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.

April 16

This week join Space Explored’s Seth Kurkowski and Zac Hall to discuss the announcement of SpaceX’s Starship vehicle winning NASA’s Human Landing System contract, Blue Origin’s 15th New Shepard launch, Sun ‘n Fun coverage, and more.

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April 14

After having to cancel 2020’s events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Sun ‘n Fun is back on and better than ever. A week-long air show and aviation convention, the benefits of which will empower future generations to take to the skies.

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April 12

Blue Origin announced this weekend that they will attempt to launch their 15th New Shepard flight later this week. This marks the second flight for New Shephard this year following the January flight of Blue’s 4th vehicle, the first built for future crewed flights.

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With the inclusion of Shelia Bordelon as SpaceX’s newest fairing recovery ship and confirmation from Elon Musk that fairings will no longer be caught with a net. The time has come to bid farewell to one of the long-time loves of the SpaceX fleet.

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April 9

This week join Space Explored’s Seth Kurkowski, Zac Hall, and Derek Wise as they discuss updates to SpaceX starship vehicle and recovery fleet, now having 10 crew members on the ISS, Core Stage 1’s ride to Florida has arrived, and more.

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Before Commercial Crew the Soyuz was the only way to the ISS and normally only two were ever docked, making up a crew size of no more than 6. Now with SpaceX’s Crew 1 is on board, upon MS-18’s arrival, there are now 10 crew members for Expedition 64.

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April 8

Late last year Rocket Lab attempted its first recovery of an Electron rocket. Under the power of parachutes, the “Return to Sender” booster splashed down off the coast of New Zealand. While this booster didn’t return in a perfect reusable state, their next booster might fair better.

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Expedition 64 continues and the beginning of Expedition 65 begins as teams prepare to launch the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft carrying 2 Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut to the ISS in the beginning of April.

Date: Friday, April 9th, 3:42 AM EDT

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April 7

SpaceX is planning to launch their 10th Falcon 9 rocket of 2021 with another 60 satellites for their worldwide internet constellation, Starlink. Seven out of SpaceX’s 10 launches this year have been missions solely dedicated to building out their constellation and expand Starlink’s coverage.

Date: Wednesday, April 7th, 12:34 PM EDT / 4:34 PM UTC

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April 6

NASA planning to fire up an SLS rocket engine today at Stennis Space Center

Today Aerojet Rocketdyne’s plans to fire up an RS-25 engine at Stennis Space Center’s A1 test stand for another static fire test.

April 3

Last week part of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket deorbited over the US states of Oregon and Washington. While most of the second stage of the rocket burned up as it flew through the atmosphere at orbital velocities. An internal tank made it to the ground.

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April 1

Space Center Houston lights up SpaceX Falcon 9 in honor of March Madness

In honor of the University of Houston’s journey to get o the Final Four in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, Space Center Houston lit up their Falcon 9 booster red to celebrate.

SpaceX isn’t the only company that employs a fleet of ships to help with launching their rockets to space. United Launch Alliance also has a ship built to transport its rockets from their facilities along the Mississippi River to the company’s launch sites on the east and west coasts.

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This week join Space Explored’s Seth Kurkowski and Derek Wise to discuss the flight of SpaceX’s Starship SN11 in zero visibility, the final two crew assignments for the first all commercial spaceflight, Ingenuity’s steps to get closer to flight readiness, and more of this week’s space news.

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March 31

During a press conference today at their offices in Louisville, Colorado about the commercialization of low Earth orbit Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced a plan to build a new space station in low Earth orbit. SNC has been a major defense and aerospace contractor since the 60s and is currently building the Dream Chaser spaceplane for NASA’s Commercial Resupply 2 contract and is projected to fly in 2022.

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March 30

SpaceX’s first operational crewed mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has been on the International Space Station (ISS) since November of last year. The crew is planning to prepare the station for a new group of astronauts coming up in April from both Russia and the US.

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SpaceX launched its Starship SN11 prototype rocket early Tuesday morning in the fog of South Texas. Visibility was extremely low. For example, onlookers were not able to view the rocket on the pad from a distance this time. Despite the hope of a successful landing, Starship SN11 was not the first to reach that milestone for SpaceX.

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Earlier this year Jared Isaacman announced that he was paying for four people to fly on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to space for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The twist was this was also a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and those who wanted to fly on the mission earned entries by donating to St. Jude or selling items and raising money for the hospital.

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March 29

The National Space Council which was reestablished in 2017 by President Trump to plan the United State’s space policy is being renewed by President Biden. This comes after a several months’ wait to hear the fate of the council and the User Advisory Group.

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After hopes were squashed due to the scrub of a duel static fire and flight day Friday. SpaceX is hoping to regroup and try again this coming Monday for the next attempt to fly Starship SN11 and more importantly bring it back in one piece.

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