the mysteries of how stars and planets were created; but unlike Sagan's visionary and optimistic view of cosmic wonders, Space is astronomy for the Age of Anxiety, revealing with terrifying clarity and in graphic detail how fortunate we are to exist at all, and how it could all end at any moment as a result of space-bound monsters like rogue comets and asteroids that might crash into our planet; or, the worst horror of the universe, wandering black holes that could tear our sun apart. The series finds cause for optimism with Star Trek-style speculations on the development of Ion-drive and solar-powered spaceships (guess who was interviewed for this segment?), terraforming new worlds and wormhole technology that might, just might, allow humanity to escape from Earth.
Copyright by Les Johnson. All rights reserved.