Astra Rocket 3.2 the little rocket that could

Space Coast, FL – Today, the new and upcoming rocket company, Astra, made their latest launch attempt. Rocket 3.2 made it’s debut spaceflight today at 1555 EST (2055 UTC).

Astra Rocket 3.2 poised on the launch pad | photo: Astra/John Kraus

Mission to Launch

Astra’s mission is to launch a new generation of space services to improve life on earth. They are accomplishing this by making space more accessible through affordable, regular launches.

Only three months since their last test launch, they’re back on the pad ready for the next launch with a new and improved rocket, Rocket 3.2.

The primary objective for Rocket 3.2 is to take another step towards reaching orbit by learning and accomplishing more than before; more progress gets them closer to reaching orbit.

Astra Rocket 3.2 prior to lift off | photo: Astra/John Kraus

Launch Details

Rocket 3.2 launched from Astra’s Kodiak Spaceport: pad LP-3B at Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island. The launch window was from December 11-18, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Pacific Time (PT) each day.

Since this is a demonstration mission, Rocket 3.2 will not have a payload. However, if Rocket 3.2 were to achieve orbit, the vehicle will send a signal that indicates when the payload would have been deployed.

The Launch

Today, they did it! Astra achieved spaceflight with their Rocket 3.2 rocket. More details to come as they advised of flight video and data to be posted.

2nd stage view from Astra’s launch | photo: Astra

The 2nd stage took a couple of photos of Earth after separation. Details of hitting orbit is still unknown. Stay posted here for updates or on Astra’s twitter feed.

UPDATE:

“After reaching an altitude of 390 kilometers, which was our nominal orbital altitude, we reached a velocity of 7.2 kilometers per second… short of the orbital velocity of 7.68 kilometers per second.”

– Chris Kemp, Founder & CEO of Astra

With a better fuel mixture in the upper stage it would have orbited. Rocket 3.3 will carry a payload, and there will be no hardware or software changes.

Stern view of second stage in space | photo: Astra

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