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As rocket maker Astra Space heads towards its first launch since the company went public, the company is also aiming to reach orbit for the first time.
Astra launches its LV0006 rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. The US Space Force is the first paid customer for Astra’s launch, with its test payload flying atop the rocket.
The vehicle is 43 feet tall and fits into the small rocket segment of the launch market. Astra aims to launch as many of its small rockets as possible, with the goal of launching one rocket per day by 2025 and further reducing its price by $ 2.5 million.
Friday’s mission tests various improvements to Astra’s rocket since its last mission in December. Although this previous mission reached space, the rocket was only a few minutes away from reaching orbit.
LV0006 at the Kodiak launch pad, Alaska.
The company’s window for this launch lasts 16 days until September 11, so Astra can postpone Friday’s attempt if necessary. A delayed rocket launch attempt, known in the industry as a scrub, can be caused by a variety of reasons, from bad weather to a technical problem.
Astra has partnered with NASA Spaceflight – a space industry content organization not affiliated with the U.S. agency – to webcast the launch.
Astra shares closed 2.6% higher at $ 11.67 on Friday.
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