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The Next Astronauts Part V: The Launch

How It Happened


Politics, News, History

4.84.6K Ratings

🗓️ 5 October 2021

⏱️ 30 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer follows the Inspiration4 crew to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. to cover their launch and catches up with each of them after their return. Kramer takes listeners to the press center at the Kennedy Space Center and inside of a pre-launch press conference with the four civilian astronauts the day before launch. Kramer reports on the launch from on the ground and analyzes the livestream hosted by SpaceX, including the abrupt termination of real-time access to the crew once they reached orbit. She tracks the crew during their three days in orbit, their high-risk descent back through the Earth's atmosphere, and what the safety and success of the mission means for the entire industry going forward. 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.

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It's been a few weeks since our final pre-launch episode.


If you're new to this podcast, I recommend you listen to all of the previous episodes


this season, starting with the prologue.


They're available in your feed, wherever you get your podcasts.


This story started with a group of ordinary people watching a launch, and it ends with


a launch of those very same people.


Question 4 is the first all-civilian mission to orbit.


I'm going to take you to Pat 39A at Kennedy Space Center, the famous site of rocket launches


to the Moon and Space Shuttle missions where this crew took flight from.


You'll hear how the launch played out inside of SpaceX headquarters, but also what it was


like on the ground.


You'll hear what the crew told me after their return.


And you'll hear why this mission matters for all of us who want to understand our future


in space.


I'm Miriam Kramer.


From Axios, this is how it happened the next astronauts.


Part 5, the launch.


The day before the launch, I was one of a few journalists allowed into a press conference


with the crew on site at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.


On the bus to the presser, no one really knew what was going on.


It was SpaceX's first ever private crew, and only their fourth crewed launch.


Their growing pains were apparent.


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