Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Astra Emerges From Stealth, Shooting for $1 Million Per Launch

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 3, 2020
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Astra Introduction Video from Chris Kemp on Vimeo.

Ashlee Vance also has a story at Bloomberg:

Some interesting tidbits:

  • Astra’s next launch is scheduled for Feb. 21 from Pacific Spaceport Complex — Alaska on Kodiak Island;
  • previous two launches suffered in-flight failures;
  • payload will be up to 450 lb (204 kg) to low Earth orbit;
  • launch cost is $2.5 million, but Astra is working toward $1 million;
  • the company is using aluminum and simplified engines to keep costs down;
  • Astra has a staff of 150 people;
  • Former NASA Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Chris Kemp is CEO;
  • Astra’s CTO and co-founder is Adam London, who spent 12 years running Ventions;
  • The company has raised more than $100 million from investors;
  • Astra is the last of three companies standing in the DARPA Launch Challenge, under which it must launch twice from different locations in two weeks to win $12 million; and,
  • Other competitors included Vector Space, which has filed for bankruptcy, and Virgin Origin, which decided to pull out.

4 responses to “Astra Emerges From Stealth, Shooting for $1 Million Per Launch”

  1. schmoe says:

    This February is promising to be a very interesting month. Both Astra and Virgin Orbit are going to make their orbital attempts this month, VO NET Feb 19 and Astra 2 days later.

    Let’s see if either or both will make orbit for the first time.

    Meanwhile Peter Beck is trying to stay a step ahead of these two guys by developing reusability for Electron. And later this year Firefly will be doing their first attempt with their Alpha. Finally the small launch race is heating up!

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