Astra has worked all year to send its rocket to space, and the small satellite launch company finally pulled it off on Tuesday. Astra’s Rocket 3.2 vehicle lifted off from Astra Spaceport at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska, and passed the Karman line for the first time.
Astra’s primary goal for Rocket 3.2 was to take steps toward reaching orbit. By that measure, Astra’s latest launch was a clear success. While Rocket 3.2 did reach space, it came short of actually reaching orbit on this flight. Data from the test flight, however, provides Astra with enough information to likely reach orbit for the first time on their very next flight.
Founded just four years ago in 2016, Astra is the creation of CEO Chris Kemp and CTO Adam London. Both have experience working with NASA, and Head of Engineering Chris Thompson was previously VP of Structures at SpaceX.
Here’s footage of the Rocket 3.2 launch from Alaska to space shared by Astra:
- Astra hopes to go orbital on next rocket launch attempt from Alaska as soon as December 10
- Watch Astra’s first DARPA Launch Challenge attempt from Alaska [Update: Scrubbed]