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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Astra => Topic started by: ringsider on 01/14/2018 07:06 pm

Title: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 01/14/2018 07:06 pm
Astra Threads:
Astra Rocket 3.3 - LV0008 - NASA VCLS Demo-2 - CCSFS SLC-46 - Jan 18, 2022 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55588.0)
Astra LV0007 - STP-27AD2 - Kodiak - 20 November 2021 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54982.0)
FAILURE: Astra Rocket 3.3 – STP-27AD1 – Kodiak – August 28, 2021 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54659.0)
FAILURE : Astra Rocket 3.2 - Kodiak - December 15, 2020 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51938.0)
FAILURE: Astra Rocket 3.1 - Kodiak - September 12, 2020 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51231.0)
Pad Failure: Astra Rocket 3.0 "1 of 3" – Kodiak LC-3B – March 23, 2020 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50292.0)
SCRUB: Astra – DARPA Challenge launch #1 – Kodiak – March 2, 2020 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50156.0)

Comparing Astra and Rocket Lab business models (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50108.0)



From Alaska Aerospace public minutes :-

http://akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2017%2008%2017%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf (http://akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2017%2008%2017%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf)

f.   “New Space” Customer Update

AAC has a contract with Astra to support the  first four launches of their small liquid fuel commercial launch vehicle from PSCA.  The first launch is planned for December 2017.

Our focus at PSCA is toward getting liquid capability to accommodate these “first” liquid fuel launches.  This will be a very innovative launch.

Astra requires minimal support, they will use our range but did not request liquid fuel, they will do that on a temporary portable basis.  Their intent is to launch every month for the long term, which would involve new infrastructure investments and utilization of our facilities.   

Following a meeting in Oakland on July 28th, AAC has initiated the mission planning phase and assigned Barry King as the AAC lead. Astra is also interested in AAC’s potential development of an equatorial launch site [in Hawaii].

--

Launch firms in Oakland CA?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Jonas Bjarnoe on 01/14/2018 08:06 pm
https://www.linkedin.com/company/stealth-space-company

Would be my guess.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 01/14/2018 08:34 pm
 Because of the use of 'Ad Astra' rather than Astra, this post ended up in a Vasimir thread, but given they're based in Texas it looks like it's not them either. The article quoted appears to have been deleted, which would match with this being some sort of stealth startup. One with an unimaginative name, but that's hardly unique in this industry.
http://akaerospace.com/news/commercial-rocket-launches-coming-kodiak-island
Quote
Ad Astra, a Texas-based aerospace company specializing in advanced plasma rocket propulsion technology, is contracted to launch from PSCA in late January or early February, he said. He said Kodiak may see “robust activity” from the company moving forward.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 01/14/2018 08:52 pm
EDIT

Ventions works under the trade name Astra Space Inc.and won this contract last year:-

http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/94290253/NND17AP14C

DEVELOPMENT AND FLIGHT-TESTING OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC-PUMP FED LAUNCH VEHICLE

Then this

MON-30 / MMH

Then this

HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC PUMPS FOR ROCKET PROPULSION APPLICATIONS: THE PROJECT IS FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CUSTOM PUMP AND ELECTRIC MOTOR CAPABLE OF PRESSURIZING PROPELLANTS FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF LIQUID BIPROPELLANT ENGINE. AVAILABILITY OF SUCH HIGH-POWER PUMPS WILL NOT ONLY ALLOW FOR LOW PRESSURE STORAGE OF PROPELLANTS IN LIGHT WEIGHT TANKS FOR SMALL-SCALE LAUNCH VEHICLE STAGES, BUT ALSO PROVIDE ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROL WITH FAST RESPONSE TIMES THAT MAY ENABLE DIFFERENTIAL THROTTLE CONTROL. THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT INCLUDES DESIGN, FABRICATION, ASSEMBLY AND TESTING OF A HIGH-POWER ELECTRIC PUMP CAPABLE OF PRESSURING PROPELLANTS TO APPROXIMATELY 600PSI FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF THRUST ENGINE.

So, somebody wants to take on Rocket Lab...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/15/2018 04:12 am
EDIT

Ventions works under the trade name Astra Space Inc.and won this contract last year:-

http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/94290253/NND17AP14C

DEVELOPMENT AND FLIGHT-TESTING OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC-PUMP FED LAUNCH VEHICLE

Then this

MON-30 / MMH

Then this

HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC PUMPS FOR ROCKET PROPULSION APPLICATIONS: THE PROJECT IS FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CUSTOM PUMP AND ELECTRIC MOTOR CAPABLE OF PRESSURIZING PROPELLANTS FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF LIQUID BIPROPELLANT ENGINE. AVAILABILITY OF SUCH HIGH-POWER PUMPS WILL NOT ONLY ALLOW FOR LOW PRESSURE STORAGE OF PROPELLANTS IN LIGHT WEIGHT TANKS FOR SMALL-SCALE LAUNCH VEHICLE STAGES, BUT ALSO PROVIDE ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROL WITH FAST RESPONSE TIMES THAT MAY ENABLE DIFFERENTIAL THROTTLE CONTROL. THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT INCLUDES DESIGN, FABRICATION, ASSEMBLY AND TESTING OF A HIGH-POWER ELECTRIC PUMP CAPABLE OF PRESSURING PROPELLANTS TO APPROXIMATELY 600PSI FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF THRUST ENGINE.

So, somebody wants to take on Rocket Lab...
That is indeed it.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/15/2018 07:44 am
I thought 5klbs was about limit of electric pumps. 8-10klbs means RL could build engine twice as powerful as Rutherford. Probably already in development.



Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Nomic on 01/15/2018 10:15 am
Interesting bunch of contracts, couple about a LOX/RP1 microlauncher (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/19898939/NNX16CP70P) possibly using differential throttling rather than gimballing, presumably electropumps have better/faster throttle control than traditional turbopumps? 750psi chamber pressure (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/3967614/NNX13CK05C) (never seen a chamber pressure for electropumps before) and a storeable propellant space tug/sample return engine (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/19898939/NNX16CP70P).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: deruch on 01/15/2018 10:18 am
I thought 5klbs was about limit of electric pumps. 8-10klbs means RL could build engine twice as powerful as Rutherford. Probably already in development.

Maybe the difference in propellants changes that limit?  Based on the above, this engine is using hypergolics, MON-30/MMH.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Asteroza on 01/15/2018 10:16 pm
5Klbs limit is the rough line between reciprocating and turbine pump systems according to past research by Dr. White for LLNL. It is supposed to represent the lower limit for small turbine blade manufacturing, which is fairly difficult when you get that small as you need stupidly smooth surfaces on the blades. How the pump shaft is driven is a different problem, that electric motors solve neatly at small scales.

Though is that an assumption based on traditional vaned centrifugal pumps?

Dr. White felt a reciprocating system was the next viable choice (sometimes with a separate drive gas), but I never really had a sense of what kind of reciprocating pump. Some kind of OPOC or linear piston? Some sort of wankel, or perhaps the reverse of that, the LiquidPiston design?). Inline 4 cylinder, V or perhaps a radial?

What about unconventional rotary systems?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 01/15/2018 10:43 pm
As motors and batteries get better, cross over point between electric and standard turbo pumps will move higher.

With LOX available for cooling use of superconductor motors should be possible. I don't know if they exist or how expensive.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/16/2018 05:03 pm
5Klbs limit is the rough line between reciprocating and turbine pump systems according to past research by Dr. White for LLNL. It is supposed to represent the lower limit for small turbine blade manufacturing, which is fairly difficult when you get that small as you need stupidly smooth surfaces on the blades. How the pump shaft is driven is a different problem, that electric motors solve neatly at small scales.

Though is that an assumption based on traditional vaned centrifugal pumps?

Dr. White felt a reciprocating system was the next viable choice (sometimes with a separate drive gas), but I never really had a sense of what kind of reciprocating pump. Some kind of OPOC or linear piston? Some sort of wankel, or perhaps the reverse of that, the LiquidPiston design?). Inline 4 cylinder, V or perhaps a radial?

What about unconventional rotary systems?
Additive manufacturing and other advances have changed the limits slightly.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Asteroza on 01/16/2018 10:19 pm
5Klbs limit is the rough line between reciprocating and turbine pump systems according to past research by Dr. White for LLNL. It is supposed to represent the lower limit for small turbine blade manufacturing, which is fairly difficult when you get that small as you need stupidly smooth surfaces on the blades. How the pump shaft is driven is a different problem, that electric motors solve neatly at small scales.

Though is that an assumption based on traditional vaned centrifugal pumps?

Dr. White felt a reciprocating system was the next viable choice (sometimes with a separate drive gas), but I never really had a sense of what kind of reciprocating pump. Some kind of OPOC or linear piston? Some sort of wankel, or perhaps the reverse of that, the LiquidPiston design?). Inline 4 cylinder, V or perhaps a radial?

What about unconventional rotary systems?
Additive manufacturing and other advances have changed the limits slightly.

Unfortunately 3D printing surface finishes are still an issue, and doing 5 axis milling to do finishing work at small scale is still a pain.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: speedevil on 01/21/2018 12:21 pm
As motors and batteries get better, cross over point between electric and standard turbo pumps will move higher.

With LOX available for cooling use of superconductor motors should be possible. I don't know if they exist or how expensive.
In principle, cryogenic ultrapure copper has lots lower losses - around 10% best case at 77K.
This would need some form of moderately exotic cooling, but with high pressure liquid oxygen available 'free' - it may pay off.
Superconductor flux density limits as I understand it for high temperature superconductors won't allow you go approach copper closely.

Even commercial stuff is getting to the point it's suitable in some cases.
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/graphene-5000mah-4s-hardcase-w-5mm-female-bullet-connector.html - as one example.
This is a $100 battery which weighs 600g, and can produce 6kW of power for a minute and a half. Rather better energy density is readily available for 6 minute discharges.

I do wonder how much scaling you can do with this and have it matter.
In that, while conventional turbopumps have obvious economies of scale, at least for the motor side, really quite small pumps may be the best size, and be very amenable to simply paralleling, even if you want larger combustion chambers.
At some point, 'proper' turbopumps will be a clear win.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Gliderflyer on 02/17/2018 01:07 pm
Looks like a news helicopter caught them outside with their rocket:

http://abc7news.com/technology/sky7-spots-stealthy-space-startup-testing-its-rocket-in-alameda/3097474/

Interesting 5 engine arrangement.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 02/17/2018 02:52 pm
https://alameda.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2912485&GUID=EA222BDA-54DC-4B5E-B01C-8B7D7458C364&FullText=1

Found the lease documents mentioned in the article; it confirms Astra is the company formerly known as Ventions. I've attached the presentation given as it contains most of the interesting stuff, the rest is legal boilerplate.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 02/17/2018 09:56 pm
https://alameda.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=2912485&GUID=EA222BDA-54DC-4B5E-B01C-8B7D7458C364&FullText=1

Found the lease documents mentioned in the article; it confirms Astra is the company formerly known as Ventions. I've attached the presentation given as it contains most of the interesting stuff, the rest is legal boilerplate.

I'm not going to add anything that isn't already in the public domain, but it's cool seeing them finally getting some recognition--even if they didn't necessarily want it yet. The fact that they could stay stealth this long has been impressive.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/18/2018 03:53 am
Another view of the vehicle at Alameda Naval Air Station
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: sanman on 02/18/2018 04:16 am
Interesting bunch of contracts, couple about a LOX/RP1 microlauncher (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/19898939/NNX16CP70P) possibly using differential throttling rather than gimballing, presumably electropumps have better/faster throttle control than traditional turbopumps? 750psi chamber pressure (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/3967614/NNX13CK05C) (never seen a chamber pressure for electropumps before) and a storeable propellant space tug/sample return engine (http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/19898939/NNX16CP70P).

From your link:

Quote
TO-DATE, THE REALIZATION OF HIGH-PERFORMANCE LIQUID BIPROPELLANT ROCKET ENGINES FOR ASCENT VEHICLE AND SAMPLE RETURN APPLICATIONS HAS LARGELY BEEN HINDERED BY THE INABILITY TO OBTAIN "ON-BOARD" PRESSURIZATION THROUGH A LIGHT-WEIGHT AND LOW-COMPLEXITY PUMP. VENTIONS SEEKS TO FULFILL THIS CRITICAL NEED BY OFFERING LOW-RISK, ELECTRIC-MOTOR DRIVEN PUMPS FOR A MON-30 / MMH LIQUID BIPROPELLANT ENGINE IN THE MARS ASCENT VEHICLE FOR SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCE, MASS AND PACKAGING ADVANTAGES OVER PRESSURE-FED OR SOLID / HYBRID PROPULSION SYSTEMS.

So this technology could even be used for Mars Sample Return Mission? That's something that's showing up in the new budget, isn't it?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 02/18/2018 06:21 am
Judging by the fact that they appear to be already performing static fire tests with an integrated, full-scale vehicle, one wouldn't be hard pressed to argue that they are further along than Vector, if not Virgin Orbit as well. I'm impressed that they managed to stay so utterly silent...

Here are job listings, FWIW, including a boilerplate company message.
https://boards.greenhouse.io/stealthspacecompany

Quote
We are a small, highly entrepreneurial team of rocket engineers with deep technical expertise who love to build things and relish the idea of a grand challenge.

We believe that space is the ultimate high ground, and we are on a mission to provide routine access to earth orbit for the entrepreneurs and enterprises that are launching a new generation of services powered by small satellites that will connect, observe, and influence our planet.  Building on over a decade of technology development in rocket propulsion, structures, and avionics funded by NASA and DARPA, we are applying a fast-paced, hardware-focused, agile approach to space launch.

Are you an engineer, hacker, maker, physicist who has always dreamed of building rockets? Come help us build the hardware and launch the services that will open the frontier of space to the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Quote
Have 2-10 years of industry experience with pressurized systems, with an understanding of factors of safety and operational safety at 6000+ psi
Damn, that's like 400+ atm...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: IRobot on 02/18/2018 10:14 am
Unfortunately 3D printing surface finishes are still an issue, and doing 5 axis milling to do finishing work at small scale is still a pain.
Seems simple enough for high performance cars and regular airplanes.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: sanman on 02/18/2018 07:43 pm
Additive manufacturing and other advances have changed the limits slightly.

Unfortunately 3D printing surface finishes are still an issue, and doing 5 axis milling to do finishing work at small scale is still a pain.

I remember reading about how a key concern with mechanical heart valves is that any surface roughness can lead to unwanted coagulation and downstream thrombosis/blockages, which can be very damaging if not fatal.
One novel design deliberately used a rough surface that would cause platelets to clot and stick to the surface, so that this would then result in a smoother clot-covered surface.

I wonder if that approach could be taken toward generating a smooth surface finish for certain 3d-printed parts? Maybe some surfactant coating material with the right properties could achieve this.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/18/2018 08:55 pm
Judging by the fact that they appear to be already performing static fire tests with an integrated, full-scale vehicle, one wouldn't be hard pressed to argue that they are further along than Vector, if not Virgin Orbit as well. I'm impressed that they managed to stay so utterly silent...

They appear to be the opposite to Vector. More substance than talk.

Vector's got to be careful... all their hype over the last year seems to have been intended to make them seem ahead of the pack. But they will likely be behind several competitors.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 02/18/2018 09:32 pm
Judging by the fact that they appear to be already performing static fire tests with an integrated, full-scale vehicle, one wouldn't be hard pressed to argue that they are further along than Vector, if not Virgin Orbit as well. I'm impressed that they managed to stay so utterly silent...

They appear to be the opposite to Vector. More substance than talk.

Vector's got to be careful... all their hype over the last year seems to have been intended to make them seem ahead of the pack. But they will likely be behind several competitors.

My favorite kind of company. Do good work and let results speak for themselves :) Vector is very nearly vaporware, at least in the sense that a huge proportion of the hardware they've currently tested/publicized appear to have been subcontracted. Time will tell if that is the case, I will be floored if they actually make an orbital attempt before 2019
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Nomic on 02/19/2018 10:06 am
Quote
Have 2-10 years of industry experience with pressurized systems, with an understanding of factors of safety and operational safety at 6000+ psi
Damn, that's like 400+ atm...

That is from a test engineer role, aren't He cylinders usually 6k psi? Cant see any mentions of stage combustion in the other roles.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 02/19/2018 02:29 pm
Not staged combustion. The presentation that was posted shows RP1/LOX pumps on a single shaft with the motor in the middle of the shaft. It's slighly lower thrust than the Rutherford. They actually might be driven on separate motors/shafts based on the low res pictures in the presentation (I'm interpreting the red and green cylinders as motors)

The N2 or HE tanks they use as the tank pressurant are at 6000+ psi.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 03/21/2018 01:15 am
[Space News] Alaskan spaceport to host secretive commercial launch (http://spacenews.com/alaskan-spaceport-to-host-secretive-commercial-launch/)
Quote
An Alaskan spaceport will host the first launch of a rocket developed by a stealthy startup company as soon as next week, spaceport officials confirmed March 20.

