Astra Reaches Orbit

California-based Astra has successfully launched their rocket into orbit from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. This launch was performed with a dummy payload as a test flight for the US military. 

Astra is striving to secure a large portion of the small-satellite launch market with their line rockets. These rockets have been designed to be both responsive and flexible. Astra further sets themselves apart with a launch system which can be transported in just a few standard shipping containers.

This launch was Astra’s fourth orbital test flight, and the first to successfully reach orbit. Prior iterations on the design saw complications in the guidance system, fuel capacity, and engine stability. Between each design, the company returned to the design to make modifications and improve structural integrity and chance at success.

The company plans on ramping up spaceflight action to the tune of daily launches by 2025. Astra’s ambitions extend beyond building and launching rockets. For example, the company is also developing its own satellite bus, which will allow customers to integrate their payloads into a spacecraft they don’t have to build themselves. 

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