Astra Stories March 15

Astra, an up-and-coming launch company that will soon compete with SpaceX, announced today that former Tesla automation lead Pablo Gonzalez to help scale the production of their rockets. This comes not long after Astra hired a former Apple Car project lead to be Astra’s Chief Engineer.

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Astra Stories February 17

Today California-based small satellite launcher Astra announced that Benjamin Lyon is joining their team as their new Chief Engineer. Lyon leaves his position as Apple’s Senior Director of the Special Projects Group, the team that brought the company many of its greatest innovations. According to Bloomberg, Lyon most recently worked on Apple’s car team.

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Astra Stories February 2

Launch service startup Astra successfully reached space with its Rocket 3.2 vehicle for the first time in December. Now the satellite launch company is setting its sights on a new target: the New York Stock Exchange. Astra plans to join the small but growing list of publicly traded space companies this year.

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Astra Stories January 4

NASA tapped Astra, Firefly, and Relativity Space for its Venture Class Launch Services Demo 2 program, giving each company a contract to launch a group of smallsats into orbit to demonstrate the capabilities of their new vehicles. NASA didn’t share their reasoning for the selections or who else submitted proposals in that announcement. This information is found in a source selection statement published later in the month that addresses each company’s strengths and weaknesses.

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Astra Stories December 16, 2020

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.

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Astra Stories December 11, 2020

As part of its Launch Services Program (LSP), NASA has awarded Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 (VCLS Demo 2) contracts to three different companies. Those three companies and the fixed-price of their contracts are as follows:

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Astra Stories December 4, 2020

Back in early March, a small satellite launch company called Astra attempted to launch its first orbital rocket as part of the DARPA Launch Challenge. Launch conditions weren’t cooperative, however, and the launch attempt was scrubbed. Months later, Astra returned to Kodiak, Alaska, for another launch attempt.

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Astra Stories March 2, 2020

A $2 million prize is at stake today for the DARPA Launch Challenge attempt from Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, designed the challenge to help discover companies demonstrating “new and groundbreaking capabilities to address emerging Department of Defense needs.” California-based Astra is tasked with today’s launch which, if successfull, will be the first of three cash prize-winning launches.

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