About the Author

Seth Kurkowski

@SethKurk

Managing Editor 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 co-hosts the Space Explored weekly podcast as well as the Rapid Unscheduled Discussions podcast.

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

Follow: Twitter @SethKurk + Instagram @sethkurk.

Today

Watch the moment things went wrong when Nauka joined the ISS [Video]

Earlier this week Russia launched their newest module to the International Space Station. After a rough orbit insertion, Nauka caused even more issues when it started firing its thrusters while attached to the International Space Station. Video shows Nauka’s docking mishap.

Update: SLD 45 released their L-3 day weather report although nothing has changed for Tuesday’s flight.


After the missed opportunity to dock with the International Space Station due to a timer issue on its first flight a second test flight was needed. Boeing will be performing their second orbital flight test for their Starliner crew capsule as soon as Friday to dock with the ISS. This will also serve as the final test before NASA puts crew onboard to determine if it’s ready.

Date: Tuesday, August 3rd at 1:20 p.m. EDT

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July 30

The Mars 2020 mission consisted of two main payloads, the Perseverance rover and a technology demonstration helicopter called Ingenuity. Perseverance was the 6th rover ever sent to the Martian surface and was based on the successful design of the 2011 Curiosity rover. On this day, Mars 2020 launched to space.

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July 28

After a failure in the second stage during their “Running Out Of Toes” mission earlier this year. Rocket Lab is planning to return with a now improved system this week. The mission will carry a test satellite for the United States Space Force to evaluate new sensor technology. In tradition with Rocket Lab’s fun naming style, this launch will be named “It’s A Little Chile Up Here”. This is in honor of the green chile of New Mexico where the Space Force’s Space Test Program is based.

Date: Thursday, July 29th at 4:00 a.m. EDT (2-hour window)

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July 27

This week on Rapid Unscheduled Discussions Seth and Daryl discuss Wally Funk going to space, Europa Clipper moving to Falcon Heavy, Elon meme page on TikTok, and sports got brought up more than it should.

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Check out this animation showing NASA Ingenuity’s 9th flight [Video]

At the beginning of this month, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter made a daring flight that would trek over 600 meters, at speeds of up to 5 m/s for just under 3 minutes. A user created an animation of the Ingenuity’s flight so you can see it from any angle.

July 26

This week on the Space Explored Podcast Seth and Derek discuss what it means for Jeff Bezos to go to space, new Super Heavy boosters, Europa Clipper getting a new ride to Jupiter, and more.

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July 23

NASA shares video celebrating the final shuttle flight and what’s to come

Yesterday NASA shared a video to their YouTube channel celebrating the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program. In it, they discuss how far we’ve come since then and what is to come after.

July 22

Update: Skittles will not be selling these in stores but rather giving a select few away on their social media platforms.


Along with the fancy watches, sapphire dotted wings, and national media attention, the crew of Blue Origin’s NS-16 flight also carried some Skittles with them to space. Now the company will give away a number of limited-edition Skittles Zero-G pack of the candies on their social media channels.

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Astronaut visits ULA’s facilities and shows off their wonky elevator floors

NASA Astronaut Matthew Dominick visited ULA’s SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to check out Starliner and shared an interesting photo of the VIF’s floors.

July 21

Over the last two weeks, we saw the first two private commercial space flights. Both companies pinned their participants with their versions of “Astronaut Wings” but are they real astronauts? The FAA just released their requirements for the title of astronaut.

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In May of this year, Rocket Lab attempted to launch their 20th mission to space. The mission ended with failure of the Electron’s upper stage, but now they are ready to move on to their next flight.

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July 20

This week we welcome the addition of a new podcast for Space Explored, Rapid Unscheduled Discussions. Started by Seth Kurkowski and Daryl Sausse at the beginning of 2020. The show takes a more laid-back and humorous approach to discussing current events. This week they go over what they missed over their (rather long) two-week break.

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The International Space Station is designed to always be crewed by cosmonauts and astronauts. For this reason, women and men have been living and working in space constantly since the first Expedition mission in the year 2000. So how many people are in space right now?

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This morning Blue Origin is planning their first crewed flight of their suborbital New Shepard rocket. The crew will be Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, legendary aviator Wally Funk, and early ticket holder Oliver Daemen.

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July 19

Update: A video was shared on social media showing the progress on the X-Wing that has been made since it arrived at the museum for restoration work.


Happy Star Wars Day to everyone, and if you’re an avid fan of the sci-fi series then you know what an X-Wing is. Good news for anyone wanting to see one cause starting tomorrow you can at the National Air and Space Museum.

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Space Explored’s Seth Kurkowski and Derek Wise discuss SpaceX’s new droneship locations. As Of Course I Still Love You arrives in California and A Shortfall of Gravitas arrives in Florida. Long-time astronaut Doug Hurley retires from the astronaut corp and they try to answer the question of what to call Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.

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July 18

Friday, July 16th, NASA announced that veteran astronaut Doug Hurley will retire from his career within the Astronaut Office. Hurley’s career has spanned the retirement of the shuttle, activation of SpaceX’s dragon, and an overall change in NASA’s culture.

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July 17

Space Force General throws out first pitch at MLB game

Before yesterday’s game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres, the Vice Chief of Space Operations threw out the first pitch alongside other Space Force Guardians.

July 15

Update: Blue Origin spoke with CNBC about the reasoning for Daemen’s selection.


Blue Origin announced today that the fourth member of the NS-16 crew will be an 18-year-old from the Netherlands who bought a ticket on the New Shepard rocket.

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