Astra, which succeeded in launching its first orbit, begins to move in earnest toward testing a new rocket | Today Nation News

TechnologyAstra, which succeeded in launching its first orbit, begins...

Astra Space, which became a publicly traded company from a rocket development startup, succeeded in launching its first orbit on the night of November 19, US time. When the stock market opened on the morning of November 22, stock prices soared by 42%. However, the real work is about to begin. The company, which aims to start commercial operation, is preparing a rocket with new specifications for the flight test in 2022.

The “Rocket 3.3” or “LV0007” rocket launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Codiac, Alaska, successfully transported the payload as part of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Test Program. .. This is a major breakthrough for Astra to join the ranks of just a few private companies that have reached track.

Related article: Astra, which specializes in small rockets, overcame the previous failure and succeeded in reaching the first orbit.

“This is really difficult, and one mistake doesn’t work,” CEO Chris Kemp told reporters at a press conference on November 22nd.

At Astra, we are testing with an agile and iterative approach, quickly manufacturing launch vehicles (with serial number naming conventions) and conducting test flights in a relatively short period of time. As a result, in the recent flight test of “LV0006”, we have experienced failures such as the rocket flowing sideways before reaching an altitude of about 50 km due to an engine abnormality.

“Many things are very difficult to test unless you’re actually in flight,” Kemp explains. “This iterative approach allowed us to achieve record speeds (orbit launch). I don’t think we could otherwise achieve this schedule.”

For this launch, Chief Engineer Benjamin Lyon said that Astra got a lot of useful data from the sub-zero natural environment of Kodiak, Alaska, where the company has its launch facility, not from flight simulation. He says.

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“I’ve never operated in such a sub-zero environment,” Kemp added.

The two executives admitted that the next Rocket 3.3, “LV0008,” is nearing launchability, but only said they would announce details such as when and where the launch would take place.

However, with the successful launch of LV0007, Kemp said he wouldn’t put much effort into future changes to the 3.3 version. Instead, it will focus on the new version of Rocket 4.0, which can carry a payload heavier than the 50kg payload capacity that Rocket 3.3 can carry. The company plans to launch a test flight of Rocket 4.0 in 2022.

Astra’s goal is to use this small rocket system to eventually launch into space every day. It’s still unclear if this goal will eventually be achieved, but Kemp said the demand for launches will only increase over time.

“Since Astra went public, there have been more than 10 companies called space technology companies listed,” Kemp said. “This gives companies the resources to further develop and iterate spacecraft and satellites. As we have seen in the last few years, demand is expected to continue to grow. So I think Astra is definitely in a position to be able to deliver the payload to the right trajectory on the right schedule. “

Reach the orbit. ✅ Astra successfully launched its first commercial orbit for the US Space Force on Friday, November 19, 2021, Pacific Standard Time.

Image Credit: John Kraus / Astra

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(Sentence: Aria Alamalhodaei, Translation: Hirokazu Kusakabe)


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