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Author Topic:   Astra Space Rocket 3 demonstration flights
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-04-2020 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astra release
Today, we’re thrilled to introduce the world to Astra.

For the past three years, we’ve been quietly building a space company unlike any other. The team we’ve assembled consists of amazingly talented engineers, designers, fabricators and operators.

Our goal is to reshape how the space industry works, starting with how we get there. By offering smaller more frequent launches, Astra will enable a wave of innovation in low Earth orbit and improve life on our planet through greater connectivity and more regular observation.

Industry giants and a wave of new startups are racing to create trillions of dollars of new economic activity in space.  Last year alone, nearly $6 billion was invested into space companies, many of which intend to disrupt the industry. What these innovators need are more flights taking their satellites precisely where they need to go.

We’re excited to reach this next critical stage as a company, and we’re confident in our vision for space. But, as we’ve all gleaned throughout our careers, space keeps you humble. Still, it’s the sense of possibility, the chance to innovate and make a difference here on Earth, that fuels our passion.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-02-2020 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astra release
Rocket 1 of 3, Launch Attempt 1

Today [March 2, 2020], Astra began countdown of the first orbital launch as the final remaining competitor in the DARPA launch challenge. Our team decided to hold the launch at T-53 seconds after a sensor reported unexpected data that could have impacted the success of the flight. Out of our commitment to safety, and to increase the probability of overall success of the three-launch campaign, we have decided to prioritize fully investigating the issue over attempting to win the DARPA challenge today.

We are incredibly grateful to our team who have worked many late nights and weekends for the past few months to prepare our launch system for our first launch. We would also like to thank the team at DARPA, the FAA, and the team at Pacific Spaceport Complex for making an orbital launch attempt possible within a few days.

We remain determined to reach orbit and plan to attempt another launch attempt as soon as possible. Thank you for the continued support as we move forward in our mission to observe, connect and improve life on earth.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-16-2020 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Astra (via Twitter):
We're back! Despite COVID-19, damage to our launch system, and on-going events affecting our country, the team has been impressively resilient and we've confirmed a launch window beginning July 20th out of Kodiak, Alaska!

Success for this flight means we accomplish enough to make orbit within three flights, which we have defined as at least achieving a nominal first stage burn.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-16-2020 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Astra (via Twitter):
Say hello to Rocket 3.1, our orbital launch vehicle that just passed its 2nd static hotfire test with flying colors. Having completed testing, Rocket 3.1 is now packed up and on its way to Kodiak, Alaska for our first orbital launch attempt!

We are narrowing and finalizing our launch window - we'll be announcing that window early next week!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-11-2020 11:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astra launched its first vehicle, Rocket 3.1, from Kodiak, Alaska, on Friday (Sept. 11), but suffered a failure on the way to orbit. From Astra (via Twitter):
Successful lift off and fly out, but the flight ended during the first stage burn. It does look like we got a good amount of nominal flight time. More updates to come!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-15-2020 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astra release
Rocket 3.2 Ready To Launch!

Astra's mission is to launch a new generation of space services to improve life on earth, and we're accomplishing this by making space more accessible through affordable, regular launches.

Only three months since our last test launch, we're back on the pad ready for our next launch with a new and improved version of our rocket — an incredible achievement for our industry.

As with our first launch attempt, the primary objective for Rocket 3.2 is to take another step towards reaching orbit by learning and accomplishing more than we did before; more progress gets us closer to reaching orbit on our next launch.

Launch details

Rocket 3.2 will launch from Astra's Kodiak Spaceport: pad LP-3B at Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island during a launch window from December 11-18, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) each day. We are proud to partner with the team at PSCA and are grateful for their support.

Since this is a demonstration mission, Rocket 3.2 will not have a payload. However, if Rocket 3.2 were to achieve orbit, the vehicle will send a signal that indicates when the payload would have been deployed.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-15-2020 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Astra on Tuesday (Dec. 15), via Twitter:
KARMAN LINE PASSED!!!!!!!

HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!!!

Flight video, data, and more details to follow!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 45277
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-17-2020 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astra release
Astra makes it to space!

Dec. 15, 2020 was a historic day for Astra and America, as we joined a small, elite group of privately funded companies that have made it to space. We couldn't be more proud that our team accomplished this milestone in the face of so much adversity this year. Only three months after our last orbital launch attempt, we were back in Kodiak with the goal of a nominal first stage burn, followed by fairing separation and stage separation. We achieved all of these objectives and more!

Rocket 3.2 lifted off from the Alaskan coast on Dec. 15 at 12:55 p.m. PST followed by more than two minutes of a successful first stage flight. A few seconds later, we completed a nominal stage separation and ignition of the upper stage, and blasted past the Kármán line, the border between Earth's atmosphere and outer space. Almost seven minutes later, traveling over 16,000 miles per hour (Mach 21), Astra's upper stage engine shut down nominally after depleting all of its fuel. Rocket 3.2 precisely achieved its target altitude of 380 kilometers at 7.2 km/sec — just short of orbital velocity of 7.68 km/sec.

Our data shows that all of the rocket's hardware and software performed exceptionally well, and that only a small adjustment to the mixture ratio of fuel and oxidizer stands between us and our first customer payload delivery in a few months. Most importantly, this means that Astra can immediately begin delivering for our customers. As of today, we have contracted over two dozen launches, representing over 100 spacecraft. We are immediately executing our plan to ramp up rocket production and launch operations.

Our next rocket is nearly complete and we'll be identifying opportunities based on Tuesday's data on how to further improve the vehicle performance ahead of our next launch. This rapid iteration is unique to Astra and separates us from other launch providers in the industry.

To say that 2020 has been a challenge is an understatement and Astra has shared many of the struggles that much of the world has experienced this year. However, we are grateful to close out this year with the outcome of Tuesday's launch as well as being announced as one of NASA's mission partners. It is more than we could've hoped for as a team. Thanks to our incredible team and their families, as well as our customers, suppliers, partners, investors and all of our fans!

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