Astra is Now in Orbit! — The Company's First-Ever Succesful Rocket Launch
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Astra joined the growing group of space vehicles in orbit as they successfully launched their first-ever rocket in space.

Rockets by Astra is an Alameda-based rocket startup company that reached triumph late Friday, Nov. 19, as their rocket took off from Kodiak, Alaska's launch site, around 9:00 P.M. local time.

Behind Astra's Rocket Launch Success

Like every other startup company in any industry, failures are bound to happen.

Astra was no stranger to this. In September 2020, the space rocket firm that had just started in 2016 attempted its first orbital launch. However, shortly after liftoff, Astra's Rocket 3.1 underwent guidance failure.

Then three months later, another one of their attempts made it to space. Yet, before reaching the orbital velocity, their spacecraft ran out of fuel.

The last two launch failures didn't budge Astra.

Earlier this August, Astra had its third orbital liftoff. They sent a rocket named Launch Vehicle 0006 or LV0006 from Alaska's Pacific Spaceport Complex. This was considered a test mission intended for the American military.

The third try from Astra suffered from a lateral move rather than supposed vertical motility, making it slide sideways off the liftoff pad. Regardless, it found its footing and rose into the sky of Alaska.

Just 2 minutes later, Astra terminated the mission around the "max-Q" - where a rocket's mechanical stresses are at their peak. The decision to terminate was due to the rocket's inability to recover from the first few technical difficulties.

Needless to say, the LV0006 rocket had a rocky start.

Like the succeeding launches after their first failure, Astra persisted.

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The LV0007 Rocket Launch Mission

Astra learned from their past mistakes as they looked into their third failure, an early engine shutdown.

Then, they settled on the LV0007 launch, carrying a payload for the Space Test Program's second mission (STP-27AD2).

The company initially scheduled the liftoff at the of October. However, there was a shift in their plan because of the weather.

Finally, Astra followed up on its third attempt in August on Friday.

Astra's LV0007 rocket launch successfully reached orbit and is now among other space rockets and vehicles.

Astra CEO and founder Chris Kemp celebrated their success on Twitter, saying, "Astra just reached orbit! 7.61 km/sec at our targeted 86.0-degree inclination at an altitude of 500km. The team worked hard for this. We're just getting started, folks. #AdAstra."

This first-ever success from Astra is a surprise for everyone, including their team, for achieving the orbit a year after their first failed attempt.

Astra's Future is in Space

The difference with Astra and other rocket makers is that they have a quicker turnaround and higher volume approach to manufacturing.

This approach honed by Astra allows them to produce rockets with a small payload for a price enough to send their cargo to space on special missions instead of being rideshare-dependent.

Astra's company chief Engineer, Benjamin Lyon, will soon release a statement about their milestone win.

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Written by: Thea Felicity

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