About the Author

Seth Kurkowski

@SethKurk

Space Reporter for Space Explored

Seth Kurkowski covers launches and general space news for Space Explored. He has been following launches from Florida since 2018.

Seth’s first launch was SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Demo in February of 2018 and has been hooked on them ever since.

He also helped start Space Coast Launch Ambassadors, an outreach group advocating for space exploration while helping the general public enjoy rocket launches from the Space Coast.

Seth also hosts a space and photography centered podcast and live show called Rapid Unscheduled Discussions on Monday nights.

When not chasing the newest in space, Seth is an software developer, avid GTA V player, and enjoys taking photos of sunrises from the beaches of South Florida.

Email tips, pitches, typos, and feedback to Seth@SpaceExplored.com.

Follow: Twitter @SethKurk + Instagram @sethkurk.

Today

Back in October, the executive director of New Mexico’s Spaceport America was fired. Now a report that’s full of evidence that he broke several laws and policies during his tenure has been released by the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor that describes his “dysfunctional” leadership.

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November 27

Japan’s newest launcher system has been in development for the past couple years and was planning on making its debut launch by the end of this year. But there have been several issues that will push the date to next year.

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November 26

For 20 years there has been a human presence in space on board the International Space Station (ISS). In those 20 years plenty of astronauts have made the sacrifice to be away from family and friends during Thanksgiving to continue the world’s push for new scientific discovery. Even though they are in space and remain busy, they still get the chance to celebrate the holiday.

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NASA has a long history of developing new technologies that change the way we view the world. From the small cameras used in all our phones and computers to making sure the food in our Thanksgiving dinner is safe to eat, here are some reasons to be thankful for America’s space agency.

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November 25

Starship SN8 has been out on the test stand for several months now down at SpaceX’s Starship test facility in Boca Chica, Texas. After several static fires and several engine replacements, it looks like SN8 could see flight as soon as next week.

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November 24

NASA astronaut Victor Glover shared his first video from the International Space Station.

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November 23

Shortly after Rocket Lab successfully launched its “Return to Sender” mission last week, the company shared today that it had successfully recovered the booster. This is the first time in Rocket Lab’s history that it has recovered a flight proven rocket booster. Rocket Lab joins the ranks of SpaceX in executing booster recovery with intent to re-fly.

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China is hours away from attempting a mission that hasn’t been tried since the end of the space race in the 1970s. Atop its Long March 5Y rocket, China plans to launch a lander to collect lunar soil never seen by researches here on Earth.

The mission is called “Chang’e 5” after the Chinese goddess of the moon. It’s also a continuation of what China has done with Chang’e 1-4 which has focused on learning how to orbit and land on the Moon. Now it is time for China to attempt to return a sample of the lunar surface.

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SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from its west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Saturday. The mission included a scientific payload for NASA, NOAA, and ESA called Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich. “The spacecraft is named after Dr. Michael Freilich, the former director of NASA’s Earth Science Division and a tireless advocate for advancing satellite measurements of the ocean,” according to NASA.

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November 20

We’ve seen much of the journey to NASA’s first Artemis mission take place at Stennis Space Center and Michoud Assembly Facility in Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively. This week we get to see the first piece of SLS hardware begin stacking at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the big launch around the Moon next year.

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Today OneWeb announced it has chosen a new CEO to run the company as it rises out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This follows OneWeb’s restructuring process after the UK and Bharti Global Limited invested $1 billion to keep the company afloat.

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November 19

After its successful launch of the first operational crew mission for SpaceX, booster B1061 landed seemingly perfect on droneship Just Read The Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. While it looked like a picture-perfect landing during the livestream, the booster was in a little less than perfect condition when it returned to Port Canaveral this morning.

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Part of the Expedition 64 conducted a news teleconference today from the International Space Station that was live on NASA TV. The conference included plenty of laughter, information, and microphone twirling.

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November 18

NASA announced today that it has successfully repaired a valve inside the propulsion system of the SLS Core Stage. Having repaired it, teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center can move on with further tests.

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Today is the final day of the ASCEND conference, and one of the starting sessions was with General Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, US Space Force. Raymond was joined by Lt. General John Thompson from the Space and Missile Systems Center and Mike Roberts from the Space Rapid Capabilities Office to talk about what they are doing to increase the US’ national security in space.

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November 17

On the heels of a successful arrival and docking of SpaceX’s Crew 1 mission to the International Space Station, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and associate administrator of the Human Exploration Mission Directorate Kathy Lueders spoke at the ASCEND industry conference about what they think the future of low-Earth orbit, the Moon, and Mars will be like.

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November 16

SpaceX’s historic Crew-1 flight lifted off from Florida on Sunday, carrying Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. According to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is one of the US’s closest allies in space exploration.

Israel, another close US ally, announced that they will be partnering with two American companies to launch its second-ever astronaut to space as soon as next year.

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At 7:27 p.m. EST on Sunday, SpaceX launched astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi into space. This marks the first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and the official transition to commercial transportation to the ISS for NASA. Since the end of the shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has relied on leasing astronaut seats on Russian rockets to access space.

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November 15

Live coverage from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station of SpaceX’s first operational crew launch to the International Space Station. SpaceX will launch NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Liftoff is scheduled for 7:27 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Space Explored’s livestream on location will kick off at 6:45 p.m. EST/ 3:45 p.m. PST. Tune in below and share the excitement with friends and family!

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November 13

Since 2012 SpaceX and Northrop Grumman (then Orbital ATK) have been providing supplies to the International Space Station. The first CRS contract brought us rockets like the Antares and Falcon 9 and without this funding, neither would exist. Today NASA continues that venture to build up the private space sector with the CRS-2 contract.

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