About the Author

Seth Kurkowski

Managing Editor at 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 both of which you can listen to here on SpaceExplored.com

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

Follow: Twitter @SethKurk + Instagram @sethkurk.

Space Explored 55: Interview with NASA’s Tom Engler, Shotwell leads Starship, more

This week we bring an interview out of the archives with NASA’s Tom Engler on how Kennedy Space Center has changed from the Shuttle program to now. Jared and Seth also discuss the week’s top headlines and correctly predicted Artemis 1’s fate.



Artemis 1 has left the pad, this time under its own power

After years of delays and several frustrating launch attempts, Artemis 1 has launched and is on its way to the Moon. Finally, the planets aligned for NASA and the SLS rocket to take flight and wow onlookers who have waited for this moment for a very long time.

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Quick Thoughts: ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano on the launch of Artemis 1

Before settling down in NASA’s press center at Kennedy Space Center for tonight’s launch, I was able to speak with ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano on the role Europe plays in this launch. “NASA will always be the agency that put a man on the moon 50 years ago,” Luca said, “But nowadays, we as a European space agency are trying to catch up, and we want to be part of this incredible endeavor.”

I asked Luca if he believed tonight is the night Artemis 1 will finally launch. He thinks we are 50/50 but still very excited to see this candle light.


Space Force’s top secret spaceplane returns from orbit after a 908-day mission

It seems to be a news story that takes place every couple of years, but early Saturday morning, sonic booms were heard across Florida Space Coast. Those rather iconic booms could only mean one thing, the arrival of NASA’s Space Shuttle or the Space Force’s classified X37-B spaceplane. Since all of NASA’s shuttles have been collecting dust in museums for the past decade, it must be that pesky X37-B.

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SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell is now in charge of Starship’s development

It sounds like SpaceX’s Starship program is getting another leadership change, and this time it’s a big one. SpaceX employee number 11, Gwynne Shotwell, the President and COO of the company, will now lead its development.

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Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft arrives at the space station – despite a failed solar panel

Early this morning, Northrop Grumman’s SS Sally Ride Cygnus spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station carrying 8,200 pounds of supplies for the seven crewmembers. However, the Cygnus is missing one of its now iconic circular solar panels due to an unknown failure.

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Space Explored Podcast 54: Falcon Heavy launch, Amazon looks at SpaceX, more

This week (on the late episode of the podcast), Seth and Jared talk about their very different Falcon Heavy launch experiences, less than 13 miles apart. They also recap the headlines from the past week, including Amazon’s thoughts on the launch of Kuiper with SpaceX, Elon and Twitter, and even some Artemis news.



Quick Thoughts: A bad case of the space Mondays

Have you ever woken up on a Monday morning and thought to yourself, “yeah, no, I don’t want to do anything,” and then you attempt to get up, and the day doesn’t stop punching? That was today for the space industry. We work up to a new report of Subtropical Storm Nicole making landfall on Florida’s Space Coast (just in time for Artemis 1 to be rolled out to the pad), Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft only having one solar panel deployed, and an absolutely terrible weather forecast for SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 launch.

I guess here’s the deal, Mondays suck not just for the average person but even for the most talented and intelligent people we know. I just got back from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch on Saturday, and I hopefully plan to drive back down from Wisconsin for Artemis 1 and an airshow this Thursday, both of which could be canceled, so I guess the joke is on me?

Will Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter affect SpaceX? Probably not

Two weeks ago, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk officially took control of Twitter, an app you probably used to get to this article. We’ve seen Musk start new companies since creating SpaceX, but this is the first significant company he has taken control of since Tesla in 2004. So what does this new addition to the Elon portfolio mean for SpaceX?

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When is the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch?

What do you get when you take three Falcon 9 boosters and strap them together? Well, a Falcon Heavy of course. Right now, the most powerful rocket (we won’t be able to say that for much longer), SpaceX doesn’t get to launch it often, but when they do, everyone wants to see The next Falcon Heavy launch scheduled for November 1 at 9:41 a.m. EDT from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center.

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SpaceX reportedly dodged Starship accident during full stack test, Starlink chief now leading project

According to a report from The Information, SpaceX could be pushing its Starship production too fast, with safety concerns reported by employees during a recent full stack test. All this under the eyes of Starlink’s chief, now unofficially running the program.

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Amazon open to launching Project Kuiper satellites with SpaceX Falcon Heavy and Starship

Sometimes it’s good to be a competitor, and sometimes it’s nice to be a launch provider. SpaceX gets to be both and profit off its competitors. Amazon Senior Vice President Dave Limp said the company is also open to SpaceX’s capabilities to launch its Project Kuiper satellites.

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Voyager’s first Project Scientist retires after 50 years on the job

Talk about dedication to your job! While the average employee only stays at their company for four years, Edward Stone stuck around for 50. On Tuesday, he finally retired from JPL, where he served as Voyager’s Project Scientist.

