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Science
Astronomy
Natural Sciences

Are We There Yet?

Updated 2 months ago

Science
Astronomy
Natural Sciences
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The Space Exploration Podcast

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The Space Exploration Podcast

iTunes Ratings

296 Ratings
Average Ratings
185
72
18
12
9

Great

By banditobanditobandito - Jan 31 2018
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Awesome show for space and aeronautics nerds.

My favorite new listen

By NGP123 - Feb 28 2017
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Definitely on my short list of shows to not miss every week!

iTunes Ratings

296 Ratings
Average Ratings
185
72
18
12
9

Great

By banditobanditobandito - Jan 31 2018
Read more
Awesome show for space and aeronautics nerds.

My favorite new listen

By NGP123 - Feb 28 2017
Read more
Definitely on my short list of shows to not miss every week!
Cover image of Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Latest release on Aug 04, 2020

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The Space Exploration Podcast

Rank #1: How To Survive On Mars

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When the first Martians arrive on the red planet, not much awaits them. There’s no food, no breathable air, no fuel. All they’ll have is what they brought with them — not much. That’s why researchers and engineers are developing the technology that will take what’s on Mars and turn it into much needed food, water and life-saving oxygen.

Listen back to WMFE’s Speak Series “How To Survive on Mars” with a panel of experts researching the tech that goes into making vital resources on a mission to Mars. Recorded in front of a live audience May 10, 2017 at the studios of WMFE in Orlando, Florida. 

Panelists: 

Nicole Dufour, NASA, Project Manager, VEGGIE
Dufour oversees the VEGGIE experiment, a garden of vegetables on the International Space Station. Astronauts are growing lettuce and cabbage thanks to Dufour and her team, and they’re learning vital lessons in plant growth in microgravity.

Annie Meier, NASA, Chemical Engineer, Exploration Research & Technology Programs
Meier is transforming trash into vital gases like methane, oxygen and water. Her trash-to-gas technology can be used to recycle dinner scraps, wrappers and packaging (and even poo!) into gases that can be used for life support on long duration missions. Meier tested the tech on NASA’s HI-SEAS mission, a simulated 6-month stay on a Martian base-camp.

Dan Batcheldor, Florida Institute of Technology, Department Head, Physics & Space Science

The physics department at FIT is working with NASA to develop dirt that is similar to Martian regolith. The goal is to figure out how to grow crops at a Martian base camp. Researchers at FIT are also trying to grow plants in the Mars-simulant. Batcheldor is an advocate for science literacy, and wrote the book “Astronomy Saves the World: Securing our Future Through Exploration and Education.”

May 12 2017

1hr 16mins

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Rank #2: Exciting Year Ahead For Space Exploration

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There’s a bunch of exciting space exploration mission slated for 2018. From SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to NASA’s next Mars lander, space enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to in the new year.

Chris Gebhardt, NASASpaceflight.com‘s managing editor, joins the program to talk about all the exciting missions ahead this year.

Highlights from Chris’ 2018 watch list:

Cassini

Even thought Cassini crashed into Saturn last year, Gebhardt said there’s still plenty to learn about the ringed planet. “Towards the latter part of it’s final orbits, it was actually brushing up against the top of Saturn’s atmosphere and dip-diving into Saturn,” he said. “All of that data, while it was returned last year in the final days of Cassin’s mission, scientists are analyzing it and looking at all of that.”

LightSail

This Planetary Society-backed project hopes to provide spacecraft propulsion by harnessing the power of the sun in a space “sail”. LightSail captures the particles released from the sun and uses them to push a sail through space. “Once it’s in orbit, it’s going to deploy this really huge sail relative to the size of the spacecraft itself. What they’re going to try to do is use that sail to progressively raise that satellites orbit,” said Gebhardt.

The mission is slated for a launch on Falcon Heavy later this year.

New Horizons Flyby

In 20115, New Horizons thrust Pluto back into the spotlight after sending incredible images of the dwarf planet back to Earth. The spacecraft is now targeting a flyby of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69.

