12 episodes

How it Happened is an Axios podcast docu-series featuring instant histories. Each season, Axios reporters bring you behind closed doors to hear the people and decisions shaping the biggest stories of our time.
Trump’s Last Stand: In the first season of How it Happened, national political reporter Jonathan Swan reveals the inside story of Donald Trump’s last few months in office. The story starts with his COVID-19 recovery and ends with the insurrection at the Capitol.
The Next Astronauts: In the second season of How it Happened, Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer goes behind the scenes at SpaceX and the preparations for the first all-civilian mission into orbit.  

How It Happened Axios

    • News
    • 4.7 • 4.1K Ratings

How it Happened is an Axios podcast docu-series featuring instant histories. Each season, Axios reporters bring you behind closed doors to hear the people and decisions shaping the biggest stories of our time.
Trump’s Last Stand: In the first season of How it Happened, national political reporter Jonathan Swan reveals the inside story of Donald Trump’s last few months in office. The story starts with his COVID-19 recovery and ends with the insurrection at the Capitol.
The Next Astronauts: In the second season of How it Happened, Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer goes behind the scenes at SpaceX and the preparations for the first all-civilian mission into orbit.  

    The Next Astronauts Part IV: Risk

    The Next Astronauts Part IV: Risk

    Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer learns how the Inspiration4 crew is grappling with risk, something every company in the space industry and all astronauts must confront.

    Kramer speaks with the crew, the parent of a crew member, and a former NASA safety expert about how memories of the Challenger explosion have shaped the way the space industry prepares astronauts for risk.

    In conversations with crew members Jared Isaacman and Chris Sembroski and with their spouses, Kramer explores how uniquely challenging it is for the parents of young children to prepare their families for a mission to space.

    Kramer travels to Bozeman, Montana to watch the Inspiration4 crew fly in fighter jets over the course of a festive weekend, intended to bring the crew's families together, where they all celebrated the upcoming launch and confronted the reality of its approach.


    Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact-checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is executive editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

    • 25 min
    The Next Astronauts Part III: What It Takes

    The Next Astronauts Part III: What It Takes

    Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer goes inside SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, to see the factory floor, the Inspiration4 crew's training regimen and how this mission fits into SpaceX's broader goals.

    Kramer speaks with SpaceX senior leadership and tours the facility, culminating in a chance to see a brand new bubble window built specifically for the Inspiration4 crew.

    She gets to sit in on the crew training in a cockpit simulator and learn about the various scenarios they are learning to anticipate.

    She also peers inside the Dragon capsule simulator — a mock-up of the capsule they'll fly in — and hears the crew's testimony of a harrowing 30-hour simulation of their mission as the capstone of their training.


    Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact-checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is executive editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

    • 24 min
    The Next Astronauts Part II: The New Right Stuff

    The Next Astronauts Part II: The New Right Stuff

    Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer unpacks who historically has been able to go to space and why the selection of Inspiration4 crew members Sian Proctor and Hayley Arceneaux is a break from the status quo.

    Kramer shares what she asked Elon Musk in 2020 as the Dragon capsule flew humans for the first time on the same day of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests — and how he answered.

    She learns Proctor's story, from her birth in Guam where her father was a contractor for the Apollo 11 mission to becoming a NASA astronaut finalist and to her chance to make history as the first Black female pilot of a spacecraft.

    Kramer also explores Arceneaux's story, told by Hayley and her mother, of Hayley overcoming childhood cancer, becoming a physician assistant for the hospital that treated her and getting the opportunity to be the first person in space with a prosthesis.


    Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact-checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is Executive Editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

    • 24 min
    The Next Astronauts Part I: A Few Ordinary People

    The Next Astronauts Part I: A Few Ordinary People

    Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer traces how a multi-day orbital mission to space without professional astronauts came together in just a matter of weeks.

    Kramer takes listeners back to February of 2021, to a press call where SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made a stunning announcement.

    She brings listeners into her conversations with billionaire benefactor and mission commander Jared Isaacman to learn how he commissioned and designed the mission.

    She chronicles how the other three crew members were selected — one by raffle, one by contest, and one as an ambassador for her employer — and how they felt watching the last crewed launch before their own.


    Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact-checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is Executive Editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

    • 24 min
    The Next Astronauts Prologue

    The Next Astronauts Prologue

    In How it Happened: The Next Astronauts, Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer follows the first space flight to orbit without professional astronauts. Kramer will take listeners inside the story of the Inspiration4 mission, which SpaceX aims to launch on September 15.

    The podcast will chronicle the selection of these four civilians and their training at SpaceX headquarters.

    Kramer will go behind the scenes, bringing listeners into conversations with the crew as they grapple with challenges, the risks inherent in space travel and preparing their families for the launch.

    The mission has high stakes for the crew and for SpaceX, but it's also pivotal for the industry and could influence the future of private space travel.

    First, in this prologue, Kramer brings listeners into the current moment for the space industry and why so much is riding on this particular mission.


    Credits: The Next Astronauts is reported and produced by Miriam Kramer, Amy Pedulla, Naomi Shavin, and Alice Wilder. Dan Bobkoff is Executive Producer. Mixing, sound design, and music supervision by Alex Sugiura. Theme music and original score by Michael Hanf. Fact checking and research by Jacob Knutson. Alison Snyder is a managing editor at Axios and Sara Kehaulani Goo is Executive Editor. Special thanks to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz.

    • 8 min
    Trump's Last Stand: An Off-The-Books Mission

    Trump's Last Stand: An Off-The-Books Mission

    In this bonus story for How It Happened: Trump's Last Stand, Axios political correspondent Jonathan Swan details a botched attempt, made during President Trump's final days in office, to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

    Trump desperately wanted ending America's longest war to be part of his legacy. Instead, it will be Joe Biden's.

    Nonetheless, in a recent interview with Swan, Trump took credit for Biden's announcement, insisting he set in motion a plan that could not be stopped.

    Swan provides listeners the full story of what Trump tried to do, how, and why it ultimately didn't happen.


    Follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen so you don't miss our second season coming later this year.
    Credits: This episode is produced by Amy Pedulla and Naomi Shavin. Dan Bobkoff is our executive producer. Mixing by Alex Sugiura. Theme music by Michael Hanf. Margaret Talev is Managing Editor of Politics. Sara Kehaulani Goo is Executive Editor. Additional writing, reporting and research by Zach Basu.
    Special thanks to Nuria Marquez Martinez, Niala Boodhoo, Alexandra Botti, Jimmy Shelton, and to Axios co-founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, and Roy Schwartz.
    Note: This episode has a brief moment of profanity

    • 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
4.1K Ratings

4.1K Ratings

emilyizaak ,

5 for Swan but…

Because the 1st season was amazing and he’s one of my favorite reporters, I’m rating this 5 stars. But the 2nd season and contrast between stories is….. subpar at best. Given the current state of the world, you couldn’t find anything besides the how the “we don’t pay taxes” guys are “into” space most civilians will never access in their lifetimes?

cjl2441 ,

Nothing but an advertisement for SpaceX

Par for the course with Axios which loves itself some access journalism.

Capitaine Carotte ,

How did this happen at Axios?

Hard to believe the hard hitting podcast giving fascinating behind the scenes details by the superb Jonathan Swan was handed over for the puff piece of a PR job. What an embarrassment and has sullied what could have been an awesome brand in podcasts.

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