Alaska Aerospace Corp., which operates Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island, said the launch period for the flight of the unidentified vehicle runs from March 27 to April 6.
...
“I can only say PSCA is conducting a launch operation called P120 and it is a commercial California company,” said Barry King, director of range operations for Alaska Aerospace, in a March 20 email.
...
King did state that the launch would be suborbital and that, being a commercial launch, would require a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Keep an eye out for a launch license being issued.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 03/21/2018 03:10 am
[Space News] Alaskan spaceport to host secretive commercial launch (http://spacenews.com/alaskan-spaceport-to-host-secretive-commercial-launch/)
Quote
An Alaskan spaceport will host the first launch of a rocket developed by a stealthy startup company as soon as next week, spaceport officials confirmed March 20.

Alaska Aerospace Corp., which operates Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island, said the launch period for the flight of the unidentified vehicle runs from March 27 to April 6.
...
“I can only say PSCA is conducting a launch operation called P120 and it is a commercial California company,” said Barry King, director of range operations for Alaska Aerospace, in a March 20 email.
...
King did state that the launch would be suborbital and that, being a commercial launch, would require a launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

Keep an eye out for a launch license being issued.

I have a lot of respect for their silent approach, especially when contrasted with Vector's.

Still hope they give those of us on the sidelines a few breadcrumbs ;D
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: input~2 on 03/21/2018 11:50 am
Here is the referenced navigational warning:

***UPDATED NOTICE***
The dates have changed, positions remain the same as previously published. A rocket launch is scheduled from the Pacific Spaceport Complex
located at Narrow Cape, Kodiak Island, Alaska, sometime between March 26th - April 6th, 2018. The following caution areas have been provided
by Alaska Aerospace.
Caution Area A consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 57°07’N, 152°16’W
B. 56°56’N, 152°22’W
C. 56°57’N, 152°37’W
D. 57°10’N, 152°34’W
E. 57°27’N, 152°23’W
F. 57°28’N, 152°19’W
G. 57°26’N, 152°15’W
H. 57°24’N, 152°14’W
I. Return to point A
Caution Area B consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 50°11’N, 155°54’W
B. 50°36’N, 156°11’W
C. 50°38’N, 156°11’W
D. 51°24’N, 155°47’W
E. 51°22’N, 152°59’W
F. 50°59’N, 153°01’W
G. 50°58’N, 153°01’W
H. 50°41’N, 153°07’W
I. 50°40’N, 153°09’W
J. 50°11’N, 155°51’W
H. Return to point A
Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas during the duration of operations.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 03/21/2018 10:25 pm
Astra PSCA Launch Program

Astra is moving forward with weekly planning telecons and have submitted a draft Operations Requirements (OR) for our review.   Astra will bring their Launch Operations Control Center (LOCC) to PSCA and will be as independent as  possible. 
They have  made a $100K deposit to secure the  launch date, possibly February or later. 


Usual source.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/22/2018 07:37 am
Quote
Have 2-10 years of industry experience with pressurized systems, with an understanding of factors of safety and operational safety at 6000+ psi
Damn, that's like 400+ atm...
It is.
But that's in the range for main tank pressurization systems.
Which the USAF range rules will measure in lbs of TNT equivalent.  :o

Otherwise that's staged combustion preburner territory.

Very sporty.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Athrithalix on 03/22/2018 08:29 am
That's odd, so along with a name change it appears that Ventions has changed their style of vehicle, I'm sure I remember something saying that they were planning an air-launched vehicle from Florida?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 03/22/2018 10:06 am
That's odd, so along with a name change it appears that Ventions has changed their style of vehicle, I'm sure I remember something saying that they were planning an air-launched vehicle from Florida?

They had developed SALVO for DARPA as a pathfinder for the larger ALASA launch vehicle to learn, how to operate a quick reaction air launch system effectively. With ALASA cancelled, there was no need to stick to air launch.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/22/2018 12:22 pm
The 6000psi is likely in reference to their pressurization system, ie COPVs.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/24/2018 10:56 am
The 6000psi is likely in reference to their pressurization system, ie COPVs.
That would be my guess. IIRC it's toward the top end of such systems.

I came across an old mfg paper during Apollo work was don to "Cryoform" high pressure tanks and spheres in SS301, by putting them in a pit of LN2, then "blowing them up" like a balloon (with 10 000psi LN2) to stress the inside of the tank.

They estimated this was 1/18 the cost of making them in Titanium, but I'm not sure if COPV's were even cheaper or lighter.

These days those tanks are often in the main propellant tanks. It's an interesting question if they vent fast enough (heavy use) could they freeze a layer of propellant onto the tank?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: input~2 on 03/25/2018 03:44 pm
21 March 2018 LNM: 12/18
***UPDATED NOTICE***
The dates remain the same as published in LNM 11/18. The positions remain the same for Caution Area “A” as previously published but the positions for Caution Area “B” have been changed.
A rocket launch is scheduled from the Pacific Spaceport Complex located at Narrow Cape, Kodiak Island, Alaska, sometime between March 26th - April 6th, 2018. The following caution areas have been provided by Alaska Aerospace.
Caution Area A consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 57°07’N, 152°16’W
B. 56°56’N, 152°22’W
C. 56°57’N, 152°37’W
D. 57°10’N, 152°34’W
E. 57°27’N, 152°23’W
F. 57°28’N, 152°19’W
G. 57°26’N, 152°15’W
H. 57°24’N, 152°14’W
I. Return to point A
Caution Area B consists of a polygon defined by lines connecting the following points:
A. 52°40’48”N, 156°33’36” W
B. 51°57’N, 152°22’48”W
C. 48°58’12”N, 153°25’48”W
D. 50°0’N, 158°37’48”W
E. RETURN TO POINT A
Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas during the duration of operations.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Andy Bandy on 03/27/2018 07:12 pm
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 03/27/2018 07:19 pm
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

I wonder if Rocket Lab could have bid for those NASA contracts regarding electric pump cryogenic engines. Because Rutherford seems to fit the bill of what they are asking, and have flight legacy under the belt.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Andy Bandy on 03/28/2018 06:16 pm
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

I wonder if Rocket Lab could have bid for those NASA contracts regarding electric pump cryogenic engines. Because Rutherford seems to fit the bill of what they are asking, and have flight legacy under the belt.

A lot of the smaller contracts from NASA are Small Business Innovation Research awards. That's not really a bidding situation; basically you submit a proposal to develop some technology and NASA chooses you for an award if the proposal is good. NASA funds a large number of awards in different categories for Phase I, fewer projects in Phase II at higher funding levels, and a handful of commercially viable projects in Phase III.

My understanding of Rocket Lab is that they started in New Zealand but has since set up operations in the USA. So, the U.S. operation would be eligible for the program. Rocket Lab also has an agreement with the U.S. government to cover issues relating to tech transfer for launching from New Zealand.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 03/29/2018 02:49 am
Looks like Vector is in the Kodiak spaceport right now

https://twitter.com/vectorspacesys/status/978813704035692544

So is it Astra or Vector the secret space company getting ready to launch? The plot thickens...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 03/29/2018 02:51 am
Related, job postings

https://boards.greenhouse.io/stealthspacecompany
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 03/29/2018 03:56 am
Some more detailed information about Astra Space, including a table detailing $21 million in government funding.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/

I wonder if Rocket Lab could have bid for those NASA contracts regarding electric pump cryogenic engines. Because Rutherford seems to fit the bill of what they are asking, and have flight legacy under the belt.

Ventions was working on electropumps before I left Masten back in 2010. It just took them longer to get to the point where they could raise sufficient funding to go after a full launch vehicle.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 04/02/2018 05:57 pm
Astra has been issued a launch license by the FAA (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/980853661638197250?s=19)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 04/03/2018 09:04 pm
Tweet from Jeff Foust (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/981272987331637249):
Quote
Looks like Astra Space, which received an FAA launch license just days ago, is gearing up for a launch: an FAA NOTAM for “ROCKET LAUNCH ACT” is in place for airspace near Kodiak, Alaska, on Thursday: http://bit.ly/2JeB2c0

Beginning Date and Time :   April 05, 2018 at 2000 UTC
Ending Date and Time :   April 06, 2018 at 0200 UTC
Alaska is UTC-8 right now.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 04/03/2018 09:09 pm
[Offtopic]Hmm, the Astra launch license is 18-112.  I wonder who has 18-110 and 18-111.[/Offtopic]
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 04/04/2018 07:50 am
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2018-112,%20Rocket%201%20(PSCA),%20Signed%20(2018-03-30).pdf (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2018-112,%20Rocket%201%20(PSCA),%20Signed%20(2018-03-30).pdf)

Suborbital, 188.5 degrees, inert S2, no payload.

$12M in launch insurance.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 04/05/2018 08:07 pm
Tweet from Jeff Foust (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/981966840866983936):
Quote
Look like, according to airspace restrictions, the launch is indeed now planned for Friday, with Saturday also reserved.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 04/05/2018 08:48 pm
Tweet from Jeff Foust (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/981966840866983936):
Quote
Look like, according to airspace restrictions, the launch is indeed now planned for Friday, with Saturday also reserved.

Caution is always wise, especially on a first launch. Keeping my fingers crossed for the Astra team.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jcm on 04/07/2018 12:01 am
Tweet from Jeff Foust (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/981966840866983936):
Quote
Look like, according to airspace restrictions, the launch is indeed now planned for Friday, with Saturday also reserved.

Caution is always wise, especially on a first launch. Keeping my fingers crossed for the Astra team.

~Jon

Could now have occurred - any word?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Olaf on 04/07/2018 05:02 am
https://twitter.com/kdmgabe/status/982423619119661057
Quote
Astra Space launch scrubbed minutes before launch. "It's very disappointing," said Bruce Walter, spaceport facilities director. Full story in Monday's @kodiakmirror
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 04/07/2018 06:48 am
In case you don't follow him, Ben Brockert tends to reveal several details about Astra on his Twitter feed:-

https://twitter.com/wikkit?lang=en

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 04/08/2018 03:15 am
This article (paywalled) may have additional details on the scrub, but I don't have access.
http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/news/article_495a50a0-3a0b-11e8-9d83-530214afd41b.html
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 04/10/2018 08:55 am
Full article re-published in SF Chronicle:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Missile-launch-canceled-at-spaceport-complex-in-12816956.php (https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Missile-launch-canceled-at-spaceport-complex-in-12816956.php)

Walter said the launch would have been Astra's first. He said no timeline has been established for another launch attempt by the company. "We're going to be talking about that in the next few days," Walter said. "Not anytime soon."
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 04/14/2018 02:51 pm
FCC ELS File Number 0696-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84139&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
This STA is required for the telemetry transmissions from Astra Test Launch 1, a suborbital test of a new commercial launch vehicle. We currently have STA [1013-EX-ST-2017] for the same vehicle, which expires on April 19th, 2018. Our launch window was cut short due to conflicts at the range prior to our launch. The range has given us a new launch window of May 10-14. We are hoping to get a new STA to cover the new launch window.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 04/26/2018 09:34 pm
FCC ELS File Number 0696-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84139&RequestTimeout=1000)
Quote
This STA is required for the telemetry transmissions from Astra Test Launch 1, a suborbital test of a new commercial launch vehicle. We currently have STA [1013-EX-ST-2017] for the same vehicle, which expires on April 19th, 2018. Our launch window was cut short due to conflicts at the range prior to our launch. The range has given us a new launch window of May 10-14. We are hoping to get a new STA to cover the new launch window.

This permit was granted on the 24th and appears to be valid for six months, starting May 8.
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=84139
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 04/30/2018 09:38 pm
Rocket launch at Kodiak spaceport complex scheduled for May (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article210058219.html)
Quote
The new launch is scheduled for May 10 or May 11, said Mike Morton, a director of the Alaska Aerospace Corp.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 05/07/2018 06:16 pm
Rocket launch at Kodiak spaceport complex scheduled for May (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article210058219.html)
Quote
The new launch is scheduled for May 10 or May 11, said Mike Morton, a director of the Alaska Aerospace Corp.

This is coming up later this week. Hopefully they have better luck this time around.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: input~2 on 05/10/2018 04:11 pm
New launch time: NET May 11, from 20:00UTC


NOTAM
Number :     FDC 8/4098
Issue Date :     May 10, 2018 at 1422 UTC
Location :     KODIAK, Alaska
Beginning Date and Time :     May 11, 2018 UTC 2000-0200 Daily
Ending Date and Time :     May 13, 2018 UTC
Reason for NOTAM :     DUE TO ROCKET LAUNCH ACT
Type :     Space Operations
Replaced NOTAM(s) :     N/A
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: tater on 05/11/2018 04:56 pm
Gabe Stutman, a local reporter up there just tweeted that the weather is clear, and he'll be tweeting updates.

https://twitter.com/kdmgabe
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: tater on 05/11/2018 08:29 pm
Tweet reports loud boom in direction of launch site, no rocket in the air...

Sounds not so good.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: tater on 05/11/2018 08:33 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/11/2018 08:44 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.
maybe a launch abort.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/11/2018 09:03 pm
Gabe Stutman, a local reporter up there just tweeted that the weather is clear, and he'll be tweeting updates.

https://twitter.com/kdmgabe
Official report from social media accounts of Kodiak Daily Mirror including KDM reporter in tweet links above. is confirmation that a Launch Abort occurred followed immediately by a very loud boom with no fire or conflagration of the launcher. no further attempts today. In a minimum 24 hour scrub while data is reviewed and scrub may be lengthened depending upon findings.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 05/11/2018 10:15 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.

Just worth remembering that Kodiak has not experienced a rocket launch in years, so any subjective fears or concerns from observers should be assumed to be extreme exaggerations of whatever actually happened. Same thing still happens all the time with extremely routine SpaceX testing in McGregor, "loud boom" this "loud boom" that and endless questions of whether it was a failure or RUD. Best to distrust inexperienced observers and not stretch beyond official confirmation in these situations.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/11/2018 10:28 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.

Just worth remembering that Kodiak has not experienced a rocket launch in years, so any subjective fears or concerns from observers should be assumed to be extreme exaggerations of whatever actually happened. Same thing still happens all the time with extremely routine SpaceX testing in McGregor, "loud boom" this "loud boom" that and endless questions of whether it was a failure or RUD. Best to distrust inexperienced observers and not stretch beyond official confirmation in these situations.
observer is a news reporter at the press viewing site.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 05/11/2018 10:46 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.

Just worth remembering that Kodiak has not experienced a rocket launch in years, so any subjective fears or concerns from observers should be assumed to be extreme exaggerations of whatever actually happened. Same thing still happens all the time with extremely routine SpaceX testing in McGregor, "loud boom" this "loud boom" that and endless questions of whether it was a failure or RUD. Best to distrust inexperienced observers and not stretch beyond official confirmation in these situations.
observer is a news reporter at the press viewing site.

Still... a news reporter who is an inexperienced rocket launch observer.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/11/2018 10:59 pm
He said no launch today, more info later. Din't mention smoke, or anything else, so maybe not a serious issue.

Just worth remembering that Kodiak has not experienced a rocket launch in years, so any subjective fears or concerns from observers should be assumed to be extreme exaggerations of whatever actually happened. Same thing still happens all the time with extremely routine SpaceX testing in McGregor, "loud boom" this "loud boom" that and endless questions of whether it was a failure or RUD. Best to distrust inexperienced observers and not stretch beyond official confirmation in these situations.
observer is a news reporter at the press viewing site.

Still... a news reporter who is an inexperienced rocket launch observer.
might be the whole social media push but the reporter has been covering launches of Kodiak Island since the first Aker Aerospace launch following handover of part the long closed former Chinak Air Force Station by the General Services Administration
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 05/11/2018 11:11 pm
might be the whole social media push but the reporter has been covering launches of Kodiak Island since the first Aker Aerospace launch following handover of part the long closed former Chinak Air Force Station by the General Services Administration

Hmmmmmm, are you certain? I know the Kodiak Daily Mirror has covered launch activity in Alaska for years, but I believe Gabe's career in journalism started in early 2015, and he only officially joined the Mirror in 2018.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/11/2018 11:15 pm
might be the whole social media push but the reporter has been covering launches of Kodiak Island since the first Aker Aerospace launch following handover of part the long closed former Chinak Air Force Station by the General Services Administration

Hmmmmmm, are you certain? I know the Kodiak Daily Mirror has covered launch activity in Alaska for years, but I believe Gabe's career in journalism started in early 2015, and he only officially joined the Mirror in 2018.
I must be mixing him up. I know that he was with ADN for a while.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 05/12/2018 01:25 am
might be the whole social media push but the reporter has been covering launches of Kodiak Island since the first Aker Aerospace launch following handover of part the long closed former Chinak Air Force Station by the General Services Administration

Hmmmmmm, are you certain? I know the Kodiak Daily Mirror has covered launch activity in Alaska for years, but I believe Gabe's career in journalism started in early 2015, and he only officially joined the Mirror in 2018.
I must be mixing him up. I know that he was with ADN for a while.

haha who knows ;D minor detail, regardless. Gabe tweeted soon after that a source stated that the vehicle was in good health, so def just a launch abort. That seems to indicate that Astra is also using a hold-down period to verify health in the milliseconds after ignition, which is cool and smart.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/12/2018 10:57 am
They are not alone F9 had one abort after engine start, I think Electron did too.