“This mission just keeps on giving in very surprising and intriguing ways,” said Gebhardt. “It’s revealing a lot about a region of the solar system that’s very difficult to see.” The flyby begins in the early hours of January 1, 2019 — but most of the prep is happening in 2018.

NASA’s InSight

The InSight lander launches en route to Mars from South America in May, and when it gets there, it hopes to uncover how rocky planets of the inner solar system, including Earth, came to be more than four billion years ago.

“What’s really cool is that there are CubeSats going on this mission,” said Gebhardt. The tiny satellites will be deployed right before the lander makes its final approach of the red planet, and they’ll be used to help navigate the lander onto the surface of Mars and relay all that information back to Earth. “It’s a really cool experiment to use CubeSats to really help maintain contact with landing spacecraft on another planet.”

Jan 05 2018

58mins

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Rank #3: The Race To Deep Space

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The race to deep space is on. NASA has its eyes set on the moon then Mars, and other private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin have ambitious plans to send humans into deep space. So just how close are we to breaking the bonds of Earth’s gravity once more and exploring other worlds? We’ll speak with Mary Lynn Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration. 

Then – astronomers are picking up a strange signal from somewhere in space. Fast Radio Bursts are puzzling scientists — where are they coming from and what’s causing them? On this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment, we’ll ask our panel of experts about these interesting new waves. 

Mar 03 2020

28mins

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Rank #4: Remote Rovin’: NASA Mars Rover Drivers Are Working From Home. Here’s How They Do It.

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For those of us now working from home, we know there are a few challenges. Your mic doesn’t work on a Zoom meeting, your cat walks across your keyboard, your VPN is busted. Well, imagine your job entails driving a car-sized rover some 100 million miles away on the surface of Mars — all from home.

That’s exactly what the Curiosity Rover team is doing now with great success. NASA’s Alicia Allbaugh leads the Mars rover driving team and joins us to talk about the challenges of remote working and the successes her team has accomplished.

Then, each year scientists get together and plan for the next ten years of discovery. The Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey is underway — so what’s on the horizon? On this week’s installment of “I’d Like to Know,” our expert scientists weigh in on what’s to come in the efforts of planetary discovery.

Apr 21 2020

27mins

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Rank #5: Talking To Aliens

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Are we alone in the universe? Probably not. Scientists are hard at work looking for signs of life here in our solar system and beyond. But what will we say to those extraterrestrials when we find them?

Author and journalist Daniel Oberhaus delves into the efforts to talk with alien civilizations in his new book “Extraterrestrial Languages.” We’ll talk with Oberhaus about the attempts to speak with other civilizations in the universe and why many scientists think it’s a bad idea to reach out to them first.

Then, as we continue to venture into our solar system, there’s a greater need to keep it clean. On this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment, we’ll chat with planetary scientist from the University of Central Florida about keeping our dirty Earth-germs off other planets and moons — and why the search for life depends on it.

Nov 26 2019

28mins

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Rank #6: Moon Shots & Mars Rovers: What You Missed At IAC 2019

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The International Astronautical Congress was last week in Washington D.C. It’s a global assembly of movers and shakers in the space industry — from government agencies to private partners. We’ll chat with the host of the We Martians podcast Jake Robins who attended the conference about the big news in space exploration.

Then, NASA has its sights set on the moon — the south pole of the moon specifically — because of the evidence of water. But just how much water is there? And how do we know? We’ll ask our panel of expert scientists.

Oct 29 2019

26mins

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Rank #7: The Interstellar Travels Of The Twin Voyager Spacecraft

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Ken Chang: Science From Beyond Our Solar System.

Voyager 2 punched a hole through our heliosphere sending it into interstellar space.

The space probe launched more than 40 years ago along with its twin, Voyager 1, on a mission to visit the outer planets. Now the two have exited the boundary of our solar system and are beaming data back to scientists here on Earth.

We’ll speak to The New York Times reporter Ken Chang who wrote about the science coming back from Voyager 2, which was launched 42 years ago from Cape Canaveral on a mission to visit the outer planets of our solar system. 

The spacecraft, along with its twin Voyager 1, is now traveling in interstellar space at more than 35,000 mph.

