Blue Dot 180: America Returns To Space

May 29, 2020

Doug Hurley (foreground) and Bob Behnken aboard Dragon Demo 2.
Credit SpaceX via NASA

After spending the last two years looking back at the Apollo Program, Dave looks ahead to the Commercial Crew flight program and Project Artemis. We hear first from Daniel Huot, a NASA spokesperson who is doing commentary during the historic first flight of the Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley set to put America back in space from US soil for the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.


Huot's job is to explain various aspects of the mission to the International Space Station from SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.


Then we turn our attention to NASA's Artemis program to return to the Moon for the first time in over half a century. Dave talks to software engineer Ben Feist, whose website presents three of NASA's most iconic missions -- Apollo 11, 13, and 17 as they happened with all of the audio recordings and visuals from the Moon program.


Feist is joined by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist Noah Petro. Together, they are using data from the Apollo missions, especially Apollo 17 (the last and most extensive lunar mission in 1972) and LRO orbital data to help train the next generation of lunar explorers for Artemis.