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Astra releases update on February 10th launch failure

Capitalism in space: Astra yesterday released an update on its investigation into its February 10th launch failure at Cape Canaveral.

The update doesn’t provide any conclusions, but merely notes that the company has completed its review of all “video and telemetry” from the event, and has reconstructed a full timeline from that data.

It is now reviewing that timeline to create what engineers call “fault trees”, each a specific scenario path pointing at a possible cause of the failure. Once that cause has been identified, engineers can then propose a solution.

According to the press release, the company is already “implementing corrective actions”, though the release provides no information as to what the cause was or what they are doing to correct. It states instead that once the investigation and corrections have been completely, the company will then release a full report.

Meanwhile, it appears that at least six law firms are considering suing the company, which became a publicly traded company in July 2021. These law firms “…are seeking clients who lost significant amount of money after purchasing the stock.” The launch failure caused the stock value to drop significantly, and these law firms apparently think that the company has made false claims about its plans — such as its claim that it will eventually be launch 300 times per year — and wish to put together a class action lawsuit based on this accusation plus the drop in stock price.

Whether Astra can meet its goal of 300 launches per year is certainly at this time questionable. However, it is too soon to call the company a failure. Once it recovers from the launch failure and resumes launches — a process that for any new rocket company generally takes a few years — that stock price will certainly recover, and will rise with each successful launch.

Only should Astra fail to resume launches, or continue to fail with each launch, will the stock truly crash, and thus provide these law firms with a possible case.

At the same time, in a free society we are supposed to recognize the concept of “buyer beware.” If you buy a product or a stock, it is at your own risk. If you fail to do due diligence beforehand, your loss is your responsibility, not the company who made the product or whose stock crashed.

It appears, based on everything Astra has so far done, an investment in its stocks while quite risky has not been an unreasonable gamble, making the present case for these lawsuits somewhat weak. Time will tell however whether that changes in the future.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Questioner

    Mr Z:

    This company Astra went public much too early – without a working product. That was only possible because they used a special purpose acquisition company.

  • Jeff Wright

    SPACs ….sick of all this high-falutin mumbo jumbo…econo-speak.

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