At that speed, it could travel around the world in less than an hour but, even so, it has taken four decades to leave the solar system all while continuing to transmit data back to Earth.

Scientists are just now digging into that data and it’s painting a new picture of the boundary of our solar system.

I’d Like to Know: The Science of Space Junk.

SpaceX’s Starlink constellation is taking shape. The private company launched 60 satellites into orbit last week that will be part of a network of thousands of satellites to blanket the globe with global, high-speed internet. 

However, some people are concerned that the constellation, along with other planned space-based internet networks, could add to the growing number of space debris and interfere with astronomical observations. 

Josh Colwell, Jim Cooney and Addie Dove, planetary scientists at the University of Central Florida and hosts of the podcast “Walk About the Galaxy” talk about the science of these constellations and the risks so many satellites zooming around in space might pose.

Got a question for “I’d Like to Know”? Send it in! Shoot us an email at arewethereyet@wmfe.org.

Space News Headlines

NASA OIG

A report released by NASA’s Inspector General says the agency’s commercial crew program is facing additional delays and questions some $157 million awarded to one of those contractors: Boeing.

According to the report, in 2016 Boeing was paid a so-called premium of $287 million to alleviate perceived delays to the program, but SpaceX wasn’t offered a similar opportunity.

The Inspector General criticized Commercial Crew managers for offering the additional money for Starliner missions, calling $157 million of that payment “unnecessary costs.”

In a statement, NASA disagrees with the inspector’s characterization. Boeing says the bidding process was quote fair and open and disagrees with the OIG’s findings.

The report outlines delays in developing the parachutes, propulsion and launch abort systems of the spacecraft. Because of those challenges, the space agency won’t send Commercial Crew astronauts to the station until at least Summer 2020.

Both companies are coming up on critical tests of their capsules that will help solidify human launch dates. Boeing is set to launch an uncrewed capsule to the station next month. And in just a few weeks, SpaceX will test the abort motors of the Crew Dragon Capsule mid flight after launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

Complicated Spacewalk

The latest spacewalks center around a cosmic ray detector on the International Space Station’s exterior that needs repair.

The $2 billion instrument is searching for antimatter and dark matter. It was designed to operate only for three years, but upgrading the instrument’s cooling system can keep it running an additional 10 years.

Another spacewalk is scheduled for this week to attach plumbing to the new cooling system.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour delivered the instrument to the space station on the next-to-last shuttle flight back in 2011.

What’s Ahead?

Next week, we’ll speak with Daniel Oberhaus, journalist and author of Extraterrestrial Languages on the efforts to make first contact with alien civilizations. Oberhaus recounts early efforts to speak to intelligent life in the universe and the debate among scientist about what we should say — or if we should even say anything at all.

Elizabeth Gondar is a WMFE intern and provided production assistance for this ‘Are We There Yet?’ episode. 

Nov 20 2019

28mins

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Rank #8: Interstellar Comet Visits Our Solar System, Awes Astronomers

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Astronomers have their eyes on a rare comet zooming 100,000 miles per hour through our solar system. It’s rare because it’s coming from outside our solar system. The comet named 2I/Borisov is the first confirmed interstellar comet.

The Hubble space telescope captured stunning images of the comet. Scientists are pouring through the data to figure out what it’s made of and where it came from. That information can help us better understand our universe. We’ll talk with planetary astronomer Heidi Hammel about what we know — and don’t yet know — about this incredible discovery.

Then, there’s a lot of talk about life on Mars, but how do we actually find it? This week on “I’d Like to Know,” we’ll chat with our panel of planetary scientists about the likelihood of finding signs of life on the red planet and where else in the solar system we should be looking.

Dec 17 2019

28mins

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Rank #9: A Decade of Commercial Space Innovation

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Over the last decade, there’s been a change in how things get to space. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has been looking to commercial companies to fill the void. We’ll take a look at the “paradigm shift in the business of space” with The Verge’s senior science reporter Loren Grush. Her recent piece for the online publication examines the commercial boom in the 2010s led largely by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. We’ll talk about that growth and what’s ahead for private space in the 2020s.

