Astra’s First Florida Launch Proves Unsuccessful After Encountering Mid-Flight Setback
20:21 GMT 10.02.2022 (Updated: 20:55 GMT 10.02.2022)
© Photo : Twitter/ Astra / The California-based Astra launch vehicle company is reporting a third failed attempt to reach orbit, using Rocket 3.3.
© Photo : Twitter/ Astra /
Private US-base rocket company Astra's first Florida launch was unsuccessful, following mid-flight setbacks. The launch was supposed to deliver satellites into orbit for NASA, the University of Alabama, the University of New Mexico, and the University of California at Berkeley. The satellites and spacecraft have been lost, according to reports.
According to Carolina Ragolta Grossman, a director of product for Astra, “An issue has been experienced during flight that prevented the delivery of our customer payloads to orbit today. We are deeply sorry to our customers NASA, University of Alabama, University of New Mexico, and UC Berkeley.”
Astra confirms an issue in flight prevented delivery of four CubeSats into orbit for NASA, the University of Alabama, New Mexico State University, and UC-Berkeley.— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) February 10, 2022
Here’s a replay of the second stage tumbling at ignition.
📷: @Astra / @NASASpaceflight https://t.co/h8DFqMSi8q pic.twitter.com/iqOI5nLeKO
Details of what went wrong have yet to be released, but Astra's Florida launch had reportedly been experiencing issues during the past week.
The launch was originally scheduled for February 5, but was canceled due to an issue with the radar system. A February 7 launch came within seconds of taking off but was called off just as the engine fired.
Astra released a statement following the aborted Monday mission stating, "Standing down today due to a minor telemetry issue. We are giving the team time to complete a thorough review and will provide an update on the next launch opportunity for NASA's ELaNa 41 mission soon."
Astra employed their Rocket 3.3 for the ElaNa 41 mission. The company calls the small, two-stage rocket, "the world's most responsive and affordable orbital launch system."
Fallout from the failed mission has been swift, as company stock fell 5% during the webcast of the event as the rocket began to tumble. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq later halted the stock for volatility. When trading resumed, the company's stock fell about 32%, before recovering to -27% from earlier in the day.