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Space Explored Podcast 53: What Polaris Dawn will do in space, lots of SpaceX in the news, more

This week Seth and Jared dive into the science that Polaris Dawn will complete while in space. There are also plenty of SpaceX headlines to talk about as we near the fourth Falcon Heavy launch.



OneWeb returns with first launch from India; mega-constellation over 70% complete

It’s not often that we discuss the launch of a mega constellation other than Starlink, but over the weekend, OneWeb became the first commercial launch on India’s largest rocket. This was also the company’s return to launching since it broke ties with Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Space Explored Podcast 52: Elon, Starlink, and Ukraine, more

Seth and Jared discuss what is going on in Ukraine with Elon Musk and Starlink. They also catch you up on the top headlines in space from this past week.



Astra gets delisting warning from NASDAQ after poor stock performance

It’s already been about a month since Astra’s closing price on NASDAQ went below the $1 limit, which triggers some issues with the powers that be in New York. Since then, the stock price has continued to decrease in value as failed launches have led the company to shift to a new rocket design.

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Space Explored 51: Astra delisting notice, Elon Musk with Ukraine, more

This week Seth and Jared dive into Astra Space receiving a delisting warning from the NASDAQ and what that means if you own shares of the company. Also, they catch you up on all the rockets that launched last (eight in seven days!!!), Elon Musk’s peace idea for Ukraine and Taiwan, oh and what’s the deal with that Crew-5 Meatball?



Space Explored Podcast 50: SpaceX and Hubble, Artemis 1 to November, more

This week Seth and Jared discuss SpaceX’s study to save Hubble, of course our update on the Artemis 1 mission (that we swear will end someday) and some surprisingly nice comments by Russia’s new space chief. The hot takes this week are about Tesla’s AI robot and the FCC taking on space debris.



SpaceX and NASA to study Polaris Program Hubble mission

In a press conference Thursday, NASA announced it is looking into the possibility of partnering with SpaceX to boost the legendary Hubble Space Telescope into a more stable orbit – something many people joked about but didn’t think would ever be real.

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Space Explored Podcast 49: DART hits an asteroid, Artemis 1 rolls back, more

This week Seth and Jared discuss NASA’s “Hollywood moment,” by crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid all in the name of science! Also, Artemis 1 is still on the pad, with weather predictions worsening for NASA.



NASA’s Dart spacecraft successfully smashes into asteroid in the name of planetary defense

Monday evening, NASA’s DART mission finished its goal by smacking full speed into a little asteroid moonlet called Dimorphos. This mission has one goal: prepare humanity incase a killer asteroid is found.

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Artemis 1 rocket to rollback to Vehicle Assemble Building ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival

After delaying the decision several times, NASA managers finally gave the okay to roll Artemis 1’s massive SLS rocket back to the protection of the Vehicle Assembly Building before damaging winds from Hurricane Ian arrive.

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Space Explored Podcast 48: Space Coast weather is getting rough, more

This week Seth and Jared dive into the weather that has been and will affect Space Coast launches, especially now that we get into the thick of hurricane season. Starship is back in the news with a record-breaking static fire and organic material found on Mars?



NASA Administrator throws shade at Boeing for being ‘still on the ground’

In an interview with Newsweek, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson made a rather interesting comment about the agency’s two Commerical Crew partners’ progress. The once anti-commerical Senator praised SpaceX for its progress and threw shade at Boeing for still not completing its test flights.

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Space Explored Podcast 47: Blue Origin launch aborts, new Artemis 1 details, more

space explored podcast

This week, Seth and Jared discuss what happened during Blue Origin’s mid-flight abort, the new Artemis 1 launch date, and more space news.


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When is the next Blue Origin New Shepard rocket launch?

Since 2015 Blue Origin has been launching its New Shepard suborbital rocket from its facility in Van Horne, Texas. Additionally, in 2021 Blue Origin began launching paying customers atop its rocket for a 10-minute joy ride. The next launch of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, this time without crew is set for September 12 at 8:30 a.m. CDT. [Launch failure, read more here]

Space Explored Podcast 46: Artemis 1 delayed for a few weeks and more

Seth and Jared discuss why Artemis 1 scrubbed on its second launch attempt and why it will be a longer delay this time. Also, SpaceX is gaining more ISS crew rotation flights and a new contract with Rocket Lab.



iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via satellite feature to be powered by Globalstar

Apple announced its new iPhone 14 phones today with the long-rumored feature of satellite connectivity when using Emergency SOS. This service will be powered by the long-time satellite service provider Globalstar.

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Why NASA delayed Artemis 1 launch (again) and what happens next

To say we are disappointed with the outcome of today’s launch attempt would be an understatement. With the development of an unmanageable leak on a hydrogen quick disconnect, Artemis 1 is unable to launch this window, pushing back NASA’s Moon mission at least a few weeks.