Then, are we alone in the universe? Surely we’re not and statistics can prove it. But why haven’t we uncovered any evidence of life outside our planet? A conversation about the Fermi paradox with our panel of planetary science experts on this week’s segment “I’d Like to Know”.

Dec 31 2019

28mins

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Rank #10: Life On The HI-SEAS

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Before we send humans to Mars, it’s probably a smart idea to do a few test runs first, right? That’s what analogs are for. They’re a great way to test the human aspect of space exploration.

HI-SEAS is one of those analogs. The ‘Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation’ is a habitat on an isolated Mars-like site on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The habitat is about 1,200 square feet and has a small sleeping quarters for a crew of six, as well as a kitchen, laboratory, simulated airlock and of course a bathroom.

The location also has a geology similar to Mars, so a crew can perform similar ‘outside’ tasks as if they were on Mars. They have to suit up in an air lock and use space suits to step outside.

Each mission in HI-SEAS looks to test the human factors of a Mars mission. The last mission, HI-SEAS V, was an 8 month stay for 6 test subjects.

One of those test subjects was Brian Ramos. He’s a Portuguese-American pursuing a life of exploration. He grew up in Rhode Island and holds dual engineering degrees in biomedical and electrical engineering.

Dec 15 2017

19mins

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Rank #11: How To Land A Rocket Booster

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SpaceX successful launched and landed a “flight proven” rocket booster, the second time this particular booster has seen action and making space flight history.

It’s an important step in the company’s effort to utilize rocket re-usability to lower the cost of access to space. Long term, however, it’s an imperative skill necessary to colonize Mars as outlined by SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk.

On an episode earlier this month, we spoke with NASASpaceflight.com’s assistant managing editor Chris Gebhardt about what this means for Musk’s Mars plans.

How SpaceX lands boosters. Click to enlarge.

But just what goes into the engineering feat of landing a 180 foot tall booster that’s rocketing through the sky? How does SpaceX guide the booster back to land or the barge? And what keeps aerodynamic and thermal forces from ripping apart the thin-skinned booster? Fellow space podcaster Anthony Collangelo, host of the “Main Engine Cut Off” podcast joins us to talk about just what goes into bringing the booster safely back to earth.

Apr 27 2017

21mins

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Rank #12: On The Way To An Asteroid

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OSIRIS-REx is zooming towards the asteroid Bennu. It’s on a mission to collect a sample of asteroid “dirt” and send it back to Earth. Scientists hope to uncover the building blocks of life in the solar system. The spacecraft launched last summer, so what’s it up to these days?

The mission’s principle investigator Dante Lauretta joins the podcast to update us on the mission so far, tell us what’s ahead this summer for OSIRIS-REx and explains how social media and board games are building interest for planetary science.

Jun 02 2017

29mins

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Rank #13: What To Do With Space Waste?

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A few months ago, NASA asked the internet for ideas on how to deal with poop and pee inside a flight suit. You see, astronauts need to wear a spacesuit during launch and when the return back to earth. It’s kinda like it’s own little spacecraft — pressurized and with it’s own life support system. That’s in case anything goes wrong during launch or landing. Since we’ve only been working in low-earth orbit, urine and feces hasn’t really been a big deal. Astronauts are in the suit for only a few hours. For number 1, they wear a diaper. For number 2, they just hold it.

But as we look to farther destinations, like the moon or mars, if something goes wrong they could be in those suits for a long time — up to 6 days. Can’t hold it that long! NASA asked for ideas to remove urine and feces from the body, and clean up any waste that might stick.

Thatcher Cardon is an Air Force Flight Surgeon and Family Physician. He was one of the winners of the competition, taking home the first place nod. His idea was an inflatable bedpan that removes the waste and a laparoscopic wand that could be used to clean up any mess left behind.

Apr 14 2017

14mins

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Rank #14: From Cave To Cosmos: A History Of Human Exploration

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Exploration is hardwired into our DNA. From early humans in sub-Saharan Africa to the Apollo moon walkers, humans have always had a thirst for knowledge and the need to understand the world around them. 

