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How It Happened

Podcast Series How It Happened

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.  

Series Episodes

The Next Astronauts Part V: The Launch

The Next Astronauts Part V: The Launch

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.

31 mins

5 October Finished

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 mins

14 September Finished

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 mins

7 September Finished

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 mins

2 September Finished

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 mins

31 August Finished

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