Astra Space Shares Plunge 24% After Latest Launch Failure

Credit: Yahoo Finance

Shares of Astra Space (ASTR) plunged by 24 percent on Monday following the company’s latest launch failure the day before.

Astra Space shares are currently trading at $1.54 on the Nasdaq stock exchange. They closed at $2.02 on Friday before rising to $2.14 in after-hours trading.

Astra Space suffered its fifth orbital launch failure in seven attempts when the second stage of its Rocket 3.3 booster shut down prematurely less than one minute before its engine was to have completed its orbital insertion burn. Two NASA Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) spacecraft that were part of a constellation designed to study tropical cyclones were lost in the accident.

The Alameda, Calif.-based company has a contract with NASA for two additional launches that would carry four TROPICS satellites later this year. Those launches will be postponed while Astra Space conducts an investigation into the launch failure.

NASA has said that the TROPICS mission can go forward effectively with only four of the six satellites in orbit.

NASA Statement on Launch Failure, Loss of TROPICS Spacecraft

TROPICS mission CubeSat (Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — While we are disappointed in the loss of the two TROPICS CubeSats, the mission is part of NASA’s Earth venture program, which provides opportunities for lower-cost, higher risk missions. Despite a loss of the first two of six satellites, the TROPICS constellation will still meet its science objectives with the four remaining CubeSats distributed in two orbits.  With four satellites, TROPICS will still provide improved time-resolved observations of tropical cyclones compared to traditional observing methods.

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Astra Space Rocket Launch Fails Again, Two NASA TROPICS Satellites Lost

Rocket 3.3’s second stage Aether engine flashes as it fails during a launch on June 12, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/Nasaspaceflight webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The second stage of an Astra Space Rocket 3.3 rocket failed less than a minute before planned shutdown on Sunday, sending two NASA TROPICS mission satellites plunging into the atmosphere instead of entering orbit.

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NASA to Launch 6 Small Satellites to Monitor, Study Tropical Cyclones

An image of Tropical Cyclone Batsirai over Madagascar captured by the TROPICS Pathfinder satellite in February of 2022. (Credit: NASA)

Update: The launch aboard an Astra Space Rocket 3.3 booster failed after the vehicle’s second stage shut down prematurely on Sunday. NASA said in an update that the TROPICS constellation can still improve the monitoring of tropical cyclones with four satellites. Astra Space has the contract to launch the four additional TROPICS spacecraft on two launches.

By Sofie Bates
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA is launching the first two of six small satellites no earlier than June 12 that will study the formation and development of tropical cyclones almost every hour – about four to six times more often than is possible with current satellites. This is the first of three CubeSat launches for NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission. The remaining satellites will be placed into their orbits during two subsequent launches this year. If successful, the TROPICS satellites will be spread across three orbital planes to cover more of the globe more frequently.

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Astra Space Scheduled to Launch NASA TROPICS Mission on Sunday

Astra Space is scheduled to launch NASA’s TROPICS-1 mission on Sunday, June 12 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch window opens at 12 p.m. EDT. A livestream of the launch will begin at T-30 minutes: http://astra.com/livestream#AdAstra

Astra’s Rocket 3.3 will launch the first two of six small Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) spacecraft that will study the formation and development of tropical cyclones almost every hour – about four to six times more often than is possible with current satellites.

Astra to Launch NASA TROPICS No Earlier Than Sunday

Rocket 3.3 lifts off from Kodiak Island on March 15, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/NASASpaceflight.com webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (NASA PR) — Astra Space Inc. is targeting no earlier than June 12, pending issuance of a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration, for the first launch of NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS), a constellation of six CubeSats. Two CubeSats, each about the size of a loaf of bread, will launch aboard Astra’s Rocket 3.3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

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Astra Space Signs Agreement to Launch from SaxaVord UK Spaceport

Rocket 3.3 lifts off from Kodiak Island on March 15, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/NASASpaceflight.com webcast)

ALAMEDA, Calif., May 10, 2022 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) and SaxaVord UK Spaceport today announced that they are partnering to increase access to space, by providing dedicated orbital launch services to a growing satellite market. Subject to the entry of definitive agreements and regulatory approvals, rocket launches are expected to begin in 2023.

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Astra Space Announces Adjusted Net Loss of $50.1 Million

ALAMEDA, Calif., May 5, 2022 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2022.

