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How NASA's Reliance On Commercial Companies Is Shaping Space Exploration from Are We There Yet?

From Are We There Yet? - 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.


Are We There Yet?
When it comes to human space exploration, we're on the brink of something big. Join host Brendan Byrne 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.

How NASA's Reliance On Commercial Companies Is Shaping Space Exploration
2020-06-16 15:35:43
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.
28 minutes, 14 seconds


Searching For Aliens
2020-10-27 15:26:15
We're on the hunt for aliens. NASA astrobiologists are scanning the skies for signs of life. But will extraterrestrials look like the little green humanoids from science fiction movies, books or TV? We'll take a look at the efforts to find signs of life outside our universe with two scientists. First, NC State associate professor of planetary science Paul Byrne brings us up to speed on the current methods to look for alien life on other worlds — and what those life-forms might look like. Then, NASA astrobiologist Laurie Barge talks about the importance of habitability and why the search for alien life actually starts here on Earth. And later in the show, we'll talk with science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer about the evolution of aliens in fiction and how science fact has shaped our imaginative speculation about aliens. We're talking aliens this week on Are We There Yet? here on America's Space Station.


Terry Virts & The Space Toilet: Exploring The Human Side Of Space Exploration
2020-10-20 15:35:41
There's a lot about space travel that doesn't get talked about — like how do astronauts shower or go to the bathroom? Retired NASA astronaut Terry Virts is hoping to shed some light on the often unmentioned things about space travel that are uniquely human in his new book How to Astronaut: An Insider's Guide to Leaving Planet Earth. We'll speak with Virts about the lifetime of training that goes into becoming an astronaut and the lessons we all can learn about space travel. Then, speaking of toilets, the International Space Station just got a brand new commode. We'll talk with NASA engineer Melissa McKinley about the upgraded toilet and how it will help astronauts on future missions to the moon. That's ahead on Are We There Yet? here on WMFE – America's Space Station.


Ancient Asteroid Dust & Deep Space Delivery
2020-10-13 15:00:12
After launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida back in 2016, OSIRIS-REx is about to execute one of its most critical mission objectives — suck up some dust on a far away asteroid. The spacecraft has been orbiting the asteroid Bennu since arriving back in 2018, uncovering all sorts of interesting things about this ancient space rock. On October 20th, it will perform a TAG maneuver, sucking up a small sample of dust to send back home. This dust, once back here on Earth, could help us understand how life formed in the solar system. It's a question scientists like NASA's Jason Dworkin have spent their careers unpacking. We'll speak with Dworkin about this mission and how he hopes to unlock the secrets of life here on Earth. Then, NASA's gateway is a mini space station set to orbit the moon. But what's a space station without supplies? Kennedy Space Center's Mark Weise  heads NASA’s deep space logistics program. We'll talk about the plan to ship food, water and space suits to the moon ahead of astronaut missions in the next few years.


Mars Opposition & Worried Astronomers
2020-10-06 15:35:49
This week Mars is set to come closer to Earth than it has been in more than a decade. The Mars Opposition is when the red planet becomes a visible bright red spot in the night sky. We'll talk with Seminole State College planetarium director Derek Demeter about the opposition and how to experience it from home. Then, SpaceX launched another batch of its Starlink Satellites this week — but the orbital constellation is causing some worry in the observational astronomy community. How are these tiny satellites impacting the future of night-sky observations? Our panel of expert scientists from UCF weigh in. And, we speak with NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker ahead of her mission to the International Space Station, hitching a ride on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.


Inclusion And Diversity In Space Exploration
2020-09-29 15:29:19
NASA and other space and science agencies are striving to diversify their workforces, but there's still a long way to go. As the country grapples with racial inequality, so do these organizations. Are We There Yet's Nelly Ontiveros speaks with NASA scientist Geronimo Villanueva during Hispanic Heritage month to talk about efforts to get a more diverse group of STEM students and professionals and what the future corps of deep space explorers might look like. Then, when talking about future exploration ambitions, language matters. The Atlantic's Marina Koren writes about the language of space policy leaders, and how it shapes the direction of programs and the perception of space exploration. We'll talk with Koren about her latest piece which examines the Trump administration's language of ‘manifest destiny’ and its effects on space policy.


Life On Venus? What A Stinky Gas Means For The Search For Life In Our Universe
2020-09-22 15:35:49
Last week, scientists announced the finding of phosphine gas in the atmosphere of Venus, one of our closest planetary neighbors. This stinky gas is linked to life here on Earth — could that be the case on Venus? We'll talk with two scientists about this extraordinary finding. First, NC State planetary scientist Paul Byrne will break down the finding and what it means for our understanding of the Venus atmosphere and the possibility of life there. Then, MIT quantum astrochemist Clara Sousa-Silva, who has studied this stinky molecule, explains how scientists can use this finding at Venus to track down possible signs of life in our universe.