Andrew Rader is a SpaceX mission manager. He’s one of the many new-age explorers now reaching out to the stars. He’s also an historian and author of a new book Beyond the Known: How Exploration Created the Modern World and Will Take Us to the Stars. We’ll speak with Rader about humanity’s storied history exploring our world and the efforts to expand into our solar system.

Then, are we living in the only version of this universe? We explore the idea of a multiverse with our panel of expert scientists this week on our segment “I’d Like to Know.”

Dec 03 2019

28mins

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Rank #15: Musk Updates Mars Plans, Pence Sends US To The Moon

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Elon Musk has a new plan for Mars. The SpaceX founder unveiled his updated vision for Mars and more at this year’s International Astronautical Conference. It’s a bit more scaled down than before but still ambitious, in true Elon fashion.

And just this week, the Trump Administration’s National Space Council met for the first time, cementing the administration’s plans to head to the moon.

So what does this all mean for space exploration? Mashable’s Deputy Science Editor Miriam Kramer joins the podcast to break it down.

Be sure to follow Miriam on Twitter for more space news. 

Clarification: SpaceX confirmed the Iridum-3 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Station will use a new launch vehicle and attempt a Pacific Ocean droneship landing.

The EchoStar 105/SES-11 launch from Kennedy Space Center will use a flight-proven booster and attempt an Atlantic Ocean droneship landing.

Oct 06 2017

25mins

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Rank #16: Designing The Next Spacesuit

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For future missions to the moon or Mars, astronauts are going to need a new suit. Engineers like MIT’s Dava Newman are hard at work — but it’s a big ask. Designing a suit that protects astronauts while still allowing them the mobility to work in space or on another planet is tough. We’ll speak with Newman about the design challenges of making a new spacesuit and how the work done at her lab could help all of us here on Earth.

Then, we know the speed of light, the speed of sound — but what about the speed of gravity? This week on “I’d Like to Know” we chat with our panel of experts on the intricate measurement of gravity and how colliding black holes are helping us understand its speed.

Dec 10 2019

28mins

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Out Of This World: Building Helicopters To Explore The Solar System

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover launched last week carrying a stow-away — a tiny helicopter named Ingenuity. If it works, it will be the first helicopter on another world and engineers and scientists are eagerly awaiting the results of the test flight, calling it Mars’ Wright Brother moment.

Ingenuity might be the first, but it certainly won’t be the last. Work is underway on another off-planet helicopter named Dragonfly, with a plan to send it to Saturn’s moon Titan in 2027.

So why helicopters? And what challenges must engineers overcome to fly on another world? We’ll speak with Mike Kinzel, an assistant professor in UCF’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who’s working on the Dragonfly vehicle.

Then, a space-based telescope has discovered a planet orbiting two suns. They’re called circumbinary planets and if we were on the surface, we’d see a sunset similar to the fictional home of Luke Skywalker on Tatooine.

Our panel of expert scientists explain the physics of two-star systems and why they’re more common in the universe than we might expect.

Aug 04 2020

27mins

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Space News Roundup – Mars Rovers, Astronaut Splashdown & Mission: Impossible (Possibly In Space)

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Astronaut splash downs, Martian missions and a new Mission:Impossible movie shot in space — there’s a lot going on up there. We’ll dive into the space news headlines this week with WKMG’s space reporter Emilee Speck and take a look at the missions and events on the horizon.

Then, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is set to launch this week from Cape Canaveral. We’ve spent the past few shows talking about this flagship mission to the red planet. Today we’ll chat with our panel of expert scientists on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment to preview the exciting science this rover promises to collect.

Jul 28 2020

27mins

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What Does Mars Sound Like? NASA Is Sending A Microphone To The Red Planet

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The next Mars rover will have something no other Mars rover has ever had – a microphone. When the Mars Perseverance rover lands next February, scientists will get the chance to hear the red planet. But the microphone will also help scientists see what the planet is made out of. This week, a conversation with Roger Wiens, Principal Investigator Mars 2020 SuperCam.

