HomeScienceAstra reaches orbit for the first time with LV0007 launch

Astra reaches orbit for the first time with LV0007 launch

Astra is now on the listing of privately-owned area corporations which have efficiently reached orbit. Its Launch Automobile 0007 (LV0007), which was carrying a take a look at payload for the US navy, took off from the Pacific Spaceport Complicated in Kodiak Island, Alaska on Saturday at 1:16AM ET. Following a easy liftoff, the 43-foot rocket achieved orbit round 9 minutes later at 500km above Earth.

“The crew’s labored so arduous on this for thus a few years,” mentioned Astra CEO Chris Kemp throughout a livestream after the launch. “We have now rocket serial quantity eight, 9, 10 in manufacturing, so we’re simply getting began.”

The California-based startup’s profitable launch follows a number of failed makes an attempt at reaching orbit. Its first tried launch passed off throughout the DARPA competitors in March 2020, which assessments rocket corporations’ skills to answer requests from the US navy. Astra wasn’t in a position to get its rocket off the bottom attributable to technical points.

Later that yr in September, Astra tried to succeed in orbit as soon as once more, however points with the rocket’s steering system led Astra to chop the flight brief. Simply three months later, Astra reached area for the primary time with its Rocket 3.2 launch, nonetheless, it wasn’t in a position to efficiently slip into orbit after working low on gasoline.

Astra’s most up-to-date try was in August of this yr. An engine failure precipitated the LV0006 to slip throughout the launchpad throughout takeoff, and the rocket solely reached an altitude of 31 miles earlier than Astra terminated the launch.

Now, Astra joins Virgin Orbit, SpaceX, and Rocket Lab as one of many few US corporations which have achieved orbit with a privately-owned rocket. You’ll be able to watch Astra’s total launch from the NASASpaceflight YouTube channel.

Correction November 20, 4:25PM ET: An earlier model of this story incorrectly referenced Virgin Galactic as a substitute of Virgin Orbit. We remorse the error.



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