Are We There Yet? When it comes to human space exploration, we're on the brink of something big. Join host Brendan Byrne, space reporter at 90.7 WMFE in Orlando, Fla., as he explores the advances in human space exploration. From conversations with the engineers and scientists building the technology one day heading to Mars, to talks with visionaries and leaders who want to take humankind to deep space, the Are We There Yet? podcast reveals the next chapters in human space exploration.
Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

From WMFE

When it comes to human space exploration, we're on the brink of something big. Join host Brendan Byrne, space reporter at 90.7 WMFE in Orlando, Fla., as he explores the advances in human space exploration. From conversations with the engineers and scientists building the technology one day heading to Mars, to talks with visionaries and leaders who want to take humankind to deep space, the Are We There Yet? podcast reveals the next chapters in human space exploration.

Most Recent Episodes

Private Landers And Human Astronauts: A New Focus On The Moon

It has been a busy few weeks for moon news. Just last week, the Israeli non-profit SpaceIL attempted to land on the surface on the moon — a first for a private group. While the landing wasn't successful, the attempt garnered the support of hundreds of thousands of people around the globe watching the event unfold in real time. Last month, the Trump administration charged NASA with putting humans on the moon in the next five years. NASA's administrator Jim Bridenstine has been busy lining up the details — from securing funding from Congress to figuring out what rockets to use to get there. So to make sense of all this moon we're joined by Alex Stuckey, space and science reporter at the Houston Chronicle.

What's New At Bennu? Latest Findings Raising More Questions About Asteroids

An asteroid some 50 million miles away is spewing pebble and rock-sized debris — and scientists don't know why. The findings are the latest from a robotic spacecraft on a mission to visit the asteroid. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft took images of the surface of asteroid Bennu spewing particles into space and some are raining back down on the rocky surface. The spacecraft is set to fly close to the surface of the asteroid, collect a sample of the particles and send it back to Earth. Planetary scientists hope findings from Bennu can uncover how our solar system formed. But the initial findings, especially the observations of the asteroid spewing debris into space, are raising even more questions about asteroids. Joining us in the studio is University of Central Florida's Humberto Campins. He is co-investigator on the mission and joins us to talk about the newest findings and what questions investigators still have.

What's New At Bennu? Latest Findings Raising More Questions About Asteroids

Just How Close Are We To Putting Humans On Mars?

UCF's Phil Metzger, WMFE's Brendan Byrne and WKMG's Emilee Speck For the past three years, WMFE's podcast Are We There Yet? has asked "when it comes to putting humans on Mars, are we there yet?" As the program reaches its third year, host Brendan Byrne asks the question to planetary scientist Phil Metzger and journalist Emilee Speck. From lunar beer to Martian architecture, there's still a lot of challenges to overcome before humans can step foot on another world. UCF's Phil Metzger joins the show to talk about those hurdles and the work being done here on Earth to put humans on Mars. And WKMG's Emilee Speck recaps the past three years in spaceflight news — from robots dying to Dragons launching — and what's on the horizon for human deep space exploration. This episode was recorded live from the WMFE studios in Orlando, Florida, and live-streamed on YouTube. You can look back at the taping here.

What's Next For NASA's Commercial Crew Program?

SpaceX successfully launched its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, docked it to the orbiting outpost, and returned it safely to Earth. While the capsule didn't have a crew — just a test-dummy named Ripley — It was a huge milestone for the private space company which is working with NASA on a contract to send humans to the space station from US soil for the first time since the end of the shuttle program in 2011. That could happen as soon as this summer. NASA is also working with Boeing on its Starliner capsule to accomplish the same goal. The Starliner will launch uncrewed on a similar mission this spring, and would send astronauts soon after. The program has faced multiple delays due to Congressional funding, but with SpaceX's successful mission, all signs point to 2019 being the year of the so called Commercial Crew Program. To talk more about the milestone and missions ahead we're joined by Chris Gebhardt, he's the Assistant Managing Editor at NASA Spaceflight dot com and joins us from Cape Canaveral.

