Confirmed: Astra to launch from SLC-46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

A new permit application confirms rumors of Astra launching from Launch Complex 46 as soon as late 2021 or early 2022. The previous launch from SLC-46 was the Orion Ascent Abort 2 test for the Artemis program.

Astra currently plans on launching from SLC-46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as often as 12 times a year for two years – a monthly launch cadence. Sources close to Space Explored informed us that Astra was looking at launching from SLC-46, with testing occurring as soon as December 2021, and we now have public confirmation of this.

SLC-46 is located at the tip of Cape Canaveral, just south of Blue Origin’s SLC-36. Previously this pad supported the ground-based launches of Trident and Trident II missiles, along with Lockheed Martin’s Athena I and II vehicles. The pad is operated by Space Florida and is available for launch providers to lease.

Orion Ascent Abort 2 Launch from LC-46 | Image Credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Kevin O’Connell

Astra plans on launching its rocket from the site. One of the advantages Astra has over other providers is the ability to be mobile and launch from almost anywhere. Most of its Ground Support Equipment can be loaded into shipping containers and transported wherever it’s needed.

Screenshot from the LC-46 Water Deluge System Permit | Image Credit: Space Florida/Astra/AECOM

With Astra’s next launch window opening on November 18, we will wait and see if Astra can finally make orbit. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a slip in the timeline for Astra’s debut in Florida should this next launch not go well. Nevertheless, we are excited to see yet another launch provider making its way to the space coast!

Featured Image: Astra/John Kraus

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