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Another Astra launch is imminent

28 Oct 2021, 16:31 UTC
Another Astra launch is imminent
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Astra’s Rocket 3.3 – which attempted to launch on August 28, 2021 – is seen here tipping briefly seconds after engine ignition. Instead of immediately ascending vertically, the rocket tipped and moved sideways. It hovered just about the ground for nearly 20 seconds, before starting to ascend. But 2-and-a-half minutes later, with the vehicle tumbling, the call came to terminate, and engines were shut down. Image via Astra/SpaceNews.com.
Astra to attempt launch
The fledgling commercial rocket company Astra Space Inc. – aka Astra – hopes to launch a test payload for the U.S. Space Force in early November 2021. This launch will be Astra’s 4th attempt at reaching orbit. It’s also the company’s 2nd time using the 5th iteration of the 3rd version of its small-sat launch vehicle, the Rocket 3.4 (Launch Vehicle 0007). Astra had initially planned for a launch on October 28 but wrote that preparations “would not finish in time” for their first launch window. Now, launch is expected to occur during a window that opens at midnight EDT (4 UTC) on November 5 and runs through November 7. The event will be live streamed on Astra’s website. As Tim Fernholz wrote in Quartz on August 30, ...

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