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Astra Space Launches Small Rocket Over Weekend, Fails To Reach Orbit

The Rocket Made It 31 Miles Before Descending Back To Earth

Astra Space launched a rocket in Alaska over the weekend, the company's first since going public.

The rocket failed to achieve its goal of making orbit. Astra founder and CEO Chris Kemp says that one engine shut down about one second into the rocket's first flight.

“It was obviously not successful at putting anything in orbit, but it was a flight where we learned a tremendous amount,” Kemp said, according to CNBC. “We do have a serial 7 which is right now in production and we’ll take what we learned here and incorporate whatever changes into that rocket and will be flying soon.”

“We have a tremendous amount of data from the flight and are in the process of reviewing it,” he continued.

On Friday, Astra was set to launch but instead decided to wait until Saturday, at 3:35 pm when the launch instead took place. The rocket LV0006 then ascended from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska.

The flight safety crew issued an all-engine shut-down command about 2 minutes and 28 seconds into the flight,  causing the rocket to stall. No injuries or damage to any property took place after the rocket reached an altitude of about 31 miles, before returning back to the launch area.

Saturday’s launch tested upgrades the company made since its last launch in December, when the rocket made it to space but ran out of fuel right before reaching orbit. The company intends to launch one small rocket per day by 2025. At 43 feet tall the rocket is considered a small rocket in the market.



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