Then, the NEOWISE comet is making quite the appearance. We’ll talk with our panel of expert scientists about how to see this cosmic phenomenon with just a set of binoculars — and why scientists get excited by a comet’s gas trail.

Jul 21 2020

27mins

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It’s The Summer Of Mars

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It’s the summer of Mars. Three spacecraft are heading to the red planet. Rovers from NASA and China, as well as an orbiter from the United Arab Emirates.

The armada of Mars bound explorers are taking advantage of a transfer window that happens only every two years when Earth and Mars are at their closest points.

The overall goal of these missions is to better understand Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover launching from Cape Canaveral in Florida aims to find signs of ancient life on the red planet.

We’ll talk with Elizabeth Howell and Nicholas Booth, authors of the new book The Search for Life on Mars. We’ll get a rundown of all the cool science heading to the red planet, and the plan to bring back samples of Mars in the next decade.

Jul 14 2020

27mins

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The Deep Space Economy

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Commercial space is booming — fueled by fresh cash, lots of new rockets and a change in how NASA works with private companies. What’s ahead for this new chapter in private space business? We’ll speak with Mary Lynne Dittmar President & CEO, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, about the deep space economy.

Then, fresh science payloads are heading to the moon soon, ahead of the return of NASA astronauts to the lunar surface. What’s left to learn? We’ll speak with our panel of expert scientists on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment about the new lunar science on the horizon.

Be sure to check out Mary Lynne Dittmar’s new show “The Deep Space Podcast.” Get it wherever you get this podcast or visit the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration’s website.

Jul 07 2020

27mins

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Space Tourism Promises Fresh Perspective Of Planet Earth

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As early as next year, space tourism company Space Perspective will ferry humans to the edge of space using a giant hydrogen-filled balloon. The capsule will have all the comforts of home – like a bar and a bathroom – and promises breathtaking views of the curvature of the Earth and blackness of space.

As more and more space tourism ventures come online, how will greater access to space change how humans perceive this planet? We’ll talk with Space Perspectives CEOs Jane Poynter & Taber MacCallum about the dawn of space tourism.

Then, why do some planets have rings? We’ll talk with our panel of expert scientists on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment.

Jun 30 2020

27mins

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Race In Space

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Protests across the country have highlighted systemic racism and turned the national conversation towards equality and justice. So how does racial inequality affect space exploration?

We’ll speak with Jarard Williams, a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law about equality in space and the effort to inspire more diverse explorers. Williams recently gave a lecture called “The Dark Star: Black Representation in Space” on racial inequality in the space industry.

Then, Saturn’s moon Titan is getting farther and farther away from the ringed planet. How do we know this — and is Titan the only moon on the move? We’ll ask our panel of experts on this week’s segment “I’d Like to Know”.

Jun 23 2020

28mins

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How NASA’s Reliance On Commercial Companies Is Shaping Space Exploration

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NASA is relying more and more on the private sector to help its exploration efforts — from building the next moon lander to transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.

So what does the future look like for this new dawn of commercial exploration? We’ll talk with Main Engine Cutoff podcast host Anthony Colangelo about the latest space business news and how leveraging commercial companies will help NASA reach places like the moon and Mars.

Then, magnetars are neutron stars with powerful magnetic fields with the power to destroy anything in their paths. So where did they come from? We’ll chat with our panel of expert scientists on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment.

Jun 16 2020

28mins

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James Webb Space Telescope: Finishing The Next Big Observatory

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The James Webb Space Telescope is nearing the finish line, with a campaign of full systems tests on the horizon. The mega space-based telescope is an incredible machine — with a sunshield that once deployed in space will be the size of a tennis court.

Once it’s operational, the telescope will give scientists an unprecedented view of the infrared universe. But getting there has been a challenge — with the telescope’s complexity adding to delays in developing and building it and the coronavirus pandemic further slowing down the project.

We’ll chat with Gregory Robinson, he’s the program manager for the James Webb Space Telescope, about what’s ahead for the observatory and how NASA plans to get it into space.

