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Sometimes science news is less about stuff that actually happened, as much as it is about people going "PAY ATTENTION TO ME" and space news is no exception. In fact this week there was probably as much hype as real news, all in the name of bringing people's attention to the importance of space exploration, but Hank is sharing it all with you in this episode of SciShow.

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Hank Green: We here at SciShow News like to give ya hard, crunchy, chewy science news whenever we can. Sometimes, though, the news is less about stuff that actually happened than it is about people going "pay attention to me!", and space news is no exception. In fact, this week there was probably as much hype as real news, all in the name of bringing people's attention to the importance of space exploration. Canadian pop stars are doing it, the Chinese are doing it... when's it gonna be my turn?


So. How do you get people interested in space science? Well, you're looking at the most obvious way right now, if you ask me: YouTube.

This week, China began its last manned space mission for the foreseeable future, and it looks like it'll be devoted mostly to publicizing space's awesomeness online, or maybe just China's awesomeness for being in space. On Tuesday, the Chinese government launched the final mission to its temporary prototype space station called Tiangong, or "Heavenly Palace". The Shenzhou 10 mission will be the fifth and second-longest undertaken by a manned spacecraft from the country, and by some appearances, most of what the Chinese astronauts will be accomplishing in space will just be talking about being in space.

The crew will practice docking and test on-board systems and stuff for future missions to a larger, permanent space station, but the highlight will involve teacher and second-ever female Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping taking a cue from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Over a series of video lectures, she'll be beaming space science lessons from Tiangong station back to Earth, primarily to Chinese classrooms. No word yet on whether the Chinese government will actually post these videos on YouTube, and whether the lessons will feature Yaping covering David Bowie or brushing her teeth in zero gravity remains to be seen. China says it plans to start building Tiangong's permanent replacement in segments between 2015 and 2020.

Another way to get people's attention? Send a celebrity up into space. Now, whatever you might think of Justin Bieber, it looks like he's gonna get to space before your or I will. Last week, The Biebs purchased a seat aboard Virgin Galactic's commercial space flight on Spaceship 2, along with his agent, record label owner Scooter Braun. There's no date set yet for when we'll get to see these two guys launched. Spaceship 2 just conducted its first rocket-powered test flight in April, and isn't expected to actually reach sub-orbital space even in demonstrations until the end of the year. But, for $250,000, Bieber saved a spot on the spacecraft's premier voyage into space for just a few minutes, so he probably won't have time to make a music video up there like he's already promised/threatened to do, which is a good thing because there's no way that he would outdo Chris Hadfield.

So, how else to get people to care about space science? Well, you can always do what NASA's always done: do science in space. Last week, while Sir Richard Branson was tweeting to the world about Bieber, NASA launched CIBER, the Cosmic Infrared Background ExpeRiment, a suite of tools that will measure the ancient light of the universe. See, the first stars ever formed produced a crapton of ultraviolet light, but since their formation the expansion of the universe has stretched those short ultraviolet waves into long near-infrared waves that we can't see, but CIBER can see those wavelengths and record them, so NASA scientists look at the patterns in the near-infrared waves that might give us information about the stars' formation. That's cool enough to get the kids' attention, right?

Then, in two weeks NASA will also launch Iris [the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph] to look at a little-understood region of the solar atmosphere called the interface region. The innermost part of the Sun's atmosphere, the interface region is where energy first passes from the Sun into the rest of the Solar System. Iris will be able to capture high-resolution images and measure infrared light coming from this region, giving us for the first time a close look at the area where all the energy in the solar system comes from. Pretty slick.

See, actual space science makes its own press, but that doesn't mean I don't wanna be making videos from space one day too. Actually, I'm not sure if I do, 'cause of the vomit, but if you, if you wanna see me vomit in space, let me know in the comments below.

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