90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, July 7, 2011

Journalist Pat Duggins Looks Back On 25 Years Covering NASA Space Shuttle

Space Shuttle Atlantis sits on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP)

Space Shuttle Atlantis sits on launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (AP)

Here and Now Guest:

NASA’s final shuttle is set to launch on Friday, weather permitting. The NASA space program cost taxpayers tens of billions dollars over the last 30 years.

Journalist Pat Duggins covered the shuttle program from 1986 to 2009 , while he worked at public radio station WMFE in Orlando, Florida .

He reported on the successes–including an historic meeting in orbit between Russian and American astronauts  at Russia’s Mir space station in 1995– and also the failures– the explosion of the Challenger in 1986 and the crash of the Columbia in 2003, both of which killed all people on board.

With the ending of the shuttle program, Duggins says the future of NASA and America’s space program is uncertain as the Obama Administration debates whether to fund a trip to Mars.

Meanwhile, China and Russia have built out their space programs and private enterprises, both in the U.S. and abroad, are getting more involved with space travel, leading some to predict that the private sector will drive future space exploration.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

October 30 2 Comments

How Athletes Are Getting ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’

Mark McClusky says for elite athletes today, pushing boundaries and breaking records is all about "the aggregation of marginal gains."

October 30 12 Comments

A Computer Model Forecasts Ebola’s Future Path

With the virus in Africa, the U.S. and Europe, experts have created a computer model to predict where it could go next.

October 29 Comment

Reporter Crosses Into Syria To Tell Stories Of Fighters

Holly Williams of CBS discusses some of the people she's interviewed, including women soldiers on the frontlines.

October 29 9 Comments

How Far Have We Come Since The Financial Crisis?

Or are we already going backwards? We ask Michael Lewis, author of books including "Flash Boys" and "Liar's Poker."