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90.7 WMFE Presents Special Series on NASA Apollo Program



July 14, 2019 -- Orlando public radio station 90.7 WMFE presents the special series “Apollo: Then & Now” the week of July 15. Space reporter Brendan Byrne interviews those who were on the ground 50 years ago about the Apollo program, the first crewed mission to land on the moon, and how it shaped Brevard County.

Featured interviews:

  • JoAnn Morgan — KSC’s first female engineer and the only woman in that firing room for Apollo 11.
  • Andy Aldrin — Astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s son
  • Phil Metzger — UCF professor whose dad worked on Apollo
  • Gerry Griffin, one of the directors who helped Apollo safely land on the moon and return home

The series will have a special interactive component: Photographer Jim Hobart of Macbeth Studio worked with WMFE to find photos of the Space Coast from the 1960s and recreate them today. Extended versions of interviews will post all week on Are We There Yet?, WMFE's space exploration podcast.

Here's the lineup of special stories and a special Intersection program airing on 90.7-FM in Central Florida starting Monday, July 15. Also listen by going online to wmfe.org, through the WMFE mobile app or asking your smart speaker to play WMFE or NPR.

Monday, July 15

Moon shots: The Apollo program changes the landscape of both Kennedy Space Center and Brevard County. Fifty years later, NASA is attempting another moon shot – using much of the same technology and tenacity to get it done. (Morning Edition & All Things Considered)

Tuesday, July 16

JoAnn Morgan: On the morning of July 16, dozens of technicians and flight controllers piled into the firing room at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to count down the launch of Apollo 11’s Saturn V rocket. Among the sea of people, was JoAnn Morgan — KSC’s first female engineer and the only woman in that firing room. WMFE’s Brendan Byrne looks back at Morgan’s decades-long career at NASA. (Morning Edition & All Things Considered) (This feature will also air nationally on NPR, date TBD)

Special Apollo-themed Intersection: In this special edition of Intersection, hosted by Brendan Byrne, hear from a historian about the political push to land humans on the moon, a conversation with Buzz Aldrin’s son Andy Aldrin, and an interview with University of Central Florida’s Phil Metzger, whose dad worked on Apollo and inspired him to become an engineer. At 9:32, 50 years to the minute, we’ll listen to the original countdown broadcast of Apollo 11 launching from Kennedy Space Center. (9-10 a.m.)

Wednesday, July 17

Photos: Photographer Jim Hobart worked with WMFE to find photos of the Space Coast from the 1960s and recreate them today, showing what has changed (or hasn’t!) in the 50 years since Apollo. The photos will be found on our InDepth website, where views can “slide” to compare the two photos. (Morning Edition & All Things Considered)

Thursday, July 18 

Flight Directors: After launching from KSC, flight directors at Johnson Space Center led the harrowing Apollo missions through triumph and challenge. The dedicated group of engineers steered the mission from Houston and helped the dozen astronauts of Apollo safely land on the moon and return home. A conversation with Gerry Griffin, one of those directors who led his team through the harrowing moments. (Morning Edition & All Things Considered)

Friday, July 19 

Preservation: Advocates want to protect the six Apollo sites on the moon as private companies begin setting their sights on lunar exploration. How does one preserve the historic sites on the moon while still encouraging lunar exploration? (Morning Edition & All Things Considered)

About Community Communications Inc.:

Community Communications Inc. is a non-profit, member-supported, community-based public broadcasting company that operates 90.7 WMFE-FM, metro Orlando’s primary provider of NPR programming; 90.7-2 Classical; and 89.5 WMFV, public radio for The Villages, Leesburg and The Golden Triangle. Part of the community since 1980, Community Communications focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. Visit  wmfe.org and  wmfv.org for more information.

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MEDIA INQUIRIES: Please contact Space Reporter Brendan Byrne at bbyrne@wmfe.org.