WMFE Launches New Space Podcast
Check out the Are We There Yet? page to listen to episodes or subscribe using your favorite podcast player.
The countdown clock reached zero on the launch of WMFE’s new space podcast, “Are We There Yet?” The program launches today, and the host of the podcast, Brendan Byrne spoke with Crystal Chavez about what to expect from the series.
CHAVEZ: So Brendan, what got you interested in starting this podcast?
BRENDAN: NASA has this ambitious goal of sending humans to Mars. It will be the first time humans leave low-earth orbit since the days of Apollo and the moon landings. As the space reporter here, I report on the development of the technology that’s going to get humans there and the more I reported on this, the more I realized this wasn’t as question of IF we would go to Mars, instead the question is WHEN we’ll get there.
CHAVEZ: And that’s where you got the name?
BYRNE: That’s right – Are We There Yet! A lot of this is happening right here in our own backyard on the space coast, which is really exciting!
CHAVEZ: What got you interested in space?
BYRNE: I’ve always been a fan of the space program. I grew up here in Florida and watched the shuttles launch from the Cape. I even went to space camp and a youngster – so you can say I’m a pretty big space geek.
CHAVEZ: So what kind of things can listeners expect to hear on the podcast?
BYRNE: We’re going to explore space exploration. As I mentioned, NASA wants to send astronauts to Mars – well, we’ll look at how the development of that mission is going. A lot of the stuff that’s going to get us there is happening right here in our own backyard. Orion is the capsule that is going to take humans past low earth orbit – well, there’s a test-capsule here at Kennedy Space Center right now. On the podcast, we talk to engineers developing the capsule, plus a tour of the facility where engineers will assemble Orion before a test flight from Kennedy Space Center.
CHAVEZ: Is the podcast only covering NASA’s efforts to get to Mars?
BYRNE: No, NASA’s not the only player in this space-exploration race. Private companies are getting involved, too, like SpaceX. And other companies – some based here in Central Florida – have their sights set on going back to the moon and setting up shop there. You might remember Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos says he’s bringing his private space company Blue Origin to Cape Canaveral. And there’s even a push to kick rockets to the curb and build and elevator to space – we take a closer look at that.
CHAVEZ: What’s in store for today’s launch?
BYRNE: We’ve uploaded three episodes – so you’re able to binge-listen this week. If you’re a big space buff, you probably saw the movie The Martian – that’s the one where Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars. Well, it’s based on a book by Andy Weir. Andy gave me a call to talk about what got him thinking about a marooned astronaut on Mars in the first place, and how almost all of the technology in the book and movie are real technologies that space agencies use – or will use – to get humans onto the red planet.
In another episode, Orlando Sentinel’s Emilee Speck brings us up to speed on the Mars rovers and the other probes throughout the solar system – like Juno heading to Jupiter.
And finally, NASA Engineer Stu McClung designs Orion’s parachutes, but he knows A LOT about the space capsule. We talk about what ideas engineers borrowed from the Apollo capsule and the space shuttle to build the next generation of deep-space capsules.
CHAVEZ: Great. So how can we listen to “Are We There Yet?”
BYRNE: If you’re at your computer, you can listen online at wmfe.org/AreWeThereYet or on the WMFE App. Or if you’re on the go, you can subscribe on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts like Podcast Addict or Stitcher on Android devices.
CHAVEZ: Brendan Byrne is 90.7’s Space Reporter and host of the “Are We There Yet?” podcast – which launches today. Brendan, thanks for chatting!
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