There’s a lot going on up there. Join space reporter Brendan Byrne each week as he explores space exploration. From efforts to launch humans into deep space, to the probes exploring our solar system, Are We There Yet? brings you the latest in news from the space beat. Listen to interviews with astronauts, engineers and visionaries as humanity takes its next giant leap exploring our universe.
Space law — it’s complicated.
Last year, the Russian military blew up a defunct satellite in orbit -- creating tens of thousands of pieces of space debris that remain a threat to astronauts and satellites in space.
The U.S. government condemned the test and vowed to not conduct similar weapons tests in space. But according to the Outer Space Treaty, an international agreement signed by 112 countries aimed at governing space, the missile test was legal.
And as more countries and companies leave the planet, governing space is getting increasingly more complicated.
We speak with Michelle Hanlon, a space attorney, instructor at University of Mississippi Schoo of Law, and co-founder of For All Moonkind about the foundations of the Outer Space Treaty and the challneges ahaead. Then, we speak with Aaron Boley, co-director of The Outer Space Institute, an interdisciplinary organization looking at these risks and possible solutions.
James Webb Space Telescope zooms in on other worlds & Planetary Radio’s Mat Kaplan reflects on 20 years of hosting
The James Webb Space Telescope is giving us stunning views of far-away galaxies, dying stars, and cosmic nurseries. The telescope also has the ability to peer at far-away planets and see what their atmospheres are made of, getting us one step closer to answering one of astronomy’s biggest questions: Are we alone?
We'll speak with Paul Byrne, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, about how JWST is helping us take a closer look at planets outside our own solar system.
Then, for two decades, Mat Kaplan hosted Planetary Radio from the Planetary Society. "I have been saying for years and years, my two favorite things outside of family are space and radio," said Kaplan.
This year, he’s retiring. We check in with Mat before he hangs up his headphones.
Commercial space goes deep
Commercial companies are setting ambitious goals and heading into deep space.
Rocket company Relativity Space and propulsion company Impulse Space have inked a deal to send the first commercial mission to Mars. It won’t be easy -- only two countries, the U.S. and China, have successfully deployed science missions on Mars, and roughly half of the spacecraft sent to the red planet fail.
We’ll talk with Relativity's Tim Ellis and Impulse's Barry Matsumori about the challenges and urgency in sending a commercial mission to Mars.
Then, another company is working with NASA to bring video conferencing to moon-bound astronauts. We’ll talk Cisco Webex's Jono Luk about connecting astronauts to Earth some 240,000 miles away from home.
Oh the things we can see, thanks to JWST
It’s been a week since the first James Webb Space Telescope images captivated scientists and the general public alike.
Aside from bringing stunning images of the cosmos, the observations are propelling astronomy to new heights. So what can scientists see from these new images? We’ll speak with Embry Riddle physics professor Terry Oswalt about how scientists are buzzing about these new images.
Then, the images are changing the way we think about our universe. No longer does it seem vast and empty; rather, stunning and brilliant -- teeming with activity. We’ll speak with The Atlantic’s Marina Koren about how JWST images are changing the way we think and talk about the cosmos.
The big reveal: NASA drops stunning first images from James Webb Space Telescope
They’re here. The first images from the James Webb Space Telescope are out, revealing thousands of ancient galaxies, nebulae, and a close-up look at a planet outside our own solar system.
The images are stunning and only just the beginning. We’ll break down this first batch of images with Florida Institute of Technology’s Eric Perlman and talk about what’s to come from this brand new observatory in the sky.
Then, JWST promises to change the way we understand our universe…and how we teach about it. We’ll speak with high school astronomy teacher Kyle Jeter about how JWST may inspire new students to learn about the sky, and change the textbooks they’ll read.
Here's the first five images revealed by NASA. Agency scientists say more will come this week, including a look at a planet from our own solar system.
A cosmic nursery, this area was previously obscured by cosmic dust. JWST's infrared cameras cut through that dust and reveal an area of star formation that will shed light on how stars are born.
A grouping of five galaxies gives scientists and up-close look at how multiple galaxies interact with one another. This image captured by JWST is enormous -- over 150 million pixels -- and actually captures outflows driven by a black hole.
Southern Ring Nebula
The JWST captures a dying star's final performance as it sends out rings of dust and gas. At some 2,500 light years away, these observations will help understand a star's final moments.
The telescope was able to observe the chemical fingerprints of a planet outside our solar system. JWST detected signs of water in a hot, puffy gas giant planet orbiting another star in the most precise measurement of its kind. These kinds of observations will help scientists find other planets that might be potentially habitable beyond Earth.
SMACS 0723 - Deep Field
Unveiled by President Joe Biden on Monday, this images shows the deepest and sharpest infrared image of the universe to date. The image is just a small sliver of the sky approximately the size of a grain of sand held at arm's length.
‘Escaping Gravity’: A conversation with NASA’s former deputy administrator Lori Garver
Lori Garver served as NASA deputy administrator, its second in command, during the Obama administration. It was a tumultuous time for the agency. The Space Shuttle was retiring, Obama canceled NASA’s costly Constellation program, and the agency was at odds with Congress on how to move NASA forward.
Garver was there for all of those conversations and takes a critical look back at what happened during her time at NASA in a new memoir. Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age takes a look back at those program battles and shines a light on a critical time in the agency’s history.
The fight to bring NASA into the New Space Age, that’s ahead on Are We There Yet?.
Space Coast’s best podcast
This podcast is put on by WMFE, the local Orlando PBS station and is probably THE MOST UNDERRATED space exploration podcast on the air today. Very interesting topics and guests. Very well done show!
This show is awesome! Are We There Yet?offers an awesome blend of technical and non-technical topics that are broken down so that anyone can understand. I HIGHLY recommend this show to anyone with an inkling of interest in the science of space and the latest and greatest news of the space industry.
Meh, really really boring. Same old… old rich people talking about the same old things. I wish I was a over privileged spoiled person with resources to be as delusional as these people.