Farewell, Opportunity

After 15 years, NASA has declared Opportunity's mission complete. Earlier this week, the agency tried to contact the Mars rover one last. The rover had been radio silent since June. Designed to only spend 90 days exploring, the mission far exceeded expectations, clocking in at a decade and a half while traversing 28 miles across the red planet. The mission captivated more than just the science community. The photos beamed back from the red planet gave everyone here on Earth incredible views of another world. Opportunity's end was grieved by many online in the form of comic strips, obituaries and remembrances from the people that spent their careers working on the mission. To look back at Opportunity's legacy, we're speaking with Dan Batcheldor. He's the head of Aerospace Physics and Space Sciences at Florida Tech.

Meet The Leader Of "The Mars Generation"

Abigail Harrison wants to be the first person on Mars and she's on a mission to inspire other to to help with those efforts. That's why she stated The Mars Generation, a non-profit dedicated to getting young people involved in STEM and space exploration. The group hosts various outreach events and offers a scholarship for low-income students to attend space camp. Abigail Harrison, otherwise known as Astronaut Abby, joins us from her home in the Twin Cities, to talk about these efforts.

After 50 Years, Apollo 8's "Earthrise" Continues To Inspire

Fifty years ago today, Frank Boreman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders launch from the Kennedy Space Center atop a Saturn V rocket on humanity's first mission to the moon. The trio was the first to leave Earth's orbit and see the Earth as a whole planet. Three days later, when they arrived at the moon, the crew could see the earth rise above the lunar surface Anders snapped a photo, now known as Earthrise, which is called one of the most influential environmental photographs ever taken. The Apollo 8 mission paved the way for future lunar landing missions, too. Now, a group of retired astronauts are remembering the mission, and the photograph, and using it as a tool to inspire future generations of explores. Retired NASA Astronaut Nicole Stott joins the podcast to talk about the significance of the image and how her new program Constellation is inspiring others to view the planet from a different perspective.

What's Ahead For NASA's Martian Robot Geologist?

The red planet just go another robot inhabitant. NASA's Mars InSight lander touched down on November 26 after a six month trip through our solar system. The mission aims to understand what's going on UNDER the martian surface using a suite of geological and seismic tools. It will spend the next few weeks surveying it's landing site before starting its science mission, but in the meantime, the spacecraft has been beaming back tantalizing new pictures from the surface of Mars. So what do scientists hope to learn from InSight? Emily Lakdawalla joins the podcast to answer that question. She's a geologist and also the Senior Editor at the Planetary Society. Emily was at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab during the landing and joins us via Skype today to talk about the mission ahead for InSight.

Launching Rockets With The Air Force's 45th Space Wing

Every rocket that launches from Cape Canaveral falls under the watchful eye of the Air Force's 45th Space Wing. Headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base, the Wing is responsible for the safety of the rocket by monitoring thing like weather, and the safety of the residents of Florida's Space Coast. Air Force leaders want to ramp up launches from the Cape – targeting 48 launches a year. That drive falls under the command of the new leader of the 45th Space Wing, Brigadier General Douglas A. Schiess General Schiess spoke with host Brendan Byrne at Patrick Air Force Base to talk about the 45th's role in launching rockets and upgrades happening at the base to help support more launches.

The Moon, Mars & Cowboy Hats: A Conversation With ULA's Tory Bruno

Tory Bruno. His social media presence is almost as large as the rockets he launches. He's the CEO of United Launch Alliance, the rocket giant responsible for Delta and Atlas rockets. Recently, ULA launched NASA's Parker Solar Probe on a mission to touch the sun, thanks to it's Atlas V rocket ULA has sent more than a dozen missions to Mars, and early next year it will lift Boeing's Commercial Crew capsule, the Starliner, into orbit. We sat down to talk the Atlas' legacy, the commercial crew missions, and ULA's next rocket: The Vulcan.

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