“This has been a quarter of accelerating investment, customer adoption of our space technology products, and growth in our customer pipeline,” said Chris Kemp, Astra’s Co-founder, Chairman and CEO. “Looking ahead, Astra is honored to have the opportunity to serve NASA to further our vision for a healthier and safer planet as we prepare for a multi-launch campaign out of Cape Canaveral to deploy the NASA TROPICS constellation.”

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Astra Announces Electric Propulsion System Contract with LeoStella

ALAMEDA, Calif., April 12, 2022 (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) and LeoStella LLC (“LeoStella”) today announced a contract for Astra to provide multiple Astra Spacecraft Engines for LeoStella satellites. Astra is expected to begin delivering the propulsion systems later this year and into 2023.

LeoStella designs and manufactures operational satellites cost effectively and at scale. Astra’s Spacecraft Engine has demonstrated that it can assist satellites in achieving and maintaining target orbits and maneuverability and is expected to be integrated onto a variety of LeoStella’s satellites.

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Astra Reschedules Fourth Quarter and Year End 2021 Financial Results to March 31, 2022

ALAMEDA, Calif. (Astra Space PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), today announced it has rescheduled the earnings announcement for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021, from today after market close to Thursday, March 31, 2022, after market close to coincide with the filing of its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 (the “Annual Report”). Astra will host the rescheduled conference call at 1:30pm PT (4:30pm ET) on Thursday, March 31, 2022, to discuss its financial results.

Astra currently expects fourth quarter and year ended 2021 financial results to meet or be more favorable than previously issued guidance. Additionally, cash and cash equivalents are expected to be approximately $325 million as of December 31, 2021.

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Astra Space Places Satellites into Orbit for First Time

Rocket 3.3 lifts off from Kodiak Island on March 15, 2022. (Credit: Astra Space/NASASpaceflight.com webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Astra Space placed satellites into the orbit for the first time on Tuesday, marking a return to flight after a launch failure last month destroyed four CubeSats.

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Astra Announces Multi-launch Contract and First Launch with Spaceflight Inc.

Rocket 3.3 on the launch pad on Kodiak Island. (Credit: Astra Space)

ALAMEDA, Calif. & SEATTLE, March 14, 2022 (Astra Space/Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (NASDAQ: ASTR) and Spaceflight Inc. (“Spaceflight”), the leading global launch services provider, today announced a multi-launch contract. The first launch under this contract is planned for today, March 14, 2022, with a window opening at 9:22am PDT / 16:22 UTC out of the Astra Spaceport in Kodiak, Alaska, but may be shifted to March 15, 2022 depending on conditions at the launch site. [Editor’s note: It was delayed a day due to weather.] This agreement provides Spaceflight with launch opportunities using Astra’s launch services through 2025.

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Astra Space Scrubs Launch, Reschedules for Tuesday

Astra Rocket LV0008 after liftoff. (Credit: Brady Kenniston/Astra)

Astra Space scrubbed the ninth launch of its Rocket 3.3 booster from the Pacific Spaceport Complex –Alaska on Monday due to bad weather. The company is now targeting Tuesday, March 15 at 9:22 AM PDT (12:22 p.m. EDT) for the Astra-1 mission for Spaceflight Inc. Live stream will begin at T-45 minutes at astra.com/livestream.

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Astra Space Identifies Root Cause of Launch Failure

Astra Rocket LV0008 after liftoff. (Credit: Brady Kenniston/Astra)

by Andrew Griggs
Senior Director, Mission Management & Assurance
Astra Space

Note: Astra has not yet finalized the LV0008 investigation results with the FAA. The information in this blog post is preliminary until the investigation has been fully closed. 

On February 10, 2022, we launched Launch Vehicle 0008 (LV0008). This was our first launch with a deployable customer payload and our first time launching from Cape Canaveral. After a nominal first stage flight, an anomaly occurred during the stage separation process which resulted in the upper stage not reaching orbit and the end of the mission. We immediately initiated our investigation process to determine the root cause of the anomaly. Now, we can share more about what we’ve learned to date.

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Astra Space’s Update on Launch Failure

Rocket 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Feb. 10, 2022. (Credit: Brady Kenniston/Astra Space)

By Andrew Griggs
Senior Director
Mission Management & Assurance at Astra

Earlier this month, we launched for the first time out of Cape Canaveral. While this mission represented historic firsts for Astra, we experienced an anomaly during flight and were unable to deliver the payload to orbit. We deeply regret the loss of the mission and are working to investigate and identify the root cause of the issue. While our current investigation is ongoing, I wanted to share a little more about our process for investigating issues in flight.

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