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.
Rockets With Frickin’ Laser Beams. Uncovering The Mystery Of Moon Dust
When it comes to how dirt on the moon behaves, scientists are still in the dark. Moon sand, also called regolith, is pretty mysterious — but one team of University of Central Florida scientists want to shed some light on lunar dust clouds…by shooting lasers at it.
Understanding how dust behaves on the moon and other planetary surfaces is critical for future space exploration missions. Exhaust from a spacecraft’s landing engines could kick up razor-sharp moon dust that could damage instruments or obscure the view of landing.
A team led by scientists Addie Dove and Phil Metzger is developing a sensor that can measure how these dust particles interact with rocket exhaust — a study that garnered the interest of NASA.
Metzger and Dove’s Ejecta STORM hardware received funding from NASA — and recently Metzger traveled to the Mojave desert to test it out on a rocket which kicked up simulated dust.
UCF’s Phil Metzger and Addie Dove join us now to talk about the experiment and what they hope to learn about moon dust.
An Artemis Astronaut & Recap Of 2020 Space News
NASA announced the first group of astronauts who will train for a mission to the moon. The Aretmis cadre will train for the agency’s first human lunar mission since the end of the Apollo program in the 1970s and will include the first woman to step foot on the surface of the moon.
We’ll talk with one of those astronauts, Kayla Barron, about the selection and what the mission means for women in the astronaut corps.
Then, despite concerns over coronavirus, 2020 was a busy year for space exploration. From the first human missions from the U.S. in nearly a decade to a trio of Mars-bound robots launching to the red planet, there’s a lot to look back on. We’ll chat with The Verge’s space reporter Loren Grush about the busy year up there and what’s to come in 2021.
Hubble: 30 Years Of Spectacular Celestial Images
For the last three decades, the Hubble Space Telescope has peered deep into our universe, exploring the origins of the cosmos and capturing stunning views of stars, clusters and galaxies.
Now, NASA is releasing a catalogue of some of its most dazzling images — some you can see yourself from your own backyard.
We’ll talk with NASA Hubble Senior Project Scientist Dr. Jennifer Wiseman about Hubble’s history and how the orbiting observatory will help future telescopes explore even more of our universe.
But Hubble was almost hobbled by a problem with its main mirror. Those crystal clear shots of deep space would have been fuzzy but for the crew of dedicated spacewalkers and talented engineers who fixed the scope from space. We’ll revisit a conversation with retired NASA astronaut Storey Musgrave about the effort to fix Hubble and the delicate dance of spacewalks.
* Hear more from Storey Musgrave about training for NASA and helping fix Hubble.
* Astronaut Mike Massimino talks about his trips to space servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Big Business Of Small Satellites
A new company plans to launch small satellites from the belly of a drone. It joins the growing number of small launch companies popping up to send tiny payloads into space. So what’s the market for these small satellites?
We’ll dive into this growing industry first with Jay Skylus — he’s the CEO and founder of Aevum. His company has plans to launch small payloads on a rocket launched from the belly of an unmanned aerial vehicle. What does he see heading to space on his vehicle? And what will it take to get the Ravn X UAV off the ground?
Then, Aevum joins the growing market of small launch providers. We’ll take a look at the state of the industry with Anthony Colangelo — he hosts the commercial space-focused podcast Main Engine Cut Off about this bustling market and the future of the small satellite industry.
The big business of small satellites — that’s just ahead on Are We There Yet, here on America’s space station.
Remembering Arecibo & Sending Science To Space
A 305-meter radio telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed after sustaining damage earlier this year — sending 900 tons of radio equipment crashing into the dish.
The National Science Foundation announced last week a planned decommissioning of Arecibo Observatory after engineers said repairing the damage safely was impossible.
For nearly 60 years, Arecibo surveyed the sky, searching for alien life, far-away planets and tracking near-Earth asteroids.
We’ll talk with planetary radio astronomer Alessondra Springmann about her connection to the dish and what the end of Arecibo means for the scientific community.
Then, SpaceX is set to launch a shipment of supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station. We’ll talk with the ISS National Lab’s acting chief scientist Michael Roberts about some of the experiments heading to space and what it takes to conduct science from the orbiting lab.
For nearly six decades, a 1,000 foot dish in a Puerto Rican forest has led the charge in searching for far away planets, alien life and tracking near-Earth asteroids. It’s also had cameos in television and film including the 1995 James Bond movie Goldeneye. Now, that dish is going dark.
The National Science Foundation said it is shutting down the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico due to safety concerns. The move comes after two incidents this year damaged the 57-year-old radio observatory.
So what does this mean for radio astronomy? First, we’ll talk with Arecibo Directory Francisco Cordova about the move to decommission the radio telescope and what work still lies ahead for Arecibo.
Then, we’ll talk with planetary scientists Paul Byrne about Arecibo’s lasting legacy and what facilities are currently available to help fill the void left by the end of this massive radio dish.
Exploring Arecibo’s impact — that’s ahead on Are We There Yet? here on America’s Space Station.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Wow!! After listening to this podcast everything just “clicked”. Now i am much more aware of what it takes to do these things and to make humans finally interplanetary.
This “space exploration” podcast has so far only talked about teaching, astronomy, Millennials, and sci-fi.