Then, what’s at the edge of our solar system? We’ll speak with our panel of experts on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment — exploring the Kuiper belt.

Jun 09 2020

27mins

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Inspiration & Innovation: What We Can Learn From SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Launch

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On Saturday, SpaceX successfully launched two NASA astronauts from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to the International Space Station. It’s the first time humans have launched from the U.S. since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.

At a time when protests were breaking out across the county, for a brief moment, millions of people watched the launch and looked to the sky marveling at what humans are capable of doing.

We’re going to talk about the long-lasting impact of this launch — from the inspiration it delivered to the innovation it paves the way for.

We’ll start with Jackie Wattles. She covers commercial space and innovation for CNN and was at the launch Saturday. She joins us to talk about how this moment paves the way for future innovation — like missions to the moon and Mars — and how it inspires others to take giant leaps once more.

Then, Kyle Jeter teaches astronomy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He made the three hour trip  twice to watch the launch with his son and plans to use this moment of inspiration in his classroom. We’ll talk with Mr. Jeter about how SpaceX’s launch will inspire the next generation of human explorers.

Jun 02 2020

27mins

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It’s Finally Here: NASA & SpaceX Set To Launch Humans From U.S. For The First Time Since Space Shuttle

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It’s finally here. The launch of American astronauts from American soil is happening this week with the launch of NASA’s Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on a SpaceX rocket.

The launch of the Crew Dragon capsule with astronauts on board has been nearly a decade in the making. We’ll speak with The Atlantic’s staff reporter Marina Koren about the mission, how we got here and the challenges along the way.

Then, we’ll speak with former astronaut and SpaceX Direct Garret Reisman about the private company’s push to fly astronauts and the paradigm shift of commercial space vehicles.

May 26 2020

27mins

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Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana Ready For First Human Spaceflight Since Shuttle

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In a little over a week, SpaceX will attempt to launch two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from Florida — the first human launch from the United States in nearly a decade.

Since the start of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, the Kennedy Space Center has worked to support the next chapter of human launches. We’ll speak with center director Bob Cabana about the transition to support Commercial Crew partners SpaceX and Boeing and what’s in store for astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley as they make their final preparations for flight from Florida.

Then, a giant radio dish in Puerto Rico observing our universe. The Arecibo observatory is a radio telescope unlocking all sorts of secrets in the cosmos. On this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment, our expert physicists explain what radio astronomy is and how Aricebo is helping scientists see deeper into our universe.

WMFE will present “Return to Flight,” a special program about this historic launch, at noon May 27. Learn more >

May 19 2020

27mins

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Covering Space: Correspondent Peter King Ready To Report Human Launches Once More

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For the past 25 years, CBS radio correspondent Peter King has covered human launches from Florida — including the last Space Shuttle launch in 2011.

Later this month, SpaceX will launch two NASA astronauts atop a Falcon 9 rocket. It will be the first human launch in nearly a decade. We’ll talk with Peter about his experience covering astronaut launches from Kennedy Space Center.

Then, the James Webb Space Telescope is behind schedule and over budget. A listener asks just how much longer can other space-based telescopes like Hubble last as we wait for the next generation to come online? We’ll put that question to our panel of experts on this weeks “I’d Like to Know” segment.”

May 12 2020

27mins

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The Next Mission To Mars: NASA Rover Will Search For Signs Of Ancient Life

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This summer, NASA will launch a 2,000 pound robot to the surface of Mars. The Perseverance rover will search for ancient signs of life and prep samples of Martian rocks to send back home.

For an overview of the mission, we’ll speak with Jake Robins. He’s the host of the podcast WeMartians and has been following the development of the rover as it readies for its launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Then, an asteroid zipped dramatically close to Earth last week. While it wasn’t a threat to our planet, it has me wondering how do we detect and protect from future threats? We’ll pose that question to our panel of experts on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment.

May 05 2020

27mins

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The Fight For Women Astronauts

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The Mercury 7 might have had the right stuff and made the headlines, but behind the scenes 13 women were being tested to become astronauts. This hidden history of the fight for women astronauts is uncovered in Rebecca Siegel’s new book “To Fly Among the Stars.” We’ll speak with Siegel about the program and the lasting impressions these women left on the trajectory of gender equality in space flight.