Most importantly the LV is still intacted.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/13/2018 04:28 pm
0947-EX-ST-2018 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=85014&RequestTimeout=1000)

Quote
This STA is required for the telemetry transmissions from Astra Test Launch 2, a suborbital test of a new commercial launch vehicle. Rocket 2.0 is the next build of our rocket design which we will be launching from Kodiak in a test flight. Our rocket design is not finalized in any way so we need temporary authorization for our telemetry system.

Please explain the purpose of operation:    Astra Test Launch 2 will be the second flight of a new two-stage lox kerosene rocket. For this test the second stage will not fire, and as such the entire mission will be suborbital. The launch site is located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex, Alaska.

Requested Period of Operation
Operation Start Date:   09/01/2018
Operation End Date:   03/01/2019
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/14/2018 09:29 am
Does mean that the first launch is Rocket 1.0?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 07/02/2018 02:41 pm
http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com/news/article_485e02f4-7652-11e8-90d3-1fd15f1e4e90.html
Next launch attempt July 14-20th.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 07/21/2018 01:20 am
It looks like their rocket has flown off under the radar..... (pun intended)

https://www.twitter.com/kdmgabe/status/1020469573605384192 (https://www.twitter.com/kdmgabe/status/1020469573605384192)

Gabe Stutman
@kdmgabe
BREAKING: Kodiak's first commercial launch occurred this afternoon at the Pacific Spaceport Complex around 2:00 p.m. Heavy fog blocked visibility. The Calif.-based Astra Space was licensed for a sub-orbital flight test of its Rocket 1 vehicle. Result of the test unclear

(that's Alaska Time so around 22:00 UTC)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 07/21/2018 05:43 am
Maybe didn't go exactly as planned:-

https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1020198106682535936

Ben Brockert @wikkit

Had one of those long, frustrating days that comes near the end of a series of long frustrating days. Intellectually I know that I shouldn't blame myself when everything doesn't work out exactly as planned, but I do anyway.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/21/2018 06:36 am
That tweet was made 24 hours ago, on Friday 20 July 6:30 UTC, which is before the launch. The tweet says 11:45 pm 19 July, but gives no time zone.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 07/21/2018 07:34 am
That tweet was made 24 hours ago, on Friday 20 July 6:30 UTC, which is before the launch. The tweet says 11:45 pm 19 July, but gives no time zone.

He is/was working on the Astra launcher, so maybe indicative of some frustrations?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: playadelmars on 07/27/2018 06:47 am
Does anyone know what exactly happened yet? Heard some rumors...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/27/2018 03:20 pm
That tweet was made 24 hours ago, on Friday 20 July 6:30 UTC, which is before the launch. The tweet says 11:45 pm 19 July, but gives no time zone.
Possibly US ADT.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 07/27/2018 04:40 pm
Does anyone know what exactly happened yet? Heard some rumors...

Per Gabe Stutman's reporting, the test happened on July 20 at 2pm Alaska time. Somewhere else the CEO is quoted calling the test a success. It's still kind of vague though.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 07/28/2018 06:09 am
https://spacenews.com/alaska-launch-shrouded-in-secrecy/

Spacenews queried the FAA who said it suffered a mishap:-

In a statement provided by the FAA July 24 in response to a SpaceNews inquiry, it confirmed that the launch took place but that a “mishap” of some kind occurred.

“The Astra Space, Inc. launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska at Kodiak Island on Friday, July 20 experienced a mishap,” the FAA stated. “It was an FAA-licensed launch, and the agency is reviewing the event.”


Sounds like the same thing that happened to the Stratos 3 flight.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Sam Ho on 07/30/2018 05:19 pm
https://spacenews.com/alaska-launch-shrouded-in-secrecy/

Spacenews queried the FAA who said it suffered a mishap:-

In a statement provided by the FAA July 24 in response to a SpaceNews inquiry, it confirmed that the launch took place but that a “mishap” of some kind occurred.

“The Astra Space, Inc. launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska at Kodiak Island on Friday, July 20 experienced a mishap,” the FAA stated. “It was an FAA-licensed launch, and the agency is reviewing the event.”


Sounds like the same thing that happened to the Stratos 3 flight.
There's also a quote from Craig Campbell of Alaska Aerospace later on:
Quote
“Our customer has requested we not discuss their operations with the press,” he said. “I can confirm that a launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska occurred on Friday, July 20th and that the customer is very pleased with the outcome of the launch.”

Campbell made no mention of a mishap or other incident taking place during the launch. “While a post-launch team is reviewing the results of the launch, I can state that there was no material damage to our facilities as a result of this launch,” he said. “We look forward to working with this customer to support their next launch from Alaska.”
That mentions no facilities damage, and that the customer is pleased, but does not specifically say what happened to the launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: catdlr on 08/17/2018 03:26 am
Astra - 'Stealth' Rocket Startup Testing Boosters In Silicon Valley


Scott Manley
Published on Aug 16, 2018

After finding out there was a company developing a smallsat launch vehicle practically in my backyard I hard to find out more. However the company is still in stealth mode - even calling themselves "Stealth Space Company" on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/stea...) - but between sightings of their booster, public documents, grants and leases I've got a pretty good idea of what their booster is like.

The public rocket views come from a local news station which caught site of the booster in Alameda
https://abc7news.com/technology/sky7-spots-stealthy-space-startup-testing-its-rocket-in-alameda/3097474/

https://youtu.be/LlsZysPeidI?t=001

https://youtu.be/LlsZysPeidI

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 09/26/2018 03:46 am
This is old but not here before
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taklKAbNYo8
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 09/26/2018 05:38 pm
I got a tour of there recently. Don't think I can say anything other than that they're doing cool things, and I'm excited for their future.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 09/26/2018 07:48 pm
From today

https://twitter.com/ABC7Shack/status/1044949029254193158

and

https://abc7news.com/technology/mysterious-rocket-spotted-in-alameda/4344902/

The local press is stirring things up lolol.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 09/26/2018 07:50 pm
Looks different from the first one. Maybe this one is orbital?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/27/2018 09:39 am
Some screen grabs.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Markstark on 09/27/2018 11:24 am
The US Government must having a fun time keeping an eye on all these start ups hauling and testing small boosters all over the country. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 10/11/2018 02:41 pm
https://www.macon.com/news/business/article219769775.html

Window is 10/12 to 10/16. Some new info on the previous launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 10/12/2018 04:58 am
Terminated after 21 secs on a suborbital test flight but deemed a success. Hmm.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 10/12/2018 05:40 am
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Rocketlabs first flight that was also terminated showed them everything they needed to have confidence in the vehicle...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: CameronD on 10/12/2018 06:17 am
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Rocketlabs first flight that was also terminated showed them everything they needed to have confidence in the vehicle...

I guess any launch you can walk away from is a good one...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 10/13/2018 03:07 am
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

A better analog would be Elon Musk declare Falcon 1 flight 2 a successful test even though it didn't reach orbit.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 10/13/2018 03:21 pm
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Calling a suborbital termination after 21 seconds a success is like giving every child in a class prize for attendance. Sure they learned something by showing up but they are not going to get the scholarship to Harvard...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 10/13/2018 03:55 pm
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Calling a suborbital termination after 21 seconds a success is like giving every child in a class prize for attendance. Sure they learned something by showing up but they are not going to get the scholarship to Harvard...
Depends on what your test criteria are...
In testing, there's a lot of grey area between failure and success. For operational flights, that line becomes quite thin.
The Vector test flights had a similar burn time IMO...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 10/13/2018 04:48 pm
Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Calling a suborbital termination after 21 seconds a success is like giving every child in a class prize for attendance. Sure they learned something by showing up but they are not going to get the scholarship to Harvard...
Depends on what your test criteria are...
In testing, there's a lot of grey area between failure and success. For operational flights, that line becomes quite thin.
The Vector test flights had a similar burn time IMO...
I agree on the Vector sub-tropospheric flights, and I have a similar opinion of what they demonstrated.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 10/15/2018 08:56 pm
Who knows. Maybe the flight was supposed to last 21.1 seconds.

Hey, Elon Musk said he would deem the first Falcon Heavy a success if it didn't damage the pad...

Calling a suborbital termination after 21 seconds a success is like giving every child in a class prize for attendance. Sure they learned something by showing up but they are not going to get the scholarship to Harvard...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 10/15/2018 10:20 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1051957954927357953
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 10/16/2018 09:08 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1052297659837497345
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/26/2018 03:42 pm
Cross-posting:

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1067094949303328771

http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_8_0659.html
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 11/26/2018 10:51 pm
That's actually in the evening on the 28th for those of us in North America (early morning UTC on the 29th).

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 11/28/2018 12:46 pm
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=85014&RequestTimeout=1000

 It doesn't really add much new information, but here's the FCC STA for flight 2. It's active from 9/1/2018 to 3/1/2019, and peak altitude is listed as 375km.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 11/30/2018 05:25 am
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 11/30/2018 07:01 am
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 12/02/2018 07:44 am
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

It's interesting - they are now so stealthy they don't even get a peep in the press after what looks like a successful suborbital test launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/02/2018 01:24 pm
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

Being on that list says nothing about whether it was successful.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RLA on 12/02/2018 05:09 pm
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

It's interesting - they are now so stealthy they don't even get a peep in the press after what looks like a successful suborbital test launch.
Exactly but this is Astra's approach already since day 1, however I wondering why they having this odd approach like it's a top secret rocket program.

Anyway is it just visual illusion or does it looks like the second Astra is longer then the first one? I do looking to the existing pictures and video's and I seeing a difference where the first Astra didn't having a light-gray part between the fairing and the first stage but it's notable at the second Astra, also maybe it's a visual illusion too but it looks like the fairing is smaller at the second Astra then the first one.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/02/2018 11:08 pm
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

It's interesting - they are now so stealthy they don't even get a peep in the press after what looks like a successful suborbital test launch.
Exactly but this is Astra's approach already since day 1, however I wondering why they having this odd approach like it's a top secret rocket program.

Anyway is it just visual illusion or does it looks like the second Astra is longer then the first one? I do looking to the existing pictures and video's and I seeing a difference where the first Astra didn't having a light-gray part between the fairing and the first stage but it's notable at the second Astra, also maybe it's a visual illusion too but it looks like the fairing is smaller at the second Astra then the first one.
They ditched the tapered stage one tank after the first launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 12/02/2018 11:27 pm
Anyway is it just visual illusion or does it looks like the second Astra is longer then the first one? I do looking to the existing pictures and video's and I seeing a difference where the first Astra didn't having a light-gray part between the fairing and the first stage but it's notable at the second Astra, also maybe it's a visual illusion too but it looks like the fairing is smaller at the second Astra then the first one.

What images do you speak of? The last ones posted in this thread were from 2+ months ago. Are you talking about those or some newer images?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/02/2018 11:37 pm
Anyway is it just visual illusion or does it looks like the second Astra is longer then the first one? I do looking to the existing pictures and video's and I seeing a difference where the first Astra didn't having a light-gray part between the fairing and the first stage but it's notable at the second Astra, also maybe it's a visual illusion too but it looks like the fairing is smaller at the second Astra then the first one.

What images do you speak of? The last ones posted in this thread were from 2+ months ago. Are you talking about those or some newer images?
He is referring to photos of launcher testing at former ANAS in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 12/03/2018 11:09 am
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

It's interesting - they are now so stealthy they don't even get a peep in the press after what looks like a successful suborbital test launch.
Exactly but this is Astra's approach already since day 1, however I wondering why they having this odd approach like it's a top secret rocket program.
This seems to be the standard MO for the companies which are primarily funded through DARPA (Whittinghill, TGV, et.c.), there tends to be very little information outside of public SBIR documents. This is particularly striking in the case of Whittinghill who used to be funded primarily through NASA. Six years ago they were open enough to get  a spotlight article in SpaceNews (https://spacenews.com/uphill-climb/), and now their entire website is literally just their company name and an email address.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 12/03/2018 08:53 pm
Did Astra get the rocket up?
Yes, the FAA added it to their list of licensed launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/?type=Licensed). Given this didn't happen for the first launch, we can also likely take this as confirmation of launch success.

It's interesting - they are now so stealthy they don't even get a peep in the press after what looks like a successful suborbital test launch.
Exactly but this is Astra's approach already since day 1, however I wondering why they having this odd approach like it's a top secret rocket program.
This seems to be the standard MO for the companies which are primarily funded through DARPA (Whittinghill, TGV, et.c.), there tends to be very little information outside of public SBIR documents. This is particularly striking in the case of Whittinghill who used to be funded primarily through NASA. Six years ago they were open enough to get  a spotlight article in SpaceNews (https://spacenews.com/uphill-climb/), and now their entire website is literally just their company name and an email address.

I don't think Astra is DARPA funded for anything at the moment, but it is true that DARPA/DoD-funded efforts usually include an annoying requirement that any public information releases have to go through a DoD review process that can take up to 30-45 days. Even a tweet. Which definitely cuts down on your ability to say anything publicly or engage in any sort of a conversation about things. Personally, for non-classified stuff, I think that's... unwise... on the military's part. Circling back to my original comment though, while Astra may have inherited some tight lippedness from Ventions which was primarily funded from NASA and DoD contracts, I don't think they're currently being funded by the DoD, so I think this is more a business decision. It could be that with a close competitor like Vector, they don't feel the need to tip their hand when they don't feel they need to raise extra money to get to flight.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/06/2018 09:00 pm
Quote
Astra Space suborbital launch fails
by Jeff Foust — December 6, 2018

WASHINGTON — A test flight in Alaska of a small launch vehicle by a stealthy startup company ended in failure in late November, the Federal Aviation Administration has revealed.

[…]

“Even though all five engines failed, all debris landed in the spaceport boundary and there were no injuries or property damage to the uninvolved public.”

https://spacenews.com/astra-space-suborbital-launch-fails/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 12/07/2018 02:22 pm
I suspect he was not supposed to say anything about that....
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/17/2019 09:48 am
Commercial Customer Launch (Name NDA restricted) Update

Commercial Customer X (P120 mission) successfully launched on July 20, 2018. P120 was the first commercial launch from PSCA in our twenty-year history.
 
Flight #2 is scheduled for October 2018.

Due to changes in the design of the Launch Vehicle a third flight is not expected until the summer of 2019.

Facility Damage Report from July 20, 2018 Launch

WALTER reported that commercial customer P120 had a successful launch, however the flight was not successful. 

Flight damage was limited to the Integration Processing Facility (IPF) exterior siding without  causing any structural or internal damage to the facility. 

The customers insurance agency has taken full responsibilities and is working with AAC to resolve. 

Spacecraft Assembly and Transfer Facility Structural Issue

WALTERS reported that after P120 launched from LP2 staff noticed a deformation in the rails. 

In subsequent meetings with AAC’s engineering firm, BRPH it was concluded the new SCAT is considerably heavier than the predecessor as well as using a new roller configuration.


http://www.akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2018%2009%2013%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf (http://www.akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2018%2009%2013%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf)

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/18/2019 05:21 am
WALTER reported that commercial customer P120 had a successful launch, however the flight was not successful. 

Flight damage was limited to the Integration Processing Facility (IPF) exterior siding without  causing any structural or internal damage to the facility.

That's taking spin to the next level! How could the launch have been successful went it must have gone out of control and damaged the IPF building? Pictures of the IPF in the link below (before the damage).

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/08/20/alaska-officials-rededicate-pacific-spaceport-complex/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/18/2019 09:19 pm
Spin by who? Has the company said anything publicly? Besides, how do you know what's the success criteria?

WALTER reported that commercial customer P120 had a successful launch, however the flight was not successful. 

Flight damage was limited to the Integration Processing Facility (IPF) exterior siding without  causing any structural or internal damage to the facility.

That's taking spin to the next level! How could the launch have been successful went it must have gone out of control and damaged the IPF building? Pictures of the IPF in the link below (before the damage).