Fixing Arecibo & Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids
2020-09-15 15:55:59
It's been more than a month since an asteroid-hunting telescope in Puerto Rico has gone dark. The Arecibo Observatory's dish is broken after a piece of scaffolding fell, damaging the surface. So what will it take to fix it? We'll speak with observatory director Francisco Cordova about the efforts to bring Arecibo back online. Then, an asteroid is heading our way — right on election day. Does the cosmic flyby pose any risk to us here on Earth? We'll speak with our science experts on this week's I'd Like to Know segment about the possible fly-by and the sensational headlines that get us all looking toward the sky.


Humans To Mars & A Supernova Extinction
2020-09-08 15:25:07
Last week, scientists, engineers and visionaries met at the annual Humans to Mars summit, outlining current challenges and technological breakthroughs in developing a plan for how to live on the red planet. WeMartian's podcast host Jake Robins attended the virtual summit and joins us to talk about his takeaways from the conference — like conversations about diversity and inclusion in deep space exploration and the expanded role robots will play in getting us to Mars. Then, is an supernova to blame for one of Earth's earliest extinction events? We'll chat with our panel of expert scientists from UCF this week to talk about a new paper that argues a star's death could have had some collateral damage here on Earth.


A Space For Curiosity & An Observatory Goes Dark
2020-09-01 13:35:07
Public interest in space exploration is on the rise, partly due to high-profile missions like SpaceX's Crew Dragon, returning to human launches from the U.S. and excitement around the launch of three missions to Mars this summer. With new interest comes questions from amateur space fans…like how did the International Space Station get built or how do astronauts go to the bathroom in space. A new podcast from WKMG's space reporter Emilee Speck aims to answer those questions submitted by listeners. We'll talk with Speck about the curious nature of space exploration and how public outreach is helping diversify the space industry. Then, an observatory has gone quiet. After suffering a snapped cable, the Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico is offline. We'll chat with our panel of expert scientists from the University of Central Florida about Arecibo's role in astronomy and what it means to have such an important piece of equipment temporarily out of action.


Assembling NASA's Deep Spacecraft & Heavy Metal Asteroids
2020-08-25 15:33:12
NASA's Orion spacecraft is the next deep-space vehicle designed to take humans to the moon. An uncrewed mission of the spacecraft is scheduled for late next year, launching from Kennedy Space Center on NASA's SLS rocket. Orion is getting assembled at KSC ahead of that launch, and managers reached an important milestone in its building — the adapter that connects it to the rocket. We'll talk with NASA's Amy Marasia about the process and what it will take to get humans back to the moon in the 2020s. Then, scientists have their eyes set on a metallic asteroid called Psyche. NASA is moving forward with plans to send a probe to the intriguing asteroid. So what can we learn from a metal asteroid? We'll ask our panel of expert physicists on this week's I'd Like to Know segment.


The Big Business Of SpaceX & The Discovery Of A Tiny Black Hole
2020-08-18 15:35:15
It's been a busy year for the private space company SpaceX — from launching and landing two NASA astronauts in its Crew Dragon Capsule, to the deployment of hundreds of tiny satellites to blanket the globe with internet access. Now, SpaceX is pushing ahead with development of its Starship spacecraft, with ambitious plans to send humans to the moon and Mars. Michael Sheetz is a reporter at CNBC, tracking news from the space beat, and keeping a watchful eye on the private space sector. We'll speak with Sheetz about the business of SpaceX and how the company's internet plans are fueling its Martian ambitions. Then, is it a bird, a plane, a tiny black hole or a neutron star? One of those things was discovered by gravitational wave observations — and our panel of expert scientists from UCF are here to break down the latest findings in our universe.


Out Of This World: Building Helicopters To Explore The Solar System
2020-08-04 15:31:31
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.


Space News Roundup - Mars Rovers, Astronaut Splashdown & Mission: Impossible (Possibly In Space)
2020-07-28 15:32:26
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.


What Does Mars Sound Like? NASA Is Sending A Microphone To The Red Planet
2020-07-21 15:35:53
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, Principle 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.


It's The Summer Of Mars
2020-07-14 15:35:36
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.


The Deep Space Economy
2020-07-07 15:36:25
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.


Space Tourism Promises Fresh Perspective Of Planet Earth
2020-06-30 15:31:08
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.


Race In Space
2020-06-23 15:51:48
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".


How NASA's Reliance On Commercial Companies Is Shaping Space Exploration
2020-06-16 15:35:43
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.


James Webb Space Telescope: Finishing The Next Big Observatory
2020-06-09 15:46:35
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.


Inspiration & Innovation: What We Can Learn From SpaceX's Crew Dragon Launch
2020-06-02 15:26:23
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.


It's Finally Here: NASA & SpaceX Set To Launch Humans From U.S. For The First Time Since Space Shuttle
2020-05-26 15:37:24
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.


Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana Ready For First Human Spaceflight Since Shuttle
2020-05-19 15:31:48
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.


Covering Space: Corespondent Peter King Ready To Report Human Launches Once More
2020-05-12 15:40:44
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."


Covering Space: Correspondent Peter King Ready To Report Human Launches Once More
2020-05-12 15:40:44
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."


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