Then, as astronomers discover more and more planets outside our solar system, how do we know what they’re made of? Our panel of expert scientists answer a listener question about uncovering the stuff that makes a planet and what’s hidden on its surface — that’s on this week’s “I’d Like to Know” segment.

Apr 28 2020

27mins

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Remote Rovin’: NASA Mars Rover Drivers Are Working From Home. Here’s How They Do It.

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For those of us now working from home, we know there are a few challenges. Your mic doesn’t work on a Zoom meeting, your cat walks across your keyboard, your VPN is busted. Well, imagine your job entails driving a car-sized rover some 100 million miles away on the surface of Mars — all from home.

That’s exactly what the Curiosity Rover team is doing now with great success. NASA’s Alicia Allbaugh leads the Mars rover driving team and joins us to talk about the challenges of remote working and the successes her team has accomplished.

Then, each year scientists get together and plan for the next ten years of discovery. The Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey is underway — so what’s on the horizon? On this week’s installment of “I’d Like to Know,” our expert scientists weigh in on what’s to come in the efforts of planetary discovery.

Apr 21 2020

27mins

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Teaching The Next Generation Of Stargazers And Space Explorers

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Some seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida are learning about the night sky and the universe they live in thanks to their astronomy teacher Kyle Jeter. Astronomy isn’t a common course selection for most — we’ll explore how it can help students understand all sorts of science and promote science literacy in a social media world.

Then, our expert scientists have some sci-fi picks for keeping us busy during the quarantine. We’ll chat with UCF’s Addie Dove, Josh Colwell and Jim Cooney about science fiction shows and new science documentaries to keep us company as we’re safer at home.

Apr 14 2020

27mins

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Astronaut Mike Massimino’s “Unlikely” Journey To Space

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While many of us are struggling with the new normal of quarantining and self-isolating, for NASA astronauts — it’s a part of the job. We’ll catch up with retired NASA astronaut Mike Massimino about the importance of quarantining for space travelers, and the lessons he learned while isolated from his family during his two missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

We’ll also talk about his book, “Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe” which has now been adapted to a young adult novel, about how he became an astronaut in the first place.

Then, with so many of us staying at home — what can we do to pass the time? Our panel of expert physicists say now’s a great time to do some stargazing. A crash course in backyard astronomy from our expert scientists.

Apr 07 2020

27mins

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The Rise Of The Space Age Millennials

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There’s a new generation leading the charge when it comes to space exploration — millennials. These 20 and 30 year olds are entering the workforce and academia, driving innovation and pushing humanity farther into the solar system. So what’s motivating these millennials? And what’s different from the group of folks that came before them? We’ll chat with space policy analyst and author Laura Forczyk about her new book “Rise of the Space Age Millennials.

Then, can planets exist outside the orbit of a star? We’ll talk with our panel of experts about the fascinating observations of rogue planets — how did they escape the gravity of their host star and how do we spot them?

Mar 24 2020

27mins

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A New Dawn For Sun Science

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There are now two new spacecraft zooming around the sun exploring our closest star. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is getting an up close and personal look at the sun and its corona — the wispy bits that radiate off the surface. And the recently launched Solar Orbiter will explore the poles of the sun.

All eyes are on the sun. So is this a new chapter of sun science? Our guest this week Nicky Fox says it is. She’s Director of the NASA Heliophysics Science Division and lead scientist on the Parker Solar Probe mission. We’ll talk about the early findings of the mission and how all this sun science will help better life here on Earth.

Then, the matter of antimatter. Our panel of expert scientists breakdown this fundamental piece of physics.

Mar 18 2020

27mins

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iTunes Ratings

296 Ratings
Average Ratings
185
72
18
12
9

Great

By banditobanditobandito - Jan 31 2018
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Awesome show for space and aeronautics nerds.

My favorite new listen

By NGP123 - Feb 28 2017
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Definitely on my short list of shows to not miss every week!