Astra targeting late August for the next launch by the Space Force satellite

Rocket 3.2 will take off from Kodiak, Alaska on December 15, 2020.

John Kraus / Astra

Listed rocket builder Astra The first launch is scheduled for later this month with the aim of getting the Pentagon payload on track.

“The Space Force is currently lined up for a demo launch in a window scheduled to begin on August 27,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp told CNBC.

The launch is the first of two contracts by Astra from the US Space Force’s Space Test Program, the latter being planned for later this year. The launch window will run for 16 days until September 11th.

Astra’s Rocket 3 Vehicle will take off from the Pacific Paceport Complex on Kodiak Island, Alaska. The payload is a small satellite of the Space Force.

In a statement, Colonel Carlos Kinones, director of the Space Test Program, said, “We are excited to partner with Astra on this mission, demonstrating important low-cost, mobile, and responsive launch capabilities. I believe. “

In Thursday’s trading, Astra shares rose 11% from their previous closing price of $ 8.25 per share.

Hotfire test of the Delphin 1st stage rocket engine on March 15, 2021.

John Kraus / Astra

Astra’s share fell 36% Since the company closed the SPAC merger and started trading on Nasdaq.. Shares have been trading above $ 15 per share in the days following their debut, but have traded close to $ 8 per share in recent weeks.

When asked about the company’s stock price, Kemp said, “both shareholders and customers will admit that we are on track here.”

“We thank our shareholders for their understanding and cooperation in the manufacture and launch of the rocket, which will allow us to begin to recognize revenue,” said Kemp.

Based in Alameda, California — — On the edge of San Francisco Bay —Astra is preparing for the next rocket at headquarters, and Kemp said he plans to ship the launch vehicle to Alaska “within next week or two weeks.” “It will take a week or two in Alaska to get everything ready,” Kemp said the Astra launch team, which consists of several people.

Astra remains “on track” with a total of three launches by this year. We are starting to step up production and operations to launch a monthly fee by the end of the year, Kemp said.

He also said Astra has “more than 50 launches in the backlog” and more information is expected to come when the company reports its second quarter results on August 12. ..

Upgrade to rocket

Astra, Vice President of Manufacturing for Bryson Gentile on the left, and Chris Kemp, CEO, remove the protective cover from half of the rocket fairing.

Michael Sheets | CNBC

Astra will also test the upgrade to the Rocket 3 system at this next launch. The company’s final December launch reached space, but the rocket went slightly below orbit.

“This allows our team to see a number of rocket and launch system upgrades,” Kemp said.

The last launch “exceeded our expectations,” but also taught Astra several ways to improve the rocket. First, Astra improved its propellant management system because fuel remained in both the upper and lower rocket tanks. The company also made the rocket slightly longer, added a total of 5 feet, streamlined the rocket’s upper avionics, and used only one motherboard.

“It integrates a lot of avionics in the first place, so there is more mass available for the payload,” Kemp said.

“If this flight goes well, we’ll be happy, and if it doesn’t, we’ll learn a lot,” Kemp added.

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Astra targeting late August for the next launch by the Space Force satellite

Source link Astra targeting late August for the next launch by the Space Force satellite

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