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
Are We There Yet? Podcast

To Crew, Or Not To Crew, That Is The Question

Play Audio

Artist's concept of SLS/Orion on the launch pad. Photo: NASA

To crew, or not to crew, that is the question. Well, that’s the question NASA’s acting director Robert Lightfoot is proposing for the next Orion mission.

Orion is NASA’s next human spacecraft that will take astronauts beyond low earth orbit into deep space – first to places like cis-lunar orbit and ideally it will eventually go to Mars.

The next test flight of Orion is atop the  Space Launch System, SLS. Currently, it’s slated for a November 2018 launch but delays in hardware and certification threaten to push that back even further. The mission, Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) is an uncrewed flight to an orbit around the moon. It would be the first time a human-rated spacecraft will head to deep space sin the Apollo missions and it’s the first time the SLS will fly.

Despite delays and uncertainty, Lightfoot asked if there’s a chance the agency could get astronauts on this mission. NASA doesn’t have an answer yet.

Chris Gebhart is the Assistant Managing Editor at NASASpaceFlight.com and co-author of a piece looking at the possibilities of a crewed EM-1 mission. He joins the podcast to discuss three options for EM-1, and his best guess at what’s to come for the program.

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 »