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.
Astra Stories January 4
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.
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:
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.
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.