90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

China’s Moon Landing Could Spur New Space Race

One of the first images from China's spacecraft on the far side of the moon. CNSA/CLEP

China has landed a robot on the far side of the moon – a first for any space agency. It’s not the only organization eyeing the moon and future missions are launching right here from Florida.

The Chang’e-4 mission landed the car-sized rover Yutu-2 onto the far side of the moon – the side we can’t see from down here on Earth.

Other agencies are also planning moon missions, and Space Florida’s Dale Ketcham said a successful Chinese landing could motivate NASA to speed up those efforts.

“It should further the United States to step up its game to get to the moon quickly. I think in large measures there have been some significant large steps to do that,” said Ketcham.

Last year, NASA announced partnerships with private companies, like Cape Canaveral-based Moon Express, to launch payloads to the moon.

An Israeli non-profit is also planning a mission to the moon, launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida early this year.

“Well, I think clearly Florida is in the best position in terms of having the infrastructure and the capabilities to put payloads into orbit to access the moon,” said Ketcham.

NASA’s SLS rocket will also launch the Orion space capsule on a trip to the moon from Kennedy Space Center. That mission will happen sometime in the 2020s.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »