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

Just How Close Are We To Putting Humans On Mars?

UCF's Phil Metzger, WMFE's Brendan Byrneand WKMG's Emilee Speck For the past three years, WMFE's podcast 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 archeteture, there's still a lot of challenges to overcome before humans can step foot on another work. 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.

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.

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.

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