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NASA’s unwinnable Artemis 1 choice: Another wet dress rehearsal or launch

Monday’s high-profile scrub of the Artemis 1 launch had caused division within the launch media community. The decision to go through with a launch attempt versus completing a full wet dress rehearsal has some attacking NASA for wasting time and resources.

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SpaceX plans for 100 launches come 2023, currently at 39 launches for 2022

Last night SpaceX launched its 39th Falcon 9 of 2022 from Vandenberg Space Force Base to deploy another 46 Starlink satellites. The company has already shattered records for the past few years, but it wants to push harder, hoping for 100 launches in 2023 per its CEO, Elon Musk.

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Space Explored Podcast 45: Artemis 1 update, ABL Space and Firefly launches next month

Seth and Jared discuss what happened during the launch countdown of Artemis 1 and what NASA is doing to hopefully launch again on Friday. Also, they talk about how we can see two new companies start launch operations in September.



Artemis 1 next launch attempt moves to Saturday

In a press briefing Tuesday, NASA managers announced that September 3 would be the next launch attempt of the Artemis 1 mission. The managers also discussed what the team is doing to resolve the problems found during Monday morning’s countdown.

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Artemis 1 scrubs due to engine issue on SLS Core Stage

While the hype was real for today’s historic launch attempt of Artemis 1, today was just not the day. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know the severity of the issues that eventually put the nail in the coffin for today’s launch, but we should hopefully know soon.

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Astra’s stock continues to plummet after Rocket 3’s discontinuation

Just over a year ago, Astra went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, closing at $12.90 on its first day. Astra’s stock price has since plummeted to less than $1, starting a clock before it could be moved off the Nasdaq.

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Space Explored Podcast 44: Artemis I on the horizon

This week Seth and Jared discuss everything, and probably more, that you need to know about Artemis I. From where to view the launch, the mission objectives, and more, you’ll be ready for when launch coverage begins this weekend.



See rings, moons, and even auroras in Webb’s latest image of Jupiter

Hey, remember that giant telescope that launched on Christmas and blew our minds with awesome galaxy photos? Well, it’s back. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope shared its official images of the king of gas giants, Jupiter. The Webb telescope continues to blow our minds with every new picture release.

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SpaceX Starship selected to launch Japanese communication satellite in 2024

It looks like someone finally took the bite on using Starship to launch its payload into space instead of a lesser, non-fully reusable rocket. A Japanese company announced Friday that SpaceX will launch its communication satellite on Starship as soon as 2024.

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Artemis I arrives at LC-39B ahead of its planned launch date of August 29

Isn’t that a nice headline to finally write? Artemis I (knock on wood) took its final rollout from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39B. With less than two weeks until the launch date, the feeling is real that it might happen.

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Space Explored Podcast 43: Starship static fires are back, Artemis I nears, and more

This week Seth and Jared discuss the Artemis I mission as it nears closer and closer to launching. The two also talk about other current events in the space industry and look at the newest images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.



SpaceX conducts back to back static fires of Starship 24 and Booster 7

On Tuesday, SpaceX conducted two static fires at its Starbase site in South Texas. The spacecraft being tested, Ship 24 and Booster 7, are believed to be the first SpaceX will use to launch Starship’s Orbital Flight Test as soon as this year, if you believe Elon Musk.

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Northrop Grumman partners with Firefly to upgrade Antares and develop future rocket together

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, we have been following how it will affect Northrop Grumman’s capability to launch its Antares rocket. Northrop Grumman has finally announced its solution to unavailable components in a partnership with Firefly Aerospace to supply engines and a new first stage to the Antares 330 rocket.

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YouTuber in space: Dude Perfect flies to space on Blue Origin’s latest launch

Coby Cotton, one of the five members of Dude Perfect, launched on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket early Thursday morning. Cotton’s participation is part of a partnership between the trick shooting YouTubers and a crypto company called MoonDAO.

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Rocket Lab launches second national security launch with impressive cadence

Rocket Lab, the leader of the SmallSat launch market, has completed its “Back to Back” launch campaign for the National Reconnaissance Office. This marks a major cadence milestone for the company working to become the SpaceX of SmallSat launches.

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James Webb telescope releases newest color image of The Cartwheel galaxy

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has already blown the minds of humans across the globe with its original set of color images. Now Webb has a new image, one of the chaotic Cartwheel galaxy.

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Elon Musk expects a successful orbital Starship flight between ‘1 and 12 months’ from now

Surprising probably no one, the timeframe SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has given for a successful orbital Starship mission is anywhere from next month to next year.

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Polaris Dawn launch date could be December

Announced in February, Jared Issacman’s Polaris Program crew has been training for a flight on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft this year. At EAA’s AirVenture airshow this weekend, Issacman announced that the launch date for Polaris Dawn could be as soon as the end of this year.

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