Rocket Builder Astra Aborts First Mission Carrying NASA Satellites: VIDEO

by Victoria Santiago

Today, the rocket building company Astra was set to launch its first mission carrying four NASA cube satellites. However, due to some unspecified issues, the launch was aborted until a later date. This happens often during space launches. When the launch successfully happens, it will be Astra’s first launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This southern state is a far cry from Kodiak, Alaska, which is where the company first went into orbit three months ago.

Astra has big plans. The rocket building company wants to launch as many rockets as possible. By 2025, they hope to hit a launch rate of one rocket per day. Their LV0008 rocket is only 43 feet tall, so it fits into a niche area of the space industry.

The ELaNa 41 mission might not have happened today, but the attempted launch was still recorded online. The live stream lasted for over three hours. Live streams for launches like this typically start well before the actual launch. If you want to get right into the nitty-gritty of the stream, the countdown starts about an hour and a half in. The stream has informational panels on the screen during this time as well, so you can keep up with what’s happening on the ground.

You can watch the live stream of the attempted launches below.

In addition to the live stream, Astra live-tweeted the launch process. They gave updated times for the ELaNa 41 launch and eventually announced that they called the launch off for today. They did not give a rescheduled time.

Astra Makes Strides Regardless Of NASA Mission Setback

Even though Astra and NASA’s ELaNa 41 mission did not take off today, the rocket-building company got one step closer to their aforementioned goal. Astra got the first Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license under Part 450. This is a new space industry framework that is supposed to make the launch process easier. It will do this by streamlining the regulatory process for companies that need launch and spacecraft reentry licenses.

According to the rocket building company, the FAA approval process took them three months. However, now that they have it, hitting their goal of one launch a day will be much easier. In their words, this FAA license will “make it easier for Astra to launch at a higher frequency out of more launch sites in the United States.”

Amidst rescheduling the NASA launch, stock prices for Astra went down by almost 14%. CNBC reports that during the launch attempts, their stocks were actually halted by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Even though the NYSE halted their stocks because of volatility, prices still fell by 13.7%. In monetary terms, the price of Astra stock fell to $4.60.