Capitalism in space: The smallsat rocket company Astra is now targeting December 7th for its second of three test launches in its program to develop an orbital commercial rocket.
Astra plans to launch its two-stage, 38-foot-tall (12 meters) Rocket 3.2 from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island between Dec. 7 and Dec. 18, representatives of the California startup announced last month. The window on each day runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST (1900 to 2200 GMT; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time in Alaska).
The orbital attempt will be the second for Astra, which aims to claim a sizable chunk of the small-satellite launch market with its line of flexible, cost-effective rockets. The first test flight, in September of this year, ended with a bang about 30 seconds after liftoff. Astra’s Rocket 3.1 experienced an apparent guidance issue, prompting controllers to terminate the flight for safety reasons.
They determined the failure was a software issue that they appear to have now fixed.
The company has made it clear that has always expected that it will take three launches to reach orbit, so a failure on this launch would not surprise them. They do seem very confident however that they will succeed this time.
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Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
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