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“TROPICS mission”
Astra Space Shares Plunge 24% After Latest Launch Failure

Shares of Astra Space (ASTR) plunged by 24 percent on Monday following the company’s latest launch failure the day before. Astra Space shares are currently trading at $1.54 on the Nasdaq stock exchange. They closed at $2.02 on Friday before rising to $2.14 in after-hours trading. Astra Space suffered its fifth orbital launch failure in seven attempts when the second stage of its Rocket 3.3 booster shut down prematurely less […]

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  • June 13, 2022
NASA Statement on Launch Failure, Loss of TROPICS Spacecraft
TROPICS mission CubeSat (Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — While we are disappointed in the loss of the two TROPICS CubeSats, the mission is part of NASA’s Earth venture program, which provides opportunities for lower-cost, higher risk missions. Despite a loss of the first two of six satellites, the TROPICS constellation will still meet its science objectives with the four remaining CubeSats distributed in two orbits.  With four satellites, TROPICS will still provide improved time-resolved observations of tropical cyclones compared to traditional observing methods.

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  • June 12, 2022
Astra Space Rocket Launch Fails Again, Two NASA TROPICS Satellites Lost
Rocket 3.3’s second stage Aether engine flashes as it fails during a launch on June 12, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/Nasaspaceflight webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The second stage of an Astra Space Rocket 3.3 rocket failed less than a minute before planned shutdown on Sunday, sending two NASA TROPICS mission satellites plunging into the atmosphere instead of entering orbit.

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  • June 12, 2022
NASA to Launch 6 Small Satellites to Monitor, Study Tropical Cyclones
An image of Tropical Cyclone Batsirai over Madagascar captured by the TROPICS Pathfinder satellite in February of 2022. (Credit: NASA)

Update: The launch aboard an Astra Space Rocket 3.3 booster failed after the vehicle’s second stage shut down prematurely on Sunday. NASA said in an update that the TROPICS constellation can still improve the monitoring of tropical cyclones with four satellites. Astra Space has the contract to launch the four additional TROPICS spacecraft on two launches.

By Sofie Bates
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA is launching the first two of six small satellites no earlier than June 12 that will study the formation and development of tropical cyclones almost every hour – about four to six times more often than is possible with current satellites. This is the first of three CubeSat launches for NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission. The remaining satellites will be placed into their orbits during two subsequent launches this year. If successful, the TROPICS satellites will be spread across three orbital planes to cover more of the globe more frequently.

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  • June 12, 2022
Astra to Launch NASA TROPICS No Earlier Than Sunday
Rocket 3.3 lifts off from Kodiak Island on March 15, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/NASASpaceflight.com webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (NASA PR) — Astra Space Inc. is targeting no earlier than June 12, pending issuance of a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration, for the first launch of NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS), a constellation of six CubeSats. Two CubeSats, each about the size of a loaf of bread, will launch aboard Astra’s Rocket 3.3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

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  • June 9, 2022
Astra Space Announces Adjusted Net Loss of $50.1 Million

ALAMEDA, Calif., May 5, 2022 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

“This has been a quarter of accelerating investment, customer adoption of our space technology products, and growth in our customer pipeline,” said Chris Kemp, Astra’s Co-founder, Chairman and CEO. “Looking ahead, Astra is honored to have the opportunity to serve NASA to further our vision for a healthier and safer planet as we prepare for a multi-launch campaign out of Cape Canaveral to deploy the NASA TROPICS constellation.”

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  • May 8, 2022
NASA To Launch 4 Earth Science Missions in 2022
An illustration of the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. JPSS-2 is NOAA’s next-generation operational Earth observation program that acquires and distributes global environmental data primarily from multiple polar-orbiting satellites. (Credits: Orbital ATK/Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems)

By Alison Gold
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA will launch four Earth science missions in 2022 to provide scientists with more information about fundamental climate systems and processes including extreme storms, surface water and oceans, and atmospheric dust. Scientists will discuss the upcoming missions at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) 2021 Fall Meeting, hosted in New Orleans between Dec. 13 and 17.

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  • December 16, 2021
Astra Space Reports Quarterly Loss of $31.3 Million

ALAMEDA, Calif., August 12, 2021 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended June 30, 2021.

“Astra achieved several key milestones in the first half of 2021 to further its mission to improve life on Earth from space,” said CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Chris Kemp. “Astra obtained significant funding to further our plan for rapid, low-cost access to space by completing the Holicity merger and associated PIPE transaction. We delivered on key customer initiatives by winning our second NASA contract in a row (TROPICS) and signing a long-term launch deal with Planet Labs. And last week, we announced Space Force as our first commercial customer for a test launch planned during a sixteen-day window beginning August 27, 2021. I am pleased with our execution and want to thank the entire Astra team for their dedicated efforts. We all look forward to the upcoming launch.”

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  • August 14, 2021
NASA Awards Contract to Astra Space for 3 Launches

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Astra Space Inc. to provide a launch service for the agency’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of SmallSats (TROPICS) mission. The TROPICS mission consists of a constellation of six CubeSats and will increase the scientific community’s understanding of storm processes. The launch service contract for the TROPICS mission is a firm fixed-price contract valued at $7.95 million. […]

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  • February 26, 2021