Bill Nye is on a mission.
When the bow-tie-wearing star hits the dance floor on the 17th season premiere of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" (airing Sept. 16), he wants to do more than just master the cha-cha.
He wants to educate folks about space.
On his blog for the science organization The Planetary Society, the "Bill Nye the Science Guy" host called on his fellow members and colleagues to help him spread the word to get "DWTS" viewers excited about space exploration.
"In order for us to carry out our mission to get the world — our world — excited about and supportive of space exploration, we need to engage people everywhere," Nye wrote. "The show is watched by millions. I'll be there as your CEO of The Planetary Society and a student of Carl Sagan… As unusual as this may seem, I believe we can broaden awareness of the Society and thereby humankind's exploration of the Cosmos one ballroom dance at a time."
Nye has long been working to raise awareness about NASA's cut space exploration budget, and last year he urged his fans to send a letter to the President asking him to restore it. In an interview with CNN he said, "Investment in space stimulates society, it stimulates it economically, it stimulates it intellectually, and it gives us all passion… If we found life on Mars, or evidence of life on Mars, it would change the way everybody thinks about everything. It would change the way you think about your place in space."
As for his launch onto the dance floor, the educational icon really believes that science is similar to the samba. He told E!, "I became an engineer because I love physics, physics is the study of motion, and we're all moving when you dance."
Nye, 57, isn't the first space guy to trade a rocket for a rumba. Buzz Aldrin landed in 10th place when he competed on the show in 2010. But this season's science guy hopes to go even further with his professional dancing partner, "DWTS" newbie Tyne Stecklein (can't wait to see their chemistry!).
The one thing that could do him in? His posture.
The super scientist revealed that during his dancing mission he'll be fighting decades of bad posture, which could ultimately be his "undoing." But Nye vowed that he's a competitive guy who's in this adventure to win it.
The self-described "nerd icon" seems up for the mission. After his "DWTS" casting was announced, he tweeted:
Watch an episode of "Bill Nye the Science Guy":
"Dancing With the Stars" Season 17 premieres on Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
- Bill Nye
- Planetary Society
- space exploration