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.More from Are We There Yet? »

Most Recent Episodes

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.

Astronaut Chris Ferguson Ready To Return To Space

Chris Ferguson is a Boeing astronaut and soon he'll command the first crewed mission of Boeing's Starliner on a trip to the International Space Station. It's a bit symbolic that Chris is heading back to space. As a NASA astronaut, he commanded the last space shuttle mission more than seven years ago. It was the last launch of human from U.S. soil. Soon, Ferguson will be one of the first to return the country to the launching business. We are just months away from the first launches of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. Private companies Boeing and SpaceX are poised to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from Florida. Earlier this week, 90.7's space reporter Brendan Byrne sat down with Ferguson to talk about final preparations going into the first few flights of Starliner and what he misses most about being in space.

The Great Pluto Debate

The debate over Pluto's planethood has been reinvigorated once again, thanks to a new paper co-authored by a University of Central Florida planetary scientist. Back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union adopted new classification rules. In order for an object to be considered a planet it must be the largest gravitational force in its orbit. In Pluto's case, its orbit is influenced by neighboring Neptune, so according to the IAU, what was once our 9th planet is no longer a planet. Instead, Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet. Phil Metzger co-authored the paper that is re-examining the debate. He is a planetary scientist at the Florida Space Institute at UCF so he stopped by to talk about the paper and the case for classifying planets.

NASA's Next Generation Of Astronauts

Last week, NASA announced Commercial Crew mission assignments. The Commercial Crew program will launch astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011. NASA is doing it with private companies SpaceX and Boeing. In this episode we'll meet the astronauts flying on Boeing's CST-100 Starliner: Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, Suni Williams, Josh Cassada and Eric Boe. Also, SpaceNews.com's senior staff writer Jeff Foust brings us up to speed on the latest developments of the Commercial Crew program ahead of a launch later this year.

A Mission To Touch The Sun

A spacecraft is about to launch on a mission to the sun, coming closer than any other spacecraft has ever come before and zooming through the solar system with mind-boggling speed. The Parker Solar Probe is being sent to our star to study its corona. Scientists hope they can uncover some of the mysteries of the corona and help better predict space weather. And because we probably won't get to any other stars anytime soon, scientists say they'll use the data from the mission to better understand the other stars in our universe. Parker launches from Kennedy Space Center August 11 on a ULA Delta IV Heavy. Ahead of the launch, we spoke with Alex Young, Associate Director for Science, Heliophysics Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Water On Mars

I'm sure you saw the headlines this week: "Water on Mars." It's a huge discovery on the red planet but what does it mean for our future exploration on Mars? A study published this week in Science unveiled the discovery of the possibility of an underground body of water. The findings are tantalizing to scientists who are searching for signs of life on the red planet or to use as a resource to create fuel for future human explorers. To break down the news we're joined by Dan Batchledor, head of physics at Florida Tech.

Now Is A Great Time To Check Out Mars

Like all planets, the Earth and Mars orbit the sun but they do it at different speeds. Earth orbits about twice as fast as Mars, so every two years or so, they catch up to each other. The Mars Opposition is happening at the end of this month. That means Mars and the sun are on opposite sides of the Earth, giving an up-close view of the red planet – the closest it has been in 15 years. To talk more about this event we're joined by Derek Demeter to the podcast. He's an astronomer, astrophotographer and Director of Seminole State College Planetarium in Central Florida.

Trouble On The HI-SEAS

A simulated Mars mission was cut short earlier this year after a crew member was injured. Just what happened in the fake Mars habitat in Hawaii and what does that mean for future experiments? Last year we spoke with a participant in the HI-SEAS experiment. That's the simulated Mars base camp that's actually in Hawaii. It's a chance for scientists to observe how people live in work in the simulated isolation of a future Mars mission. Well, the program was heading into its 6th mission back in February, but something happened that cut it short. Marina Koren is a science reporter at The Atlantic. Her piece When a Mars Simulation Goes Wrong takes a deep dive into what happened that halted the experiment and what this means for future martian analogs.

Back To Top