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/08/20/alaska-officials-rededicate-pacific-spaceport-complex/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 03/06/2019 03:26 am
Astra filed a heavily redacted FCC permit application (0131-EX-CN-2019) that seems to be for avionics testing near their facility in California.  It mentions the antenna being in a rocket that is less than 50 feet tall.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 04/11/2019 03:22 am
There are rumours that Astra is one of three finalists of the Darpa Launch Challenge. Three out of 55 contenders! This would mean they will launch a Darpa payload in early 2020, and a second one if the first launch succeeds.

https://spacenews.com/three-companies-selected-for-darpa-launch-challenge/

Quote
Todd Master, the manager of the competition at DARPA, said the unnamed company will identify itself closer to the dates of the competition. “At this time they’re not ready to do that,” he said.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/12/2019 01:41 am
0312-EX-CN-2019
Quote
The overall goal of the NSLSAT-1 mission, is to correlate the Solar Activity to the Electron
Density in the Near-Earth (LEO) Plasma Field. The spacecraft will carry an Energetic Particle
Detector and a Langmuir Probe.

The satellite will be launched as a payload aboard an Astra Space rocket, scheduled to launch from
Kodiak, AK September 20, 2019. The satellite will be inserted into a near-circular orbit at 550 km
at an inclination of 90 degrees from the equator.

Name of satellilte is GEARRS-3
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: playadelmars on 06/12/2019 02:38 pm
Nice! That’s a big step up to what looks like full orbital launch this year... they may actually beat both Vector and VO. What is payload mass?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 06/12/2019 09:21 pm
Payload mass is 3 kg.

https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=230288
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/29/2019 05:15 pm
Kodiak is expecting up to 6 commercial launches in mid August – December 2019.

http://www.akaerospace.com/sites/default/files/minutes/2019%2003%2012%20Board%20of%20Directors%20Minutes.pdf, page 5

Quote
Launch Damage Report from November 29, 2018
LESTER reported the impact site is in a grassy area downslope from LP2. The team
continues to restore the area and it will remain fenced until clearance of future soil testing.
The customer is reimbursing all clean-up costs.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 07/19/2019 02:39 am
1319-EX-ST-2019 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=93697&RequestTimeout=1000)
FCC permit for the launch has NET Sep. 23.

(also it's a little confusing that astraspace.net is another company, Astra LLC, that turned up in another permit today)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Salo on 09/24/2019 11:08 am
Delay?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 09/24/2019 03:32 pm
The FCC permit hasn't been approved yet.  They don't have an active FAA license either.  There is recent (this month) correspondence on the FCC permit about needing to coordinate with NASA and NOAA/Department of Commerce.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/24/2019 08:20 pm
1319-EX-ST-2019 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=93697&RequestTimeout=1000)
FCC permit for the launch has NET Sep. 23.

(also it's a little confusing that astraspace.net is another company, Astra LLC, that turned up in another permit today)
Correct one builds satellite and ground components and plans on building their own sats and the other builds rockets with ambitions of sats.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 09/30/2019 06:49 pm
https://twitter.com/meharris/status/1178686940947701760

Quote
Scoop: Astra Space's tests contaminated hundreds of tonnes of soil & damaged a building at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island. My latest for @newscientist [paywall]
https://newscientist.com/article/2218048-revealed-rocket-test-at-alaskan-spaceport-polluted-230-tonnes-of-soil/

Replying to @meharris and @newscientist
I got Astra on the record for the first time. They say both test flights last year were successful, but that both ended early. Both landed on spaceport land, requiring over 230 tonnes of soil to be removed to the mainland for decontamination.

Debris from the first flight in July also damaged exterior panels on PSCA's Integration & Processing Facility. The damage was fixed by early spring this year. This damage increased insurance costs for @vectorlaunch - one of the reasons it did not launch from PSCA last year.

The boss of PSCA at the time told @SpaceNews_Inc that the launch had caused "no material damage to our facilities." However, minutes from a spaceport board meeting had a section entitled "Facility Damage Report from 7.20.18 launch".
https://spacenews.com/alaska-launch-shrouded-in-secrecy/

Remember how an FAA official said all 5 of Astra's rocket engines failed on its 2nd flight (another great story by @jeff_foust)? Astra says that was incorrect. 2 engines on the rocket failed, the remainder were shut down to maintain trajectory.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 11/08/2019 06:26 am
From: https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=224614&x=. (https://apps.fcc.gov/els/GetAtt.html?id=224614&x=.)
--
Astra Space Form 442 Attachment
March 4, 2019

Introduction

Astra Space Inc. is developing an orbital launch vehicle.  The rocket has successfully launched from Kodiak, AK under an FAA launch license.The purpose of this application is to obtain a long term license to test the rocket at test sites in California. 

Astra will be producing several development rockets over the next year and would like to do development testing by radiating over the air to our ground infrastructure.

Locations

There are 3 possible locations for Astra to do its testing

1.Orion.  This is at the Astra facility in Alameda.  Several rockets will be tested outside in a vertical position over the next 2 years.

2.Nimitz.  This is the preferred location of the Astra static fire tests.  In these tests the rocket will be fueled and a short duration firing will take place.  Over the air telemetry is required for this testing.

3.Castle.  This is a location at the Castle Airport in Atwater, California.  This is a possible alternate or back up location to the Nimitz test site.

Links to locations

Orion https://goo.gl/maps/7hRXGGuoqvn (existing facility)
Nimitz https://goo.gl/maps/YZSKQRrRSvB2 (disused runway location at Alameda)
Castle https://goo.gl/maps/huteGvs975K2

Technical Details

The launch vehicle is rather short.  The external antennas are 9.6 meters above ground when the rocket is vertical on its launch stool.  The antennas are located along a ring and driven in pairs, for a semi-omni-directional pattern.The “transmitter”consists of a Quasonix nanoTX transmitter and supporting circuitry, such as a telemetryencoder, output protection, and a switchmatrix. 

The nanoTX model is capable of up to 10W maximum RF power.The rocket will contain two (2) transmitters, each identical.  Each transmitter has a number of rates that it will use.The two frequencies we wish to use are 2211 MHz and 2215 MHz.  Our modulation scheme is PCM/FM.  The maximum baud rate that will be used is 4Mbps.  The 2211 MHz carrier will havea baud rate that varies between 256 kbpsand 2 Mbps.  On the other hand, the 2215 MHz carrier will always be operated at 4 Mbps.

--

They also took a lease on a new, 10x larger facility next door to the existing Building 397, at Building 360 in Alameda, which is the Orion location (Orion Avenue):

(https://i.imgur.com/vPhO1Rf.png)

https://alamedapointenvironmentalreport.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/astra-space_temp-lic_b360_2019-0109.pdf (https://alamedapointenvironmentalreport.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/astra-space_temp-lic_b360_2019-0109.pdf)


Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RLA on 11/08/2019 12:13 pm
There are rumours that Astra is one of three finalists of the Darpa Launch Challenge. Three out of 55 contenders! This would mean they will launch a Darpa payload in early 2020, and a second one if the first launch succeeds.

https://spacenews.com/three-companies-selected-for-darpa-launch-challenge/

Quote
Todd Master, the manager of the competition at DARPA, said the unnamed company will identify itself closer to the dates of the competition. “At this time they’re not ready to do that,” he said.

Well it's now clear that very likely Astra is the only one remaining in the DARPA competition. Vector is out of the race for obviously reasons and Virgin put themselves out because it gives them a better window for commercial launches in 2020.

https://spacenews.com/stealth-startup-lone-remaining-contender-in-darpa-responsive-launch-challenge/

However one of the criteria of this "competition" is that you launch the same SLV from a different launch side within a short time after you launched the first one. But do we having any idea where Astra would be launched then besides Kodiak?   
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 11/08/2019 01:10 pm
However one of the criteria of this "competition" is that you launch the same SLV from a different launch side within a short time after you launched the first one. But do we having any idea where Astra would be launched then besides Kodiak?   

DARPA has a list of launch sites they are choosing from.  The sites are not chosen by the launch provider.  A requirement of the DARPA competition is that you don't use a dedicated pad for your vehicle.  That's one reason so few companies competed.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/14/2019 09:47 pm
Just seen this from a month ago

twitter.com/alex_j_band/status/1195877796670656512

Quote
[email protected] Look at the "Stealth" rocket I found in Alameda, CA tonight.

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1205728246899167232

Quote
This new one is bigger than the previous design: Astra - 'Stealth' Rocket Startup Testing Boosters In Silicon Valley
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 12/15/2019 04:01 pm
That's looking extremely Atlas.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/17/2019 12:38 am
Astra filed an FCC permit for a launch between February 17 and March 30 from...somewhere? (I assume Kodiak again.)
2355-EX-ST-2019 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=97081&RequestTimeout=1000)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 12/23/2019 10:21 am
 Astra have been granted an FCC permit (http://) (1319-EX-ST-2019) for an orbital launch from Kodiak before March 1st. The permit had been pending since July, and the start date listed has already passed.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 01/07/2020 04:23 am
Astra has applied for an FCC permit in support of a DARPA Launch Challenge flight from Wallops NET March.
0004-EX-ST-2020 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=97422&RequestTimeout=1000)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 01/07/2020 05:16 am
Astra has applied for an FCC permit in support of a DARPA Launch Challenge flight from Wallops NET March.
0004-EX-ST-2020 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=97422&RequestTimeout=1000)
So Astra were the mystery 3rd competitor.

Excellent work.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 01/10/2020 05:11 pm
Astra got an FAA license yesterday for three flights of Rocket v3.0 from Kodiak.
LLS 20-118 (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2020-118,%20Rocket%20v3.0%20(PSCA),%20Signed%20(2020-01-09)1.pdf)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 01/10/2020 09:08 pm
It appears, that Astra is really calling their rocket simply "Rocket". I guess, this is the least creative name for a launch vehicle ever.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/11/2020 01:26 am
It appears, that Astra is really calling their rocket simply "Rocket". I guess, this is the least creative name for a launch vehicle ever.
Depending upon the year both.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/03/2020 12:12 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1224314084033810433

Quote
A look inside Astra, which until now has operated as "Stealth Space Company."

Astra is aiming to reach orbit with its next launch from Alaska's Kodiak spaceport on Feb. 21 – key toward its progress in DARPA's Launch Challenge.
bloomberg.com/features/2020-

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1224316116459315203

Quote
Astra's rocket is designed to carry between 75-200 kg to orbit (Rocket Lab's Electron carries 150-225 kg).

CEO Chris Kemp: "We’re able to profitably deliver payloads at $2.5 million per launch, and our intent is to continue to lower that price and increase the performance.”

Quote
3 February 2020
A SMALL ROCKET MAKER
IS RUNNING A DIFFERENT KIND OF SPACE RACE

Astra, Darpa's rocket startup of choice, is preparing to launch satellites into orbit in record time

By Ashlee Vance
Photographs by Jason Henry

The 40-foot-long, 4-foot-wide rocket loomed over the quiet suburb of Alameda, Calif., on the morning of Jan. 18, near the Pottery Barn Outlet. A handful of engineers and metal wrenchers got to work early, setting up the rocket and connecting it to a mess of electronics and tubes. The device stood up straight, with the help of some black metal scaffolding. Its bottom third gleamed aluminum; the rest, actor-teeth white. Over the course of the day, the team pumped in various gases and liquids to prepare the rocket’s valves, chambers, and other components for a crucial test.

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-astra-rocket/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/03/2020 02:55 pm
Wow, they got $100M investment and seem to be quite close to orbital launch, RocketLab may have a fierce competitor.

Also interesting that they were able to test fire their engines inside their HQ building, that's quite a clever setup.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/03/2020 03:16 pm
Wow, they got $100M investment and seem to be quite close to orbital launch, RocketLab may have a fierce competitor.

Also interesting that they were able to test fire their engines inside their HQ building, that's quite a clever setup.
They've had 2 failed launch attempts, here is hoping No3 is successful. Still way to go before they threaten RL business. In mean time RL are moving to RLVs which should help keep them ahead of competition.



Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/03/2020 03:39 pm
Looks like the website is finally public

https://astra.com/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/03/2020 03:58 pm
They've had 2 failed launch attempts, here is hoping No3 is successful.

Well, they consider a launch as "successful" if it left the ground, no matter if it returned to the launch pad a few seconds later:

Quote
April 2018: Rocket 1.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
October 2018: Rocket 2.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
https://astra.com/welcome/

So it should be easy to achieve a successful 3rd flight.  ::)

Also interesting:

Quote
January 2020: Started Production of Rocket 3.0

With a launch date of February 21, this would be < 2 months from start of production into orbit. Wow.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Rondaz on 02/03/2020 03:59 pm
For the past three years, I've been following a rocket start up in secret. Today, we told a little of their story for the first time. They been making this thing in freaking Alameda and no one noticed.

https://twitter.com/valleyhack/status/1224352558824615936
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/03/2020 04:16 pm
Looks like the website is finally public

https://astra.com/

One the Astra website, there is a form to search for launch opportunities. It reveals these planned cubesat rideshare missions:

October 2020 - 500 km SSO
January 2021 - 500 km SSO
March 2021 - 500 km 9°
April 2021 - 500 km SSO
June 2021 - 500 km 9°
July 2021 - 500 km SSO
September 2021 - 500 km 9°

Price is $250.000 for 3U and $95.000 for 1U. For comparison: Spaceflight charges $295.000 for 3U.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 02/03/2020 04:29 pm
We got an introductory video (pretty well done) from the company, even including footages from those Kodiak launches (!!!):

https://vimeo.com/388954219
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/03/2020 05:12 pm
We got an introductory video (pretty well done) from the company, even including footages from those Kodiak launches (!!!):



Very high production values but....
It’s not a “space company” until they get something in space.
They can’t say that they are “the largest space company you have never heard of” because there may be a larger one THEY haven’t heard of.
They are NOT making 50 times as many rockets as other launch providers. (They say elsewhere they are now building their third.)
They can list whatever prices they want when it’s still early and they are burning VC money.
Everyone talks about rapid launch. They just up the talk to “daily”. Lovely aspirations, but they have no monopoly on aspiring to rapid launch cadence.
Nice videos of what looks like a dozen launches, but we know the real number and result. 
And that breathless article?  🙄
I wish them luck and success, but until they get there repeatedly, they remain back in the pack of wannabes.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/03/2020 05:25 pm
Also interesting:

Quote
January 2020: Started Production of Rocket 3.0

With a launch date of February 21, this would be < 2 months from start of production into orbit. Wow.

I think that means series production. Or a typo. Obviously they've been building that specific Rocket 3.0 for longer.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/03/2020 05:45 pm


They've had 2 failed launch attempts, here is hoping No3 is successful.

Well, they consider a launch as "successful" if it left the ground, no matter if it returned to the launch pad a few seconds later:

Quote
April 2018: Rocket 1.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
October 2018: Rocket 2.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
https://astra.com/welcome/

So it should be easy to achieve a successful 3rd flight.  ::)

Its not failure if they learn from it, especially as the first 1 or 2 would be classified as test launches with high probability of failure.

RL kept hyping high flight rates, should be at weekly by now, only just heading to monthly. Astra is likely to find same issues as RL with ramping up flight rates.

Even successful launch may throw up issues that will need months to fix, I'd be surprised if it doesn't. RL had good initial 2 flights but had to stand down for few months to resolve electric pump controller issues.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/03/2020 05:50 pm
Also interesting:

Quote
January 2020: Started Production of Rocket 3.0

With a launch date of February 21, this would be &lt; 2 months from start of production into orbit. Wow.

I think that means series production. Or a typo. Obviously they've been building that specific Rocket 3.0 for longer.

I think there might be a difference between version numbers and serial numbers...
Also there‘s no physical reason assembly has to take that long. Especially if they want to produce that rocket in the hundreds.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jamesh9000 on 02/03/2020 06:26 pm
I felt that "reveal" trailer was in incredibly poor taste. Highlighting other companies failures (even just a 'glitch' from ULA that only delayed a launch), while showing their own launches and cutting off the video right before the rocket failed, plummeted to earth and damaged the launch pad, was nasty and disingenuous. All the various different launch companies have their pros and cons, things they do well and things they don't do so well, and acting like they're better than everyone else despite never having gotten anything into space (and keeping the details secret) is just really uncool. Peter Beck manages to be a gentleman about other companies, highlighting their positives and using them as inspiration, but these guys have kicked things off with a blizzard of marketing obfuscation.

I hope they jump on a rapid learning curve around how to participate positively with others.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 02/03/2020 06:34 pm
That video is rather misleading.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/03/2020 06:43 pm
That video is rather misleading.

How so? Care to elaborate?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 02/03/2020 07:09 pm
That video is rather misleading.

How so? Care to elaborate?
Refer to Comga and jamesh9000 above. They're very much overclaiming
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/03/2020 07:21 pm


They've had 2 failed launch attempts, here is hoping No3 is successful.

