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

Space News Round Table: Starship, Exoplanets & Human Space Flight

It's been a busy few days for space news. We're unrolling a new segment on the podcast this week — a round table of space journalists based here in Florida to break down the latest headlines and offer insight and analysis of all the top space news stories. The Orlando Sentinel's Chabeli Herrera, WKMG's Emilee Speck and Florida Today's Emre Kelly join the podcast to talk about SpaceX's Starship development, the search for exoplanets and NASA's missions to launch humans to the International Space Station and the moon. This conversation was recorded Monday, August 5th at 9:00 a.m. By the time you get to listen to this episode, some details might have changed.

NASA's TESS Space Telescope Uncovers Hundreds Of New Worlds Outside Our Solar System

NASA's planet hunting satellite has completed its first year of science in space. The spacecraft searched the southern sky for signs of so-called exoplanets. The mission seeks to answer one of science's age-old questions: are we alone in the universe? The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, identifies planets outside our solar system by staring at the stars. When a planet passes between the star and the spacecraft, the light of that star dims. TESS measures the dip in light — and scientists can use that data to determine what kind of planet is causing the dimming. This week, NASA announced TESS has found a new planet about 31 light years away that exists in the so-called habitable zone — meaning it's the right distance away from its host star to have liquid water. The observations will help future telescopes, both on the ground and in space, make even more detailed observations of these planets and search for signs of life. To talk about the spacecraft's first year of science, we're joined by Mark Clampin. He's the Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA's TESS Space Telescope Uncovers Hundreds Of New Worlds Outside Our Solar System

Apollo Then & Now: Photo Series Captures Space Coast Change Fifty Years After Moon Missions

In the 1960's, NASA's Apollo program spurred growth and development on Florida's SpaceCoast. Fifty years later, the lasting impact of the program can still be seen. Photographer Jim Hobart set out to document those changes for a special photo project for WMFE. He recreated photos found from the 1960's and you can compare his new photos with the old using a slider tool. We speak with Hobart, along with Ben Brotemarkle from the Florida Historical Society to talk about the project and the impact Apollo had on Florida's Space Coast.

Apollo Then & Now: Photo Series Captures Space Coast Change Fifty Years After Moon Missions

Apollo Missions Inspired Generation Of Engineers, Scientists

When Niel Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, millions tuned in live to watch the event. The moon landing inspired many to pursue an education and career in aerospace in what is now called the Apollo effect. Phil Metzerger was one of those kids who grew up around the Apollo program on Florida's Space Coast and went on to study engineering and eventually work at NASA. He was nudged by his dad, Theodore Metzger, who worked on the Apollo program. Now, Metzger works at UCF's Florida Space Institute as a planetary scientist. Phil rejoins the podcast to talk about growing up in the era of Apollo.

Apollo Flight Controllers: The People Who Made Moon Missions Happen

After launching from Kennedy Space Center, controllers in Houston, Texas took over the operation of the Apollo missions — keeping a watchful eye on the crew and vehicle as it made the nearly quarter-million mile trip to the moon. One of those flight controllers was Gerry Griffin. We spoke about the role controllers played during the Apollo program and how the team handled the challenges and triumphs of the first moon missions — including the famous "SCE to AUX" fix that saved Apollo 12.

The Bills: What Does NASA's Leadership Shakeup Mean For Moon Plans?

Two senior NASA officials have been ousted from their positions. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said associate administrator Bill Gerstenmaier and deputy associate administrator Bill Hill have been reassigned within the agency. Bridenstine said the move is meant to help meet the challenge of landing humans on the moon by 2024, a deadline set by the Trump administration. Will this streamline the effort or cloud the mission with uncertainty? To unpack the news of the shakeup, we're joined by Tim Fernholz. He's a senior reporter at Quartz and the author of "Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and The New Space Race."

NASA Needs New Space Suits

Astronauts on the International Space Station use a specialized suit called the Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU, to work outside the space station safely. The suits were delivered to the station in the 1980s and are in need of an upgrade. The suits made headlines earlier this year when what would be the first all-female spacewalk was postponed due to a lack of sizing for the innards of one of the EMUs. Florida Today space reporter Antonia Jaramillo took a look at the history of the suit, the challenges NASA faces upgrading the equipment and what the agency is thinking about for moon or Mars suits in a piece published earlier this month.

When We Leave This Planet

As opportunities grow, space philosopher Frank White says it's time to starting thinking about issues arising out of the human expansion into our solar system. White is the author of "The Overview Effect" which chronicles the cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. But now more and more humans will leave this planet, thanks to private companies like Blue Origin & Virgin Galactic — and other thinkers and innovators like Elon Musk foresee a future where people live on other planets. In his new book "The Cosma Hypothesis," White challenges us to think about broad, philosophical issues that relate to human spaceflight and to outline some ground rules for all of humanity to follow.

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

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