Astra’s first orbital mission landed, but it soon landed again.
The California-based spaceflight startup launched it The first orbital test flight Tonight (September 11), Alaska launches its two-stage rocket 3.1 into the sky from the Pacific Spaceport Complex at 11:20 a.m. ET (local Alaska time: 20:20 and September 12, 2012 GMT).
The 38-foot-long (12-meter) booster, which carried no pay-load, did not make its way all the way to the final boundary.
“Successfully lifted and flew, but the flight ended during the first stage burn. Looks like we’ve got a few nominal flight times. More updates to come!” Azra tweeted at night.
Related: History of rockets
Rocket great shot 3.1 leaving the pocket! pic.twitter.com/g8uo6N2HQwSeptember 12, 2020
pic.twitter.com/PGYv26ZqrFSeptember 12, 2020
Failure was no shock; Debut flights can rarely swim and Astra has made it clear that it does not expect perfection by it. In this prelaunch mission descriptionRepresentatives of the company wrote that the initial objective was to achieve a nominal first-level burn, which put Astra on the way to reach orbit between the three aircraft.
This did not happen, but it appeared that the company would still have enough data to analyze before the next attempt. And Astra still aims to go into orbit with three attempts or less.
“We are delighted to have made so much progress in our three endeavors on the way to orbit! We are incredibly proud of our team; we will review data, change and launch Rocket 3.2, which is almost complete,” Astra wrote. Another tweet Tonight
We are glad to have made a lot of progress in our three efforts on the way to orbit! We are incredibly proud of our team; We will review the data, modify and launch Rocket 3.2, which is almost complete 📸: @ jhnkrausphotos pic.twitter.com/K0R7A0Q8wcSeptember 12, 2020
Austra plans to provide affordable, dedicated space travel for small satellites, which are becoming more and more capable. The agency’s website currently provides 310-mile-high (500-kilometer) orbital delivery services for payloads weighing between 110 million pounds. And 330 lbs. (50 to 150 kg).
Another California-based company, Rocket Lab, has a flaw in the growing Smaltsat launch market at the moment, but Astra thinks it could create a big niche for itself with a cheaper alternative offer.
“What we’re trying to do is create a service that is less costly to operate and less expensive to provide launch services,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp said in a telephone interview with reporters on July 30. “Cheap Rocket on July 30, a highly automated factory, a highly automated launch operation and, virtually focusing on efficiency and eliminating costs in every aspect of the service so that we can achieve scale and ultimately drive costs through scale and production economy.” Can do “
(SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets and other large boosters are also increasingly enlarging smaller spacecraft, but usually the main purpose of missions as pigback “riders” involving reaching one or more large satellites into orbit. Rocket Labs Plans to.)
Thank you, @elonmask We appreciate it and https://t.co/CrH8iBYNpS We are encouraged by the progress we have made today on our first three flights into orbitSeptember 12, 2020
Astra initially planned to launch its first orbital mission in February or March this year as part of the 12 Million DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) launch challenge. However, due to bad weather and technical issues with Rocket 3.0.0, Booster is scheduled to make that flight, Interrupted the company The narrow launch of the competition fills the window
Rocket 3.0 was damaged in late March while preparing for another launch effort not related to the DARPA Launch Challenge. So the Orbital-Liftoff milestone fell on its successor Rocket 3.1. Bad weather and technical problems have delayed Rocket 3.1’s flight several times since tonight.
The launch tonight was the third overall of Astra, which tried suburban aircraft in 2018 with two previous rocket repetitions.
Mike Wall is the author of a book “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate) about the search for foreign life. Follow him on Twitter mimiledol. Follow us on Twitter @speedotcom or Facebook.
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