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Astra Space Says Rocket 3.3 Engine Shut Down After Ignition, Booster Intentionally Shut Down in Flight

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
August 29, 2021
Filed under , , , ,
Rocket 3.3 makes a wobbly liftoff from Kodiak Island after losing a first stage engine. (Credit: Space webcast)

ALAMEDA, Calif. (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) conducted a test launch of its launch vehicle, LV0006.

The launch vehicle lifted off at 3:35P M PT on Saturday, August 28, 2021. One of the five main engines shut down less than one second after liftoff, causing the vehicle to slowly lift off the pad before resuming its trajectory. After approximately two minutes and thirty seconds of flight, the range issued an all engine-shutdown command, ending the flight. The vehicle achieved an altitude of approximately 50 kilometers, before safely returning to Earth.

“We regret that we were unable to accomplish all mission objectives for the U.S. Space Force; however, we captured a tremendous amount of data from this test flight,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Astra. “We will incorporate learnings from this test into future launch vehicles, including LV0007, which is currently in production.”

Astra has opened a mishap investigation and is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

About Astra Space

Astra’s mission is to improve life on Earth from space by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Astra’s first flight to space was within 4 years of its inception, making it the fastest company to reach space. Visit to learn more about Astra.

2 responses to “Astra Space Says Rocket 3.3 Engine Shut Down After Ignition, Booster Intentionally Shut Down in Flight”

  1. Stanistani says:

    I watched the launch live. I could not believe what my lying eyes were showing me. Sad day for Astra. If they take a big hit on Monday in the stock market, I’ll probably grab some shares.

    • Zed_WEASEL says:

      It seems that the GNC on the Rocket 3 manage to keep the vehicle upright until it got light enough to start climbing to it’s doom. IIRC the GNC have Masten heritage with the previous Astra Space GNC lead.

      The vehicle and on site launch infrastructure is cheap enough for many more attempts to orbit.

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