Student Creates Site to Help Track Rocket Launches, Cosmic Happenings

With nearly 50 launches on the Space Coast in 2022, and more yet to come, it can be challenging to keep up on what is happening when, who is launching where, and what is being ferried to space.

A first-year student named Joshua Habka built a solution.

It’s called Universe Launches, and on it you will find schedules for not just rocket launches, but flybys, lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers and more.

“We are celestial pioneers discovering the beauty of the cosmos,” the site informs us. “Let us explore and discover its hidden secrets.”

Habka, 18, is a Mount Washington, Kentucky native and astrophysics major. His love of space was hatched as a youngster watching the TV series, “Cosmos.” Why the obsession? One word: complexity.

“We think Earth is so big, so much complexity to it, but then you look into the cosmos, the whole cosmic landscape, and the complexity is absolutely stunning,” he said.  

Now managing multiple social media accounts, including his “personal brand” Instagram account @realjoshuniverse with more than 27,000 followers, Habka continues to refine his launch site to add more features, including sending out reminders via multiple platforms.

Habka’s facility with computers grew in high school, and he’s dabbled in Linux and built a few NFCs. His space interest and his computer skills combined to power Universe Launches and the entire Josh Universe.

“I mixed those two together to create something that’s really interesting,” he said.

He is planning to earn his doctorate and then continue his space evangelism via his still developing Celestial Institute. He foresees speeches, research, continued efforts to build his personal brand.

“You only live once – that’s all I can tell you. You might as well make life how you want it,” he said.

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