Well, they consider a launch as "successful" if it left the ground, no matter if it returned to the launch pad a few seconds later:

Quote
April 2018: Rocket 1.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
October 2018: Rocket 2.0 was launched successfully from Kodiak, Alaska.
https://astra.com/welcome/

So it should be easy to achieve a successful 3rd flight.  ::)

Its not failure if they learn from it, (snip)

Smart people learn from failures, but they are still failures.
Successfully learning from failures is not the same as success in the endeavor.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/03/2020 07:30 pm
(Link to a twitter post of a person working there)

https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1224376432442261504 (https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1224376432442261504)

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/03/2020 08:01 pm
Yep, a lot of talk, hopefully they can deliver. An interesting transition from being in stealth mode to "we're going to fly daily".

They have not reached orbit yet, nor been public about how close they have come. And there is a big leap from that to ... daily flights.

And with daily flights, is re-usability something that is on their radar, or are they planning to build 300+ rockets a year and chucking them in the ocean?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 02/03/2020 08:02 pm
We got an introductory video (pretty well done) from the company, even including footages from those Kodiak launches (!!!):



Very high production values but....
It’s not a “space company” until they get something in space.
They can’t say that they are “the largest space company you have never heard of” because there may be a larger one THEY haven’t heard of.
They are NOT making 50 times as many rockets as other launch providers. (They say elsewhere they are now building their third.)
They can list whatever prices they want when it’s still early and they are burning VC money.
Everyone talks about rapid launch. They just up the talk to “daily”. Lovely aspirations, but they have no monopoly on aspiring to rapid launch cadence.
Nice videos of what looks like a dozen launches, but we know the real number and result. 
And that breathless article?  🙄
I wish them luck and success, but until they get there repeatedly, they remain back in the pack of wannabes.
I appreciate that they made some overblown claims but this is ridiculous. They're not a space company? Then what are they? How can they be 'back of the pack' when they have a rocket and full licencing for an orbital launch this month?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/03/2020 08:06 pm
(Link to a twitter post of a person working there)

https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1224376432442261504 (https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1224376432442261504)

------------------------------
https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-astra-rocket/ (https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-astra-rocket/)

Quote
The rest of Astra’s 150-person team includes some legit aerospace veterans—former SpaceX employees such as Chris Thompson (part of the SpaceX founding team), Matt Lehman (propulsion), Roger Carlson (the Dragon capsule), and Bryson Gentile (the Falcon 9 rocket). But there’s also a large contingent of people who came either from gritty, bootstrapped rocket outfits or from other fields entirely. Much of the engine building has been done by Ben Farrant, a former Navy engine man who’s spent the bulk of his career in the auto racing world tuning vehicles. Les Martin, a launch and test infrastructure engineer, built test stands for SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Firefly Aerospace after learning electronics in the Marines.
----------------
There appear to be many veterans working for this "decloaked" startup. I would think that no one would question technical abilities of this venture.

I have been intrigued by this stealth startup.
There are many ways to have an inspiring "reveal" but after today's video, I have one nagging thought.
Why not play well with others...stay away from the "shade" when possible, particularly when this appears to be "first contact".
Hopefull that we will have regular updates of some form now and I wish them well.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/03/2020 08:20 pm
I wish them luck and success, but until they get there repeatedly, they remain back in the pack of wannabes.
I appreciate that they made some overblown claims but this is ridiculous. They're not a space company? Then what are they? How can they be 'back of the pack' when they have a rocket and full licencing for an orbital launch this month?
Read carefully
I wrote “back in the pack” not “back of the pack”
And what are they?
Who cares?
But until they get something into space, like a payload to  orbit for a customer” they are at best a “prospective space company”.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/03/2020 08:45 pm
Yep, a lot of talk, hopefully they can deliver. An interesting transition from being in stealth mode to "we're going to fly daily".

They have not reached orbit yet, nor been public about how close they have come. And there is a big leap from that to ... daily flights.

I wonder if that's just because they need to raise more money.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 02/03/2020 08:52 pm
Is Rivian not a automaker until it has released their truck to be bought by the public?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/03/2020 09:04 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1224452193337528324 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1224452193337528324)

Quote
Yesterday they were in stealth mode, today they’re conference sponsors (in this case, the Smallsat Symposium in Silicon Valley.)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: thirtyone on 02/03/2020 09:22 pm
Is Rivian not a automaker until it has released their truck to be bought by the public?

Not sure what wording we're referring to exactly, but no, it isn't to me. Faraday future wasn't either. And now it probably won't ever be. They're car startup companies. This is a space startup company. Wouldn't be comfortable removing that "startup" label yet.

Having seen enough startup companies fail before delivering a first product at various stages of apparent significant progress, it's really hard to gauge success, until, well, they're already successful. I haven't followed space startups as long as others on this forum, but I'm pretty sure it's not the first time a startup revealed they were "launching in a month or two" only to disappear and then go under.

There are signs that this company might be a little more likely to succeed than others in the past, but again, I've seen similar signs before and it doesn't always mean a whole lot.

I'm hopeful that they'll make it to orbit anyway, of course. I definitely hope they at least get to the point where we can watch a live webcast of the rocket launch attempt, successful or not...

TBH, I would've preferred if they went public like, a few days before the launch. That would seem more in-line with their stealth philosophy, and that would've been one epic reveal if the launch was successful. Now I've got to wait at least 3 weeks before I watch them succeed or fail... I'm guessing there's a financial reason for the timing
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/04/2020 02:58 am
Yep, a lot of talk, hopefully they can deliver. An interesting transition from being in stealth mode to "we're going to fly daily".

They have not reached orbit yet, nor been public about how close they have come. And there is a big leap from that to ... daily flights.

I wonder if that's just because they need to raise more money.

Or maybe they needed to raise customer awareness, I imagine it's hard to advertise when you're in stealth mode.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 02/04/2020 03:37 am
But until they get something into space, like a payload to orbit for a customer” they are at best a “prospective space company”.

That's a major stretch for a company with two (unsuccessful, but still) launches, multiple flight vehicles in work, an orbital launch attempt weeks away, and >$100M in seed funding under its belt. Not a perfect comparison but Astra appears to be about where Rocket Lab was right before Electron's unsuccessful first flight, or where Virgin Orbit is if their first integrated S1 static fire resulted in an explosion.

Trying to argue that Rocket's first two launches were "successful" and some of the posturing in that reveal video were incredibly cringeworthy/ridiculous and cast a bad light on management, but that factory full of workers and hardware is basically a magnitude beyond anything any of the other high-profile launch startups (aside from Rocket Lab and Blue Origin) can point to. It would take several catastrophic f***ups for Astra not to become one of the top ~2 players behind Rocket Lab, which at this point is possible but not probable.

As imprezive notes, I totally blanked on Virgin Orbit - they're arguably decent bit ahead of Astra given that they've yet to suffer any (public) vehicle/launch failures. 2020's smallsat launch market ultimately just got even more interesting than it already was.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 02/04/2020 05:33 am
Virgin Orbit has many more employees and more hardware, not sure why Astra would leap them in your mind.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/04/2020 06:24 am
I think the Smallsat Symposium is the reason why they went public. It‘s their targeted audience.

With regards to the video, they start with „What if“ and „our mission is“, so the following claims have to be looked at in this context, which in my opinion doesn‘t justify the outrage expressed in some of the comments.

Adressing their launch failures/successes, and comparing them with Rocketlab, even a test that doesn’t go 100 percent as expected can still show enough good to instill confidence in their overall design to take the next steps.

They seem to have a quite knowledgeable team as far as i understand it. People that have already experience with orbital rockets.

I like how there are quite some similarities to Vector (adressing the very low end of the satellite spectrum, one founder working his own small rocket company, other founder brings the capital in to dream big) and a lot of stuff that seems to work quite a lot better for them (starting in stealth mode, having an experienced team).

I‘m looking forward to see what will come from this venture.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/04/2020 07:31 am
Adressing their launch failures/successes, and comparing them with Rocketlab, even a test that doesn’t go 100 percent as expected can still show enough good to instill confidence in their overall design to take the next steps.

Sure, but it would be very useful to know how far those tests went, but we don’t even know that. Did they clear the tower? Max-Q? Staging? Near orbit? There’s a HUGE difference. (All we know is that one launch damaged the launch complex in Kodiak, so it can’t have gone too far)

The people involved seem credible, but some more information would be helpful to judge how close they are to deliver on their promise in the video.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/04/2020 10:20 am
Here are some screen grabs from the video. I've tried to put them in chronological order. It looks like Rocket 1.0 and 2.0 used separate tanks on the first stage, while Rocket 3.0 (shown in the last photo) will be using a common bulkhead. Both launches had graphics like they were doing a live feed, probably to their investors. I would be surprised if Astra do a live feed on their first orbital launch attempt, considering how shy they were on their first two launches.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: abaddon on 02/04/2020 03:25 pm
With regards to the video, they start with „What if“ and „our mission is“, so the following claims have to be looked at in this context, which in my opinion doesn‘t justify the outrage expressed in some of the comments.
You conveniently skipped how they included footage of their tests as if they were successes and then included failures from other launch companies.  I think a lot of the "outrage" (a little dramatic there) is because of that.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/04/2020 03:31 pm
extra info...

Quote
Former Space Development Agency director and DARPA official Fred Kennedy has joined Astra as vice president of future missions. The company, whose identity had been kept secret for three years, offers smaller, more frequent launches. Astra is the "stealth" participant in the DARPA Launch Challenge.
https://mailchi.mp/spacenews/sn-military-space-space-force-report-delivered-to-congress-space-cybersecurity-debate-former-sda-director-joins-launch-startup-astra (https://mailchi.mp/spacenews/sn-military-space-space-force-report-delivered-to-congress-space-cybersecurity-debate-former-sda-director-joins-launch-startup-astra)

Quote
FRED KENNEDY, VP FUTURE MISSIONS
Fred leads Future Missions. Prior to Astra, Fred stood up the Department of Defense's Space Development Agency as its inaugural Director, led DARPA's Tactical Technology Office, and served as a Senior Advisor for Space at the White House. Fred served in the Air Force for 25 years before retiring as Colonel. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from MIT in Aerospace Engineering and Ph.D. in Electronic Engineering and Physical Sciences from the University of Surrey.
https://astra.com/team/ (https://astra.com/team/)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Pueo on 02/04/2020 04:31 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/04/2020 05:03 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.
Storable fuel in 2nd stage would make sense, allows for multiple burns over extended period for deploying to varies orbits. While it is dedicated smallsat LV, rideshare launches of cubesats will be large chunk of its business.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 02/04/2020 05:04 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.
All engines mentioned in their SBIRs (and Ventions') have been electric-pump, the presentation in lease docs says Astra rocket 1 (and presumably the successors) was kerolox.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/04/2020 05:06 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.

I don't think it's GG. See the lack of exhausts in the detailed pictures. It's more likely electric pump fed give Vention's previous expertise, their job openings, the engine sizes, etc (similar to Rocketlab).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/04/2020 05:09 pm
With regards to the video, they start with „What if“ and „our mission is“, so the following claims have to be looked at in this context, which in my opinion doesn‘t justify the outrage expressed in some of the comments.
You conveniently skipped how they included footage of their tests as if they were successes and then included failures from other launch companies.  I think a lot of the "outrage" (a little dramatic there) is because of that.
Showing any launch failures and cancellations in promotional video of launch company is not very smart. Want to promote space launch as low risk not high risk, especially given Astra launch history, ie 100% failure rate so far.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/04/2020 05:26 pm
showing their own launches and cutting off the video right before the rocket failed, plummeted to earth and damaged the launch pad
From all the information I can gather, the only damage the two aborted Astra launches did was to the siding of the IPF (explicitly called out by PSCA as "without causing any structural or internal damage to the facility"), and the soil contamination cleanup (spilled RP1). You may be mixing up Astra's launch with the STARS-4 launch that caused significant damage to the spaceport complex.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Pueo on 02/04/2020 06:14 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.
All engines mentioned in their SBIRs (and Ventions') have been electric-pump, the presentation in lease docs says Astra rocket 1 (and presumably the successors) was kerolox.

Ah, reading through the contracts that helps explain how the second flight failed so drastically.  Using the electric pumps for differential thrust control instead of gimbals would mean that after two adjacent engines failed they would be unable to maintain attitude. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/04/2020 06:21 pm
With regards to the video, they start with „What if“ and „our mission is“, so the following claims have to be looked at in this context, which in my opinion doesn‘t justify the outrage expressed in some of the comments.
You conveniently skipped how they included footage of their tests as if they were successes and then included failures from other launch companies.  I think a lot of the "outrage" (a little dramatic there) is because of that.

Maybe i should have put the outrage into quotation marks.

However, the only failure they are showing seems to be the Antares Orb-3 mission to the ISS. The other ones refer to delays. On that mission, among other cubesats, 26 3U Cubesats for Planet Labs were lost and the next Cygnus launch took place over a year later because of that. I see it in the context of them offering dedicated smallsat launches and stressing the advantages of a dedicated small launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/04/2020 06:32 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.
Storable fuel in 2nd stage would make sense, allows for multiple burns over extended period for deploying to varies orbits. While it is dedicated smallsat LV, rideshare launches of cubesats will be large chunk of its business.

For me it looks like the whole second stage is integrated into the interstage and part of the fairing. That way even with cryogenic propellants you won’t see frost forming. I‘m certain with hypergolic fuels it would have been mentioned in the reports of the cleanup after their launch failure.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: abaddon on 02/04/2020 06:33 pm
However, the only failure they are showing seems to be the Antares Orb-3 mission to the ISS. The other ones refer to delays.
I should have been more clear, by "failures" I meant both the actual launch failure and the failures of SpaceX and ULA to keep schedule and therefore losing payloads.

It's not awesome when you're boasting about your daily launches you're going to be offering and pointing out how other rocket companies can't keep their schedules, when you haven't even reached orbit yet, or even had a successful suborbital flight.

The company seems promising from where I sit, I just wish their marketing was a little less cringy.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/04/2020 06:48 pm
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1224780584792145921

Quote
Spent a few hours at Astra Space this morning. I’m impressed. 🚀
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/04/2020 07:07 pm
So, based on the lack of frost on portions of the first stage it's running non-cryogenic fuel.  There's also a vent at the rear of the rocket and what appears to be a second small exhaust trail in the footage of the launches.  I'm guessing that the first stage is a fairly traditional kerolox gas generator cycle.

I don't think it's GG. See the lack of exhausts in the detailed pictures. It's more likely electric pump fed give Vention's previous expertise, their job openings, the engine sizes, etc (similar to Rocketlab).

Kerolox and electric pumps is correct.

Source for kerolox is e.g. here (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/02/17/smallsat-booster-alameda/), don't remember where I read the electric thing ...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/04/2020 07:10 pm
From their website
Quote
We are currently offering dedicated launch services of 50kg-150kg payloads (to 500km SSO reference orbit) in 2020 and 2021.
(This is probably listed well up-thread.)
So they are going head-to-head with Rocketlab.
RP1-LOX TSTO with electric pump engines
But Rocketlab has 11 flights under their belt, their own launch pad and another in a few months, two proven kick stages, slightly higher payload mass, and is into a program to recover and reuse their first stages.
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: vaporcobra on 02/04/2020 07:19 pm
Kerolox and electric pumps is correct.

Source for kerolox is e.g. here (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/02/17/smallsat-booster-alameda/), don't remember where I read the electric thing ...

There have definitely been some written confirmations but this photo from their website makes it pretty clear that it's either full-flow, staged, or electric. Cost target only leaves one plausible option :D
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 02/04/2020 07:36 pm
From their website
Quote
We are currently offering dedicated launch services of 50kg-150kg payloads (to 500km SSO reference orbit) in 2020 and 2021.
(This is probably listed well up-thread.)
So they are going head-to-head with Rocketlab.
RP1-LOX TSTO with electric pump engines
But Rocketlab has 11 flights under their belt, their own launch pad and another in a few months, two proven kick stages, slightly higher payload mass, and is into a program to recover and reuse their first stages.
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

If you weren't paying attention, Rocket Lab has not been producing as fast as they want. It was only 6 months ago that they got to engine #100. 10 engines per vehicle. Launch 11 not until 6 months after they produced 100 engines. Doesn't take a math major to figure it out. https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-celebrates-100th-rutherford-engine-build/

Peter Beck was quoted saying early on that reuse was useless when you can make your rockets cheap and fast enough to just throw away. Why the 180 turn to start trying reuse? Volume production is a bigger challenge than he anticipated.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/04/2020 08:18 pm
From Rocket Labs press release...
https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-celebrates-100th-rutherford-engine-build/ (https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-celebrates-100th-rutherford-engine-build/)
Quote
To meet a growing launch manifest, Rocket Lab has recently expanded its propulsion manufacturing and test teams, and also increased its 3D printing facilities in Huntington Beach to produce 200 Rutherford engines in the next 12 months. The engines will be integrated onto Electron vehicles for lift-off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, as well as Launch Complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Wallops Island, Virginia USA.
--------
I am not sure if the above is the latest news but that would place engine production for 20 LV's for next 12 months...not quite every 2 weeks as a possibility.

