The first launch of the Astra startup ended in an accident – a two-stage rocket exploded 30 seconds after launch. Company representatives noted that they can “impose competition on SpaceX.”
Private company Astra’s first orbital mission failed, and the rocket crashed and exploded after 30 seconds of flight. The space flight was launched on September 11 – the company planned to send Rocket 3.1 into orbit into the sky from the Pacific complex in Alaska. However, the carrier rocket, 12 m high, could not reach orbit even without a payload.
“Successful ascent and departure, but soon the flight ended due to a first stage crash. It looks like this was nominally our first flight and still needs some work. More updates will follow later, ”said Astra.
Amateur videos show that the rocket exploded about 30 seconds after launch. The Rocket 3.1 is a five-engine, two-stage rocket. The carrier can put up to 150 kg of payload into a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. The missile is only 12 m long and can be transported in a container to any launch site.
The company had previously stated that cheap and efficient rockets would allow Astra “to take a strong competitive position in the space launch market.” According to preliminary estimates, the cost of one launch is about $ 2.5 million. By comparison, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 heavy rocket launch is estimated at more than $ 60 million.