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 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 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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Video: Scott Manley Analyzes Astra Space’s Rocket 3 Launch Failure

Video Caption: Astra’s first commercial launch ELaNa 41 was also their first from Florida, unfortunately after a successful first stage flight the second stage was trapped by a payload fairing which wouldn’t open.

Let’s look at the footage and see if we can figure out what happened.

Astra Space Rocket 3.3 Fails, 4 Payloads Lost in First Operational Launch Attempt

Scott Manley put together this comparison of second stage separation and ignition of the successful flight no. 7 and today’s failed flight.

Astra Space’s first attempt to place satellites into orbit failed on Thursday, with the company’s Rocket 3.3 tumbling out of control after ignition of the booster’s second stage. Astra’s stock (ASTR) plunged by as more than 31 percent to a low of $3.59 before recovering to $3.91 in after-hours trading.

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Astra Space Stock Sinks After Last Second Launch Abort

Astra Space stock sunk after the company’s Rocket 3.3 booster suffered a last-second abort as its first-stage engines began to fire. Words is the company will attempt to once again launch four CubeSats from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Wednesday.

Astra Space Scrubs Launch After Last Second Abort

Astra Space was forced to scrub the NASA-sponsored launch of four CubeSats on Monday after its Rocket 3.3 booster shut down just as its first-stage engines began to fire.

Astra Space tweeted that a minor telemetry anomaly forced the automatic shutdown of the small-satellite launch vehicle. The booster will launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Astra Space has not announced a new launch date and time.

Astra Space to Attempt Rocket 3.3 Launch Today From Florida

The NASA-funded mission includes three CubeSats built by universities and one CubeSat developed by NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Astra Space Seeks to Launch First Satellites Today

Launch Date Set for NASA CubeSat Mission Aboard Astra Space’s Rocket 3.3

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s first mission under the agency’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) Demonstration 2 contract is scheduled to launch four CubeSats to space no earlier than Feb. 5, 2022. The CubeSats, which make up the agency’s 41st Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission, will be the first VCLS launch from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Astra Space Inc’s first operational satellite launch aboard its Rocket 3.3.

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