It will take Astra some time to gain momentum but a goal of matching launch every two weeks would seem a bit more reasonable at this point.

Next point would be payload demand to keep various competitors busy...particularly when larger LV's will have rideshare available still.

I am hoping that they do well and the competition between several launchers can only be a good thing for "buyers" of service.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/05/2020 02:14 am
From their website
Quote
We are currently offering dedicated launch services of 50kg-150kg payloads (to 500km SSO reference orbit) in 2020 and 2021.
(This is probably listed well up-thread.)
So they are going head-to-head with Rocketlab.
RP1-LOX TSTO with electric pump engines
But Rocketlab has 11 flights under their belt, their own launch pad and another in a few months, two proven kick stages, slightly higher payload mass, and is into a program to recover and reuse their first stages.
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

If you weren't paying attention, Rocket Lab has not been producing as fast as they want. It was only 6 months ago that they got to engine #100. 10 engines per vehicle. Launch 11 not until 6 months after they produced 100 engines. Doesn't take a math major to figure it out. https://www.rocketlabusa.com/news/updates/rocket-lab-celebrates-100th-rutherford-engine-build/

Peter Beck was quoted saying early on that reuse was useless when you can make your rockets cheap and fast enough to just throw away. Why the 180 turn to start trying reuse? Volume production is a bigger challenge than he anticipated.

Yes. And Astra will struggle as well. They have aspirations to launch daily, that is 300+ rockets and 1800+ engines per year...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/05/2020 02:45 am
https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1224454528591773698
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/05/2020 06:24 am
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

Aluminum.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/05/2020 06:51 am
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

Aluminum.

Yes, looking at the screenshots from the video, their tankage is friction stir welded aluminium. Their fairings seem to be aluminium with a cork cover. Interstage is riveted aluminium.

At their rocket size, off-the-shelf machinery could be used for production, making manufacturing easier to scale.

Their engines seem to have shorter bells compared to rocketlab, and seem to be printed in one piece. 3D printing also scales well if their engine can be manufactured on standard machines.

Using differential thrust instead of gimbaling also should reduce complexity on the engines significantly.

Edit:

In the shot with the 3 rocket bodies in the foreground, the back of the shop seems to be set-up for cable harness manufacturing/testing. Assembling/Testing all the cables off line should also accelerate manufacturing time. I think in airplanes, installing all the wiring IIRC is the one task that takes the most time. Opposed to cars, where putting in the wiring harness is measured in seconds...

Next thing, they have 5 engines with NO center engine. With that arrangement, you can have the same piping for all engines.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ParabolicSnark on 02/05/2020 03:38 pm
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

I don't think Astra needs to compete per-se, in the same way Firefly and Relativity don't need to compete. Yes, they're in the same payload class, but the market is so obscenely large with all the planned constellations (and new business models being developed) that they could both be running a full-tilt and never dent each others' businesses.

It's like implying that only one auto manufacturer can exist per vehicle type per region. That's only true if market demand can't sustain more than one.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/05/2020 03:49 pm
Using differential thrust instead of gimbaling also should reduce complexity on the engines significantly.

What's the source for differential thrust? That'd pretty unique.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/05/2020 03:52 pm
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

I don't think Astra needs to compete per-se, in the same way Firefly and Relativity don't need to compete. Yes, they're in the same payload class, but the market is so obscenely large with all the planned constellations (and new business models being developed) that they could both be running a full-tilt and never dent each others' businesses.

It's like implying that only one auto manufacturer can exist per vehicle type per region. That's only true if market demand can't sustain more than one.

I agree. I don't see anything in Astra that can overcome the lead of Rocketlab, but I also think they can coexist just fine. (Or anything real, that is. The daily launch video claims are just PR)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/05/2020 04:54 pm
What is the killer technology with which Astra will overcome those leads?

I don't think Astra needs to compete per-se, in the same way Firefly and Relativity don't need to compete. Yes, they're in the same payload class, but the market is so obscenely large with all the planned constellations (and new business models being developed) that they could both be running a full-tilt and never dent each others' businesses.

It's like implying that only one auto manufacturer can exist per vehicle type per region. That's only true if market demand can't sustain more than one.

I agree. I don't see anything in Astra that can overcome the lead of Rocketlab, but I also think they can coexist just fine. (Or anything real, that is. The daily launch video claims are just PR)

So if a mission wants to launch a 150 kg smallsat to a Sun synch orbit, what makes them choose Astra over Rocketlab, or vice versa? 

It is not clear that the launch pace is constrained by the rate at which Rocketlab can build Electrons.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/05/2020 07:31 pm
So if a mission wants to launch a 150 kg smallsat to a Sun synch orbit, what makes them choose Astra over Rocketlab, or vice versa?

Price. The Astra launch costs just 2.5 M$, less than half of Electron.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gmbnz on 02/05/2020 08:33 pm
Using differential thrust instead of gimbaling also should reduce complexity on the engines significantly.

What's the source for differential thrust? That'd pretty unique.

I'm not convinced they are using differential thrust for a couple of reasons.

- Firstly I would have thought the phase lag is going to be crazily high at even low frequencies due to mechanical reasons - electric pumps and a small chamber will be advantageous but I still can't imagine trying to do anything above 3-4 Hz without introducing a control nightmare.
- Secondly (and less speculatively) at 1:01 the video shows the nozzle closest to the camera vibrating, so it's clearly not rigidly attached to the rocket body.
- Thirdly, there has to be some way to control roll, and if one or more engines can gimbal in an axis (or two) you'd be silly to not make all engines identical.

I'm not aware of any entirely differential thrust controlled rockets having flown. I'm sure someone with more experience will know though!

On another note: I feel sorry for their GSE getting blasted at 1:17 and 1:25!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/05/2020 08:41 pm
So if a mission wants to launch a 150 kg smallsat to a Sun synch orbit, what makes them choose Astra over Rocketlab, or vice versa?

Price. The Astra launch costs just 2.5 M$, less than half of Electron.

Thanks
I didn't know that.
We will see how much it changes once they are flying and in regular production.
But if the VCs want 10:1* on their $100M investment, and Astra can produce the rockets and cover overhead for half* the sticker price, they need 800 launches to achieve payback.
That's a lot of faith in the market developing.

*numbers pulled out of thin air, but a place to start so... YMMV
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/05/2020 09:31 pm
I'm not convinced they are using differential thrust for a couple of reasons.

Maybe, but that looks gimbled to me.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/05/2020 10:36 pm
But if the VCs want 10:1* on their $100M investment, and Astra can produce the rockets and cover overhead for half* the sticker price, they need 800 launches to achieve payback.
That's a lot of faith in the market developing.

That's not how investment and company valuation works. A good company makes > 10 % return on investment per year. With $100M investment, this means > $10M earnings per year. Let them earn $1M per launch and have $10M fixed costs per year, then they need > 20 launches per year to be a good investment. And with > 10 launches per year they would still be earning money.
This is not how VCs make money.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: xyv on 02/06/2020 12:56 am
Exactly.  VC's get their return when the company turns over - going public for a large Uber type or much more frequently being acquired.  It's all about betting on future earnings and market growth.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/06/2020 02:12 am
just noticed this today...not sure when this test happened or was part of "reveal video".

https://twitter.com/AirbusVentures/status/1224569293267853312 (https://twitter.com/AirbusVentures/status/1224569293267853312)

Quote
@AirbusVentures
 Congratulations2
@Kemp
 & Astra Team 4Successful Astra Hot-Fire Test Commanding All 5 Engines Ignited
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/06/2020 02:16 am
May be off topic, if so, please delete...Just a note...possible "zone of confusion", particularly if one gets back from a dentist's appointment and has what seems like a "frozen head" .

This thread..
 Astra Space (small launch vehicle)...parentheses contents important because...
 
Stealth launcher startup
 https://astra.com/  website
 location California
 no twitter account..so far, just employee handles
 [email protected]      an email
 © 2020 ASTRA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. copyright
 Incorporated October 2016 in Delaware, USA
 symbol is "star" followed by "ASTRA"
 
Space Engineering Services and Cubesat design
 http://www.astraspace.net/space-systems  website (why is this site not secured?)
 location, Colorado
 ASTRA_Space  for twitter
 [email protected]  an email
 © 2019 ASTRA, LLC  copyright
 symbol is "sat image" followed by "ASTRA"
 and
 Orion Space Solutions is a new JV between ASTRA and Pumpkin Space Systems to provide complete end-to-end mission solutions and a small satellite that is completely modular and fully configurable

edit...I can't read dates apparently...
and both are at the small sat conference this week...may be at upcoming small sat events...

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1224452193337528324

https://twitter.com/ASTRA_Space/status/1158465878653976576
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/06/2020 03:39 am
Their existing FCC permit for the launch (1319-EX-ST-2019) expires March 1, they've filed for an extension through the end of March (0212-EX-ST-2020).  This may just be prudence on their part since the Feb. 21 date is only a week before the end of the approved permit.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/06/2020 04:12 am
I'm not aware of any entirely differential thrust controlled rockets having flown. I'm sure someone with more experience will know though!

The closest I think is the N-1, where pitch and yaw was controlled by differential thrust. Several small gimballed engines were used to control roll.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ParabolicSnark on 02/06/2020 04:38 am
So if a mission wants to launch a 150 kg smallsat to a Sun synch orbit, what makes them choose Astra over Rocketlab, or vice versa?

Price. The Astra launch costs just 2.5 M$, less than half of Electron.

That's party of it sure, and it makes sense for customers who only have single-digit satellites to launch. A lot of these new businesses are looking at 100's, 1,000's, and even 10,000's of satellites in constellations. During first generation deployments, I could see them buying whatever launch vehicle happened to have a slot, whether that was Rocket Lab, Astra, or even both. Once the first generation proves its worth with a relatively low up-front investment, mass produce, hire heavy launch for initial deployment, and then return back to small satellite launchers for constellation maintenance.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/06/2020 05:23 am
Using differential thrust instead of gimbaling also should reduce complexity on the engines significantly.

What's the source for differential thrust? That'd pretty unique.

I'm not convinced they are using differential thrust for a couple of reasons.

- Firstly I would have thought the phase lag is going to be crazily high at even low frequencies due to mechanical reasons - electric pumps and a small chamber will be advantageous but I still can't imagine trying to do anything above 3-4 Hz without introducing a control nightmare.
- Secondly (and less speculatively) at 1:01 the video shows the nozzle closest to the camera vibrating, so it's clearly not rigidly attached to the rocket body.
- Thirdly, there has to be some way to control roll, and if one or more engines can gimbal in an axis (or two) you'd be silly to not make all engines identical.

I'm not aware of any entirely differential thrust controlled rockets having flown. I'm sure someone with more experience will know though!

On another note: I feel sorry for their GSE getting blasted at 1:17 and 1:25!

I think i saw differential thrust mentioned upthread, and the reason for one of their launch failures, but i couldn’t find the source when i looked again (on mobile).

However, roll control can be achieved with fixed engines by mounting the rocket engines with a slight angle that cancels out over several engines.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/06/2020 11:21 am
Another point for gimball vs. differential throttle: all the engines are visible with large fabric boots over them. Thermal fabric is very heavy compared to rigid insulation, is more expensive, and has worse aero. If the engines were fixed, it would be lighter, cheaper, and more efficient to use a fully rigid cowling.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/06/2020 01:29 pm
This article by Eric Berger confirms the electric driven pumps:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/at-astra-space-failure-is-an-option/

Another interesting fact, which distinguishes Astra from Rocket Lab: They trade off reliability against extreme cost savings. Which makes sense: The biggest market for smallsat launches are constellations - and if you lose some of your mass-manufactured satellites on launch but pay only half the money for launching, you will pay less on the bottom line.

"Insanely cheap" rockets, optimized for cost and manufacturability. If they achieve a decent reliability and succeed in scaling production, I think they will dominate the Microlauncher market. Definitely my favourite launcher for this size class (with ISRO/SSLV and ABL/RS1 being the favourites for larger payloads - all three offer lowest cost for their class).

Quote
If all goes well, the first Rocket 3.0 will launch within “single digit weeks” from Alaska. The actual date will be determined by DARPA as part of its Launch Challenge to support rapid, reliable launch capabilities.

This does not match other information. So far we were expecting an initial test launch with NLSat-1 as payload; and Bloomberg reported (https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-astra-rocket/) a 21 February date. Now Eric Berger says the first launch's date is not determined, and it will be for DARPA. Maybe he missed NLSSat launch?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/06/2020 03:15 pm
I'm not aware of any entirely differential thrust controlled rockets having flown. I'm sure someone with more experience will know though!

The closest I think is the N-1, where pitch and yaw was controlled by differential thrust. Several small gimballed engines were used to control roll.

N-1 is the only one I know of as well. (When I said unique earlier I didn't mean the only one ever, but still pretty rare)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/06/2020 03:21 pm
„I know they use gimbals for the first 2 launches.“ Scott Manley on Twitter

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1225450443372761088

zubenelgenubi: hyperlink edited
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/06/2020 06:33 pm
EDIT

Ventions works under the trade name Astra Space Inc.and won this contract last year:-

http://government-contracts.insidegov.com/l/94290253/NND17AP14C

DEVELOPMENT AND FLIGHT-TESTING OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC-PUMP FED LAUNCH VEHICLE

Then this

MON-30 / MMH

Then this

HIGH PERFORMANCE ELECTRIC PUMPS FOR ROCKET PROPULSION APPLICATIONS: THE PROJECT IS FOCUSED ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A CUSTOM PUMP AND ELECTRIC MOTOR CAPABLE OF PRESSURIZING PROPELLANTS FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF LIQUID BIPROPELLANT ENGINE. AVAILABILITY OF SUCH HIGH-POWER PUMPS WILL NOT ONLY ALLOW FOR LOW PRESSURE STORAGE OF PROPELLANTS IN LIGHT WEIGHT TANKS FOR SMALL-SCALE LAUNCH VEHICLE STAGES, BUT ALSO PROVIDE ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROL WITH FAST RESPONSE TIMES THAT MAY ENABLE DIFFERENTIAL THROTTLE CONTROL. THE SCOPE OF THE PROJECT INCLUDES DESIGN, FABRICATION, ASSEMBLY AND TESTING OF A HIGH-POWER ELECTRIC PUMP CAPABLE OF PRESSURING PROPELLANTS TO APPROXIMATELY 600PSI FOR AN 8,000-10,000LBF THRUST ENGINE.

So, somebody wants to take on Rocket Lab...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/06/2020 07:34 pm
“May enable”. But based on images of the stage it is pretty clear that differential throttling is NOT used on the first stage. Can we drop this?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/06/2020 08:41 pm
“May enable”. But based on images of the stage it is pretty clear that differential throttling is NOT used on the first stage. Can we drop this?

I don‘t insist they are using it, but the discussion has been partly about where those rumours come from.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/06/2020 09:45 pm
I'm still holding out hope that their using similar engines for first and second stage, but the names (Delphin / Aether) aren't helping.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/07/2020 06:51 am
Just reading stuff on the website and this caught my attention:

"Chris [Kemp] previously served as CTO of NASA"

Curious. I have not heard of him in this role.

EDIT: according to Wikipedia Chris Kemp was actually CTO for Information Technology at NASA, for exactly one year 2010-2011:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_C._Kemp

One of those things is not like the other.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 02/07/2020 10:48 pm
It was cool getting a tour of their shop again last night. It's crazy how much they've grown over the past few times I've visited. It's good that they're no longer pretending to be stealth.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/08/2020 12:25 pm
Also interesting that they were able to test fire their engines inside their HQ building, that's quite a clever setup.
The building is definitely unique in the industry, a Korean War-era two cell jet engine "hush house". It had been sitting basically abandoned since the Navy moved out in the 90s. Having engine test co-located with engineering, fabrication and assembly is a real productivity gain compared to the common industry practice of having test in a different city or state (or country).

It's not just that you spend less time shipping hardware and people around, which is a big gain, but also that communication is much easier when you can just grab the relevant person and show them an issue. I'm convinced that a portion of the disproportional productivity of XCOR, Masten, Armadillo in their heyday was because they avoided the need for a lot of communication, interface control, reports, etc that are required by the "this rocket was built in all 50 states" process of the namesake of this forum.

Swiss Propulsion Lab is the only other group I've met with a comparable facility, and I'm not sure if they still use theirs. http://www.spl.ch/old/facilities/index.html bottom of page.

Refurbing an abandoned naval building does present HVAC, plumbing, natural light, noise, and other human factors problems, it's not all roses.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Draggendrop on 02/09/2020 01:39 am
SpaceNews article for Feb 8th...

Astra unveils plans for frequent, low-cost launches

https://spacenews.com/astra-unveils-plans-for-frequent-low-cost-launches/ (https://spacenews.com/astra-unveils-plans-for-frequent-low-cost-launches/)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/09/2020 07:05 am

Another interesting fact, which distinguishes Astra from Rocket Lab: They trade off reliability against extreme cost savings. Which makes sense: The biggest market for smallsat launches are constellations - and if you lose some of your mass-manufactured satellites on launch but pay only half the money for launching, you will pay less on the bottom line.

I don't think that is very smart at all. It's a cavalier attitude towards customers, akin to an auto manufacturer saying "Sure, our brakes aren't 100% reliable and sometimes your children will get killed - but it's a cheap car and you have lots of kids, amiright?"
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/09/2020 08:39 am
I'm having trouble with this narrative.

The SN story says they have raised $100m and got a flight ready vehicle out of it.

This is impressive.

But at $1m/flight they are going to take a lot of flights (way more than 100) to pay off their investors.

The only ways out are a)Mfg and operations of the vehicle and its launches are much lower than any other ELV b) Recovery and refurb of the booster

a) Sounds implausible unless they have a highly skilled, multi skilled team (to keep the head count way down) and use existing hardware (like large diameter plastic pipe for example)
b) Used to be considered impossible at this scale, but now RL are trying it perhaps not.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/09/2020 09:59 am
This thread shows the typical pattern for early reactions to disruptive business models. There is a new company with smart people, smart concepts and smart investors (e.g. Airbus is one of those who gave the $100M for Astra), and then most people have concerns. This Amazon will never make money. This Tesla will soon be bankrupt. This Astra's business model wont work.

There have been 30 launcher companies who applied for participation in DARPA Launch Challenge. Astra is the only one left - they outperformed all the other 29, including Virgin, who will probably fail because their launcher is too expensive.

So far I see only positive indications for Astra, except for the two test failures - but remember that SpaceX started with three launch failures ...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: HeartofGold2030 on 02/09/2020 10:05 am
This thread shows the typical pattern for early reactions to disruptive business models. There is a new company with smart people, smart concepts and smart investores (e.g. Airbus is one of those who gave the $100M for Astra), and then most people have concerns. This Amazon will never make money. This Tesla will soon be bankrupt. This Astra's business model wont work.

There have been 30 launcher companies who applied for participation in DARPA Launch Challange. Astra is the only one left - they outperformed all the other 29, including Virgin, who will probably fail because their launcher is too expensive.

So far I see only positive indications for Astra, except for the two test failures - but remember that SpaceX started with three launch failures ...

Outperformed is the wrong word, considering Virgin dropped out purely because they saw little to no economic benefit in participating. I think the fact that everybody but them has dropped out, says more about DARPA’s launch challenge than Astra itself.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/09/2020 10:11 am
Outperformed is the wrong word, considering Virgin dropped out purely because they saw little to no economic benefit in participating.

The Launch Challenge price money (12 M$ for the winner) was known from the beginning, so why did they participate at all?

Virgin dropped out because they did not get their launcher ready in time, and because it turned out too expensive (therefore no more economic benefit). Astra managed the opposite in both regards, presuming that their Rocket 3 will not explode like Rocket 1 and 2 did.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/09/2020 10:12 am
I don't think that is very smart at all. It's a cavalier attitude towards customers, akin to an auto manufacturer saying "Sure, our brakes aren't 100% reliable and sometimes your children will get killed - but it's a cheap car and you have lots of kids, amiright?"

Sounds exactly like the right message to me: there's no reason for satellites to be treated like they're precious and irreplaceable.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/09/2020 10:28 am
I don't think that is very smart at all. It's a cavalier attitude towards customers, akin to an auto manufacturer saying "Sure, our brakes aren't 100% reliable and sometimes your children will get killed - but it's a cheap car and you have lots of kids, amiright?"

Sounds exactly like the right message to me: there's no reason for satellites to be treated like they're precious and irreplaceable.

People get angry when FedEx busts things like plastic toys and computer parts. Paying whatever millions for a launch that has the attitude of "dude, your satellite totally got wiped out!" is something I imagine Rocket Lab and others will enjoy.

Disruptive? Maybe. Kodiak charges $500k a launch (it's on their website, in the business plan), and hiring two hundred staff in San Francisco is about the highest cost model there is, so there's scope for skepticism.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/09/2020 11:37 am
Sounds exactly like the right message to me: there's no reason for satellites to be treated like they're precious and irreplaceable.

Depends much on the type of satellite.

Mass produced nanosat constellation satellites can be indeed treated this way (e.g. Planet's Doves, Spire's Lemurs, Swarm's SpaceBEEs). For these a rocket like Astra is (or might be) attractive. If you simply can pull another batch from the shelf and launch again, a cheap, less-reliable launcher is a viable option.

Pretty much any other satellite need to be treated like they're precious and irreplaceable as it is a one off mission, where a replacement need time to be ready Then a more expensive but more reliable is the best way to go.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/09/2020 05:51 pm
This thread shows the typical pattern for early reactions to disruptive business models. There is a new company with smart people, smart concepts and smart investors (e.g. Airbus is one of those who gave the $100M for Astra), and then most people have concerns. This Amazon will never make money. This Tesla will soon be bankrupt. This Astra's business model wont work.

There have been 30 launcher companies who applied for participation in DARPA Launch Challenge. Astra is the only one left - they outperformed all the other 29, including Virgin, who will probably fail because their launcher is too expensive.

So far I see only positive indications for Astra, except for the two test failures - but remember that SpaceX started with three launch failures ...

Maybe... but the very low cost targets indicate that they have similar issues to what the Vector business model would had. (NOTE I am just comparing their business model, this groups is CLEARLY far more competent from a technical point of view)

And by that I mean problems related to launch costs (someone mentioned high costs at Kodiak), basic payroll and other fixed costs, which means making a profit requires and absurd number of launches... Which is suspiciously what they are promising. (Hundreds per year??) Hmmm.

Can they pull it off? I hope so. But I think people are justified in being skeptical about their business plan.

Astra will very likely succeed in reaching orbit soon, but I fully expect their prices and flight rate targets be significantly adjusted shortly thereafter.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/10/2020 03:27 am
Disruptive? Maybe. Kodiak charges $500k a launch (it's on their website, in the business plan), and hiring two hundred staff in San Francisco is about the highest cost model there is, so there's scope for skepticism.

Ouch. This guy knows hiring in San Francisco.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/10/2020 08:07 am
Mass produced nanosat constellation satellites can be indeed treated this way (e.g. Planet's Doves, Spire's Lemurs, Swarm's SpaceBEEs). For these a rocket like Astra is (or might be) attractive. If you simply can pull another batch from the shelf and launch again, a cheap, less-reliable launcher is a viable option.

Mass produced constellation satellites is what we were just talking about, see the quote in post #224.

When a launcher goes kablooey, everything is lost. What if they lose an entire launch of circa 20 sats? Would you fly with them on the next flight?

Quote
If it is not part of a constellation, insurance will migitate the risk for individual sats in the same way as constellations do.

Satellite insurance risks and therefore costs are directly linked to the reliability of the launcher. Unreliable launcher => expensive insurance, like insuring a car if you have convictions for drunk driving or whatever.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/10/2020 02:51 pm
Split off the more recent posts into a new thread as the numbers being thrown around no longer had much to do with Astra.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50108.0
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/10/2020 04:12 pm
Split off the more recent posts into a new thread as the numbers being thrown around no longer had much to do with Astra.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50108.0

You did not get the point of my posts. It was not about publishing concrete numbers (we don't know those numbers), but about proving that what Eric Berger reported about Astra ...

Quote
At Astra, failure is an option (https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/02/at-astra-space-failure-is-an-option/?utm_brand=arstechnica&utm_source=twitter&utm_social-type=owned&utm_medium=social)
...
They are moving fast, aim to be insanely cheap, and are rigorously following an iterative design process. Perhaps most importantly, they’re willing to fail.
...
Astra has crafted what it sees as a solution for this, a rocket neither exquisite nor perfect. “We’re actually not shooting for 100 percent reliability,” London said. Instead, Astra is willing to trade a small amount of reliability for a big cost savings.

can be a viable and robust business model. Robust, because it works even under pessimistic assumptions regarding reliability.

Such overagressive moderation will not improve contents in this forum. For me it is rather deterring to contribute here.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/10/2020 05:50 pm
Bloomberg article details have been rehashed in Space News (https://spacenews.com/astra-unveils-plans-for-frequent-low-cost-launches/)
Launching from Kwaj is news to me, although it was probably in the original article.
SpaceX proved it was pretty tough to get anything, but particularly a rocket's worth of LOX, out at Kwaj.
That's not a cheap place from which to launch.
Let's hope their next launch goes well, and that they can show us how this all works long term.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/10/2020 06:06 pm
For a low cost operator, they sure managed to pick expensive and/or difficult launch sites: Kodiak and Kwaj
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/10/2020 06:23 pm
Satellite insurance risks and therefore costs are directly linked to the reliability of the launcher. Unreliable launcher =&gt; expensive insurance, like insuring a car if you have convictions for drunk driving or whatever.

Who needs insurance?

Planetlab says they don‘t(in 2015) (https://spaceflightnow.com/2015/09/20/planet-labs-takes-rash-of-launch-failures-in-stride/), as insurance premium would be on the order of 10-12 percent.

With a 5 percent failure rate, you would still come out on top when not buying insurance, if loss of a launch doesn‘t mean your company dies.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ulm_atms on 02/10/2020 06:34 pm
For a low cost operator, they sure managed to pick expensive and/or difficult launch sites: Kodiak and Kwaj

I thought others picked those type sites because there was nothing around and no one wanted them to go boom next to their operational pads?

SpaceX F1 starting at Kwaj instead of Vandenberg for example.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/10/2020 06:36 pm
For a low cost operator, they sure managed to pick expensive and/or difficult launch sites: Kodiak and Kwaj

I thought others picked those type sites because there was nothing around and no one wanted them to go boom next to their operational pads?

SpaceX F1 starting at Kwaj instead of Vandenberg for example.

Oh certainly, I'm not arguing that, you have to launch where you are allowed to launch from. So my comment was not entirely fair. :) But they will need to find cheaper and more accessible launch sites soon if they will have ANY hope of reaching their cost and flight rate targets.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/10/2020 07:39 pm
For a low cost operator, they sure managed to pick expensive and/or difficult launch sites: Kodiak and Kwaj

I thought others picked those type sites because there was nothing around and no one wanted them to go boom next to their operational pads?

SpaceX F1 starting at Kwaj instead of Vandenberg for example.

Oh certainly, I'm not arguing that, you have to launch where you are allowed to launch from. So my comment was not entirely fair. :) But they will need to find cheaper and more accessible launch sites soon if they will have ANY hope of reaching their cost and flight rate targets.

Their rocket should fit inside a standard shipping container. I think with the DARPA challenge, their launch infrastructure has to be mobile too.
Also cryogenic transport vessels for liquid oxygen the size of a standard ISO container are available for renting.
Maybe those launch sites become more feasible if you can bring all your infrastructure with a handfull of semi loads.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gmbnz on 02/10/2020 09:53 pm
Their rocket should fit inside a standard shipping container. I think with the DARPA challenge, their launch infrastructure has to be mobile too.
Also cryogenic transport vessels for liquid oxygen the size of a standard ISO container are available for renting.
Maybe those launch sites become more feasible if you can bring all your infrastructure with a handfull of semi loads.

All well and good until you need to launch one day in Alaska, the next at Kwaj, and then at Vandenberg. Of course, all providers have that problem but mobile only helps for a lower launch cadence - after that it surely becomes a hindrance as the setup would be more fiddly and less robust. Certainly the cables go flying everywhere just after liftoff at 1:15 in that promo video.

I thought others picked those type sites because there was nothing around and no one wanted them to go boom next to their operational pads?

SpaceX F1 starting at Kwaj instead of Vandenberg for example.

I thought that was only because LM basically froze them out of their pad at Vandenberg (albeit because they didn't want them to go boom)? So they didn't really 'pick it' as a preferred option as much as get forced to use it...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/10/2020 10:25 pm
Remote sites allows for high launch rate due to low air and sea traffic. Downside is operating costs are higher due to remoteness.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 02/10/2020 11:07 pm
Most commenters on Astra's finance assume they have to pay back the $100m in investor money from the revenue stream. This is a fallacy.

However, even with the fallacy taken care of they need to feed ~200 heads in San Fran plus manufacturing and operating costs. Even selling 20 launches annually at $2.5m doesn't feed that beast, so almost certainly they will need more capital soon.

Next they haven't actually flown even a truly successful suborbital launch yet; shades of Vector hype? I give them more credence, as the tech looks considerably more realistic, but there are a lot of similarities: massive number of expensive employees, cheap prices, PR hype, huge fund raise, flashy Silicon Valley VCs, limited results. The NASA CTO thing... hmm.

Finally, for a company that stayed silent for so long - but that I spotted and started this thread on :o - coming out just before the first orbital attempt is very odd. It raises the stakes considerably, and for what benefit? If they fail again what did the publicity win for them? Why not see what happens in private, then come out with a bang? What forced them to do this now? Finance shortage? Competitive pressure? Now insiders (one of whom joined this forum a couple of days ago) are tweeting from backstage there will be some rumors and info out there soon enough.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/10/2020 11:42 pm
coming out just before the first orbital attempt is very odd. It raises the stakes considerably, and for what benefit? If they fail again what did the publicity win for them? Why not see what happens in private, then come out with a bang? What forced them to do this now? Finance shortage? Competitive pressure? Now insiders (one of whom joined this forum a couple of days ago) are tweeting from backstage there will be some rumors and info out there soon enough.

I think it's simply that they had to file paperwork that would have told everyone what they were doing anyway, so why not?

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/11/2020 12:19 am
Most commenters on Astra's finance assume they have to pay back the $100m in investor money from the revenue stream. This is a fallacy.

However, even with the fallacy taken care of they need to feed ~200 heads in San Fran plus manufacturing and operating costs. Even selling 20 launches annually at $2.5m doesn't feed that beast, so almost certainly they will need more capital soon.

Next they haven't actually flown even a truly successful suborbital launch yet; shades of Vector hype? I give them more credence, as the tech looks considerably more realistic, but there are a lot of similarities: massive number of expensive employees, cheap prices, PR hype, huge fund raise, flashy Silicon Valley VCs, limited results. The NASA CTO thing... hmm.

Finally, for a company that stayed silent for so long - but that I spotted and started this thread on :o - coming out just before the first orbital attempt is very odd. It raises the stakes considerably, and for what benefit? If they fail again what did the publicity win for them? Why not see what happens in private, then come out with a bang? What forced them to do this now? Finance shortage? Competitive pressure? Now insiders (one of whom joined this forum a couple of days ago) are tweeting from backstage there will be some rumors and info out there soon enough.
They were major sponsor of recent Smallsat Conference. No advertising in being silent sponsor.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/11/2020 01:23 am
So if a mission wants to launch a 150 kg smallsat to a Sun synch orbit, what makes them choose Astra over Rocketlab, or vice versa?

Price. The Astra launch costs just 2.5 M$, less than half of Electron.

That's party of it sure, and it makes sense for customers who only have single-digit satellites to launch. A lot of these new businesses are looking at 100's, 1,000's, and even 10,000's of satellites in constellations. During first generation deployments, I could see them buying whatever launch vehicle happened to have a slot, whether that was Rocket Lab, Astra, or even both. Once the first generation proves its worth with a relatively low up-front investment, mass produce, hire heavy launch for initial deployment, and then return back to small satellite launchers for constellation maintenance.

If you're launching a constellation, why wouldn't you go to a larger launcher and launch a bunch of them at once?  You only need so many planes.

Maybe you could make a case for launching one-by-one to replace failed birds, but for initial deployment I just can't see any rationale for paying more for a bunch of small launchers.

And this is borne out by what we've seen.  The launches RocketLab has gotten haven't been constellations.  The actual constellations that have launched or are launching now (Iridium, Starlink, One Web) have been going up in big groups on larger launch vehicles, except for a few of the One Web satellites.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/11/2020 03:02 am
The launches RocketLab has gotten haven't been constellations.  The actual constellations that have launched or are launching now (Iridium, Starlink, One Web) have been going up in big groups on larger launch vehicles, except for a few of the One Web satellites.

The constellations you mentioned use fairly large satellites.  There are many proposed constellations for IoT, remote sensing, etc. with smaller (3U-12U) satellites.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/11/2020 03:10 am
Planet Doves are cubesats.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/11/2020 05:53 am
They were major sponsor of recent Smallsat Conference. No advertising in being silent sponsor.

As you'll see on an earlier page of this thread - no they weren't.

Yes they were, as the post earlier also showed.

Smallsat Symposium Sponsors (https://2020.smallsatshow.com/sponsor-type/sponsors/)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/11/2020 09:33 pm
They were major sponsor of recent Smallsat Conference. No advertising in being silent sponsor.

As you'll see on an earlier page of this thread - no they weren't.

Yes they were, as the post earlier also showed.

Smallsat Symposium Sponsors (https://2020.smallsatshow.com/sponsor-type/sponsors/)

I stand corrected.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/11/2020 10:38 pm
coming out just before the first orbital attempt is very odd. It raises the stakes considerably, and for what benefit? If they fail again what did the publicity win for them? Why not see what happens in private, then come out with a bang? What forced them to do this now? Finance shortage? Competitive pressure? Now insiders (one of whom joined this forum a couple of days ago) are tweeting from backstage there will be some rumors and info out there soon enough.

I think it's simply that they had to file paperwork that would have told everyone what they were doing anyway, so why not?

They did that too.
From Spcae News (https://spacenews.com/astra-unveils-plans-for-frequent-low-cost-launches/):
Quote
Astra filed a request for special temporary authority with the FCC Jan. 6, seeking permission for S-band telemetry for a launch from Wallops during a six-month period starting March 1. “The operation is to launch a small satellite into low earth orbit. This will be a launch from Wallops in support of the DARPA challenge,” the application states. The company has a similar application for its Alaska launch, but not for either California site.

PS  Also:
Quote
Astra’s goal of high-volume, low-cost launch has gotten a skeptical reception from some in industry who doubt there are enough customers to support such a high launch (r)ate.
(raises hand in agreement....)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/12/2020 04:46 am
The launches RocketLab has gotten haven't been constellations.  The actual constellations that have launched or are launching now (Iridium, Starlink, One Web) have been going up in big groups on larger launch vehicles, except for a few of the One Web satellites.

The constellations you mentioned use fairly large satellites.  There are many proposed constellations for IoT, remote sensing, etc. with smaller (3U-12U) satellites.

Whatever the size of the satellites, they'll go up as a rideshare on the appropriately-sized launcher for all the satellites for a particular pane.  If it's 100 satellites per pane and each is 10kg, they'll go up on a 1,000 kg-class launcher in one launch per pane.  That's because the price per kg goes down as launcher size goes up.

There's just no way that a 1,000-satellite constellation is 1,000 launches.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/12/2020 04:58 am
The launches RocketLab has gotten haven't been constellations.  The actual constellations that have launched or are launching now (Iridium, Starlink, One Web) have been going up in big groups on larger launch vehicles, except for a few of the One Web satellites.

The constellations you mentioned use fairly large satellites.  There are many proposed constellations for IoT, remote sensing, etc. with smaller (3U-12U) satellites.

Whatever the size of the satellites, they'll go up as a rideshare on the appropriately-sized launcher for all the satellites for a particular pane.  If it's 100 satellites per pane and each is 10kg, they'll go up on a 1,000 kg-class launcher in one launch per pane.  That's because the price per kg goes down as launcher size goes up.

There's just no way that a 1,000-satellite constellation is 1,000 launches.

You're still thinking big.  A plane may be a few 3U cubesats.  Most of the currently planned constellations are in the dozens of satellites, not thousands.  I'm sure a lot of those will end up as rideshares on larger vehicles, but there will be some market for smaller launchers going to more targeted destinations.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/12/2020 05:06 am
The launches RocketLab has gotten haven't been constellations.  The actual constellations that have launched or are launching now (Iridium, Starlink, One Web) have been going up in big groups on larger launch vehicles, except for a few of the One Web satellites.

The constellations you mentioned use fairly large satellites.  There are many proposed constellations for IoT, remote sensing, etc. with smaller (3U-12U) satellites.

Whatever the size of the satellites, they'll go up as a rideshare on the appropriately-sized launcher for all the satellites for a particular pane.  If it's 100 satellites per pane and each is 10kg, they'll go up on a 1,000 kg-class launcher in one launch per pane.  That's because the price per kg goes down as launcher size goes up.

There's just no way that a 1,000-satellite constellation is 1,000 launches.

You're still thinking big.  A plane may be a few 3U cubesats.  Most of the currently planned constellations are in the dozens of satellites, not thousands.  I'm sure a lot of those will end up as rideshares on larger vehicles, but there will be some market for smaller launchers going to more targeted destinations.

My original reply was to a post (which I quoted but you deleted in quoting my post) that was talking about 1,000-satellite constellations.  The point of that was to justify the ultra-low cost of Astra's vehicle per-launch by claiming constellations would provide the opportunity for large flight volume, if not for the initial deployment then for the refresh.  But, aside from the occasional replacement, it would make more sense to do the refresh plane-by-plane too, not with 1,000 launches.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/12/2020 08:12 am
Just thinking about another possible use case for Astra:

Another prospective customer could be ICEYE with their SAR sat constellation. They originally planned to use Vector for part of their launches. Their goal is to have radar images from the whole globe every 1-3 hours, that implies some polar orbit and a lot of different planes.

For their past 2? launches they used rideshare missions for their demo sats.

With Astra they could launch 1 satellite directly into its planed plane. No drifting, no putting all your eggs in one basket. And what‘s also different to most sat operators, with a small launcher that you have for yourself, satellites can be launched as soon as they are completed, and could either inform the design of their successors, or start earning revenue.

If you are using a bigger rocket, let’s say the class relativity is planning, you might be able to put 8 of the same satellites on one launcher. Would be cheaper, but you have to build 8 satellites before you can launch, you have to drift them to their planes...
And if the rocket blows up, you‘ve not only lost your satellites but also have to go without their revenue while building the replacements.

I definitely think there’s a place for Astra in the future.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/12/2020 08:21 am
PS  Also:
Quote
Astra’s goal of high-volume, low-cost launch has gotten a skeptical reception from some in industry who doubt there are enough customers to support such a high launch (r)ate.
(raises hand in agreement....)

Maybe they've got a demand all their own...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: bstrong on 02/12/2020 06:44 pm
PS  Also:
Quote
Astra’s goal of high-volume, low-cost launch has gotten a skeptical reception from some in industry who doubt there are enough customers to support such a high launch (r)ate.
(raises hand in agreement....)

Maybe they've got a demand all their own...

This is the only explanation that makes sense to me. VC's generally invest in startups that have a plausible plan to get to >$100m in revenue with annual growth rates of >50% that are sustainable for 5-10 years into the future.

I can buy that a market will exist for the 25-100 launches per year to get to $100m in revenue. I can't buy 50% annual growth going forward from that based solely on launch revenue. The most logical explanation is that they will be building a constellation of their own, like SpaceX. Plus, if they're building some sort of novel smallsat constellation, it makes a lot more sense to be located in the bay area than if they're just building a launch business.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/15/2020 12:51 am
So here are some more facts about Astra:

https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/

- They have a manifest of 16+ booked launches.
- The first two will be for DARPA challenge.
- They expect some failures during the first flights.
- Production costs are extremely low, targeting close to $ 250.000 per rocket.
- Current production capacity is 1 rocket per month.
- quick and frequent development iterations

Quote
“There’s just so little supply of launches when customers want to fly and where they want to fly that they’re willing to launch on a rocket that has no success record,” he said. “The fact that we have so many customers waiting in line without yet establishing that track record is pretty encouraging to us.”

First launch from Kodiak between Feb 25 and March 3, 3:30 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern (20:30 - 00:00 UTC).

Second launch will go from either Vandenberg, Wallops or San Nicolas Island.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/15/2020 04:30 am
San Nicholas looks pretty neat, but the existing rocket pad hasn’t been used in a long time, is completely without infrastructure, and is poorly situated for polar launches. (Low inclination launches would go over the coast of California which is probably not allowed.)

On the other hand, it’s weather may be the exact opposite of Kodiak:  It has never gone below freezing.

Has the Navy ever discussed sharing San Nicholas?

I would think their second launch site would be for moderate inclinations.

Didn’t we hear Kwaj mentioned? 
Great low inclination but miserably isolated.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/15/2020 03:07 pm
The whole point of the DARPA competition is to do it without fixed infrastructure.  The DARPA launch sites can be completely independent of where Astra and DoD plan to launch future missions.  Personally, I think it would make a lot more sense just to launch it from Vandenberg.  The DARPA requirements may have sounded like a cool idea at the time, but with no competitors really ready to complete the competition (including Astra) they just need to wrap it up.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: starbase on 02/15/2020 05:05 pm
Launch will be livestreamed!
https://twitter.com/Kemp/status/1228738806892781568
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/15/2020 07:07 pm
San Nicholas looks pretty neat, but the existing rocket pad hasn’t been used in a long time, is completely without infrastructure, and is poorly situated for polar launches. (Low inclination launches would go over the coast of California which is probably not allowed.)

On the other hand, it’s weather may be the exact opposite of Kodiak:  It has never gone below freezing.

Has the Navy ever discussed sharing San Nicholas?

I would think their second launch site would be for moderate inclinations.

Didn’t we hear Kwaj mentioned? 
Great low inclination but miserably isolated.

I think we haven‘t heard about Camden Spaceport a lot, but they’re in the licensing process with the FAA and a decision is already overdue (was due middle of december 2019, i think they have delays on the EIS (environmental impact study) side).
Vector wanted to launch there.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/15/2020 08:12 pm
San Nicholas looks pretty neat, but the existing rocket pad hasn’t been used in a long time, is completely without infrastructure, and is poorly situated for polar launches. (Low inclination launches would go over the coast of California which is probably not allowed.)

On the other hand, it’s weather may be the exact opposite of Kodiak:  It has never gone below freezing.

Has the Navy ever discussed sharing San Nicholas?

I would think their second launch site would be for moderate inclinations.

Didn’t we hear Kwaj mentioned? 
Great low inclination but miserably isolated.



Didn’t we hear Kwaj mentioned? 
Great low inclination but miserably isolated.

I wouldn't call Kwaj miserably, lovely place to be based unless you are staying in Ebeye.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/15/2020 09:26 pm
Thread for the DARPA launch challenge and the two upcoming Astra launches:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50156.0
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/18/2020 12:33 am
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1229575401892007936

(I'm trying and failing to actually post the picture)

zubenelgenubi: Fixed link, attached image
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/18/2020 09:04 am
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1229575401892007936

Nice logo.  :D
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/18/2020 10:42 am
That's a neat fit in that ISO container!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/18/2020 08:22 pm
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1229877163702333451
Quote
Interesting note from the DARPA Launch Challenge during an ongoing media briefing: both launches will take place from the same spaceport at Kodiak, Alaska, but different pads (about 300 meters apart). Original plan was for two different sites.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/19/2020 10:29 pm
Tweet about a job opening has a nice factory photo (attached)

https://twitter.com/astra/status/1230269134249717761
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/19/2020 10:49 pm
https://twitter.com/DARPA/status/1230227022636634118

https://twitter.com/DARPA/status/1230229691329646592
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/25/2020 03:36 pm
I may have missed it, but has their upper stage been depicted anywhere? We've got plenty of photos of the complete stack, the first stage, the fairing, and the interstage cone, but not even a render of anything that could be an upper stage.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 02/25/2020 03:43 pm
I may have missed it, but has their upper stage been depicted anywhere? We've got plenty of photos of the complete stack, the first stage, the fairing, and the interstage cone, but not even a render of anything that could be an upper stage.
AFAIK no photos, depictions, and even no plausible upper stage engines in engine test footage.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: HeartofGold2030 on 02/25/2020 04:06 pm
I may have missed it, but has their upper stage been depicted anywhere? We've got plenty of photos of the complete stack, the first stage, the fairing, and the interstage cone, but not even a render of anything that could be an upper stage.
AFAIK no photos, depictions, and even no plausible upper stage engines in engine test footage.

All conventional wisdom suggests the upper stage is located in the white-painted cone structure before the payload fairing. But to fit in there along with the avionics bay, it must be very small.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/25/2020 04:09 pm
Just to discuss what we‘re seeing (and not wake up any sleeping dogs)...

IMO it looks like their first stage engines only gimbal around one axis, or have we seen something else that warrants these asymmetric openings on the bottom?

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1232332315344490496

Quote
Here are a few great shots of Rocket 3.0 on the pad in Kodiak Alaska ahead of the DARPA launch challenge.

@Astra's first orbital launch attempt is scheduled for no earlier than Feb. 27 at 3:30 pm Eastern, per DARPA's website.

Updates: forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topi…

@DARPA
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Star One on 02/25/2020 04:31 pm
Update by Scott Manley:

https://youtu.be/GUzDTV1JEWQ
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 02/25/2020 04:44 pm
I wish I had something in that video which wasn't already discussed here.
However I did get a confirmation via twitter that the pink/purple/gold anodized structures on the first rockets are apparently no longer on the production versions:
https://twitter.com/kellyghering/status/1232121375772426240
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/25/2020 09:34 pm
A few screenshots from the first video:
Would the second stage stage have to fit in that frustum in astra_004.jpg?
Can we estimate the dimensions?
What could fit in there?
While they are out of focus in the background, the red things sticking up from the top of the first stage could be for holding the second stage engine bell.
It seems it would only be enough diameter for a vacuum optimized engine much smaller than the first stage engine. (1:5 would be a particularly large 2nd to 1st stage thrust ratio so it should be much smaller.)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/25/2020 10:09 pm
All conventional wisdom suggests the upper stage is located in the white-painted cone structure before the payload fairing. But to fit in there along with the avionics bay, it must be very small.

Agreed. Why is it white, ya think?

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/25/2020 10:52 pm
(1:5 would be a particularly large 2nd to 1st stage thrust ratio so it should be much smaller.)

Even 1:9 like Falcon 9 and Rocketlab makes for a large upper stage, when looked at as a split of delta-v. Having a big upper stage makes sense if you're trying to recover the first stage because that means it stages much lower and slower, but all the talk I've seen of Astra is "inexpensive expendable" rather than "high performance reusable".
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 02/25/2020 10:58 pm
If you look at the video where they are attaching the payload, you can see that the second stage extends up inside the fairing, so the second stage is longer than the frustrum section alone. The angles make it hard to see how much longer, and how wide it is.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 02/25/2020 11:13 pm
All conventional wisdom suggests the upper stage is located in the white-painted cone structure before the payload fairing. But to fit in there along with the avionics bay, it must be very small.

Agreed. Why is it white, ya think?

Do you think there is a dramatic difference in solar irradiance rejection between white paint and bare aluminum?  There is not.

There is a dramatic difference in long wave infrared emissivity and absorptivity but that doesn’t have much effect if it’s cooled to the boiling point of LOX.

If you have an engineering reason for the white paint or whatever it is please spell it out.

ya think ya could? :)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: HeartofGold2030 on 02/25/2020 11:20 pm
So are we thinking that the upper-stage is a Delta-K kind of deal?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/25/2020 11:28 pm
For the same reason basically every other rocket is white. Here's a hint: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19710004639.pdf

I have slow motion video somewhere of getting shocked hard and jumping when grabbing a rocket that was doing hover testing with a nonconductive tether. I added a ground wire to the tether after that.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 02/25/2020 11:31 pm
Note on this screengrab from the factory that we have a series of bulkheads on the left, there are two sizes. I'm guessing the smaller ones are from the second stage.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ParabolicSnark on 02/25/2020 11:31 pm
I have word that the second stage is almost entirely in the interstage. Now whether it's like the Delta-K setup like HaertofGold2030 posted or more like LauncherOne's fuel tank, I can't say - I didn't poke or prod about it at the time.

The white paint is curious, because in either of those cases, the tank walls are shielded from the environment by the interstage walls. That indicates it's likely not thermal driven and could be electrical like Ben suggested.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/26/2020 02:32 am
For the same reason basically every other rocket is white. Here's a hint: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19710004639.pdf

I have slow motion video somewhere of getting shocked hard and jumping when grabbing a rocket that was doing hover testing with a nonconductive tether. I added a ground wire to the tether after that.

Thanks for informing us. Can you comment any more on the second stage? Is it, as many have speculated, a vacuum optimized version of the first stage? Or something completely different?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/26/2020 01:49 pm
It has been a long time, since the early Cold War days, since a new orbital launch vehicle has reached the pad with such minimal technical information released.  Liftoff thrust?  Weight of rocket at launch?  Ascent timelines, etc.?  The second stage propellant.  Bizzarosecret.

Keep in mind, too, that Electron is really a three-stage rocket, the third stage being secret until it flew successfully.  Any number of surprises could be inside that Astra rocket fairing.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/26/2020 02:44 pm
Launch mission control is in California. Have there been launches with mission control that far from the rocket? I know SpaceX has the pretty mission control in California on webcasts, but I believe the launch is run from the smaller facility at the south gate of CCAFS.

https://twitter.com/uanwer/status/1231319518128984067
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/26/2020 02:50 pm
It's also the closest thing to a containerised road-transportable ICBM + TEL system that can launch from a minimally-prepared site, that is not also a missile-derived launcher. I could easily see ITAR concerns being heightened vs. something that requires a large fixed ground infrastructure.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/26/2020 03:09 pm
It's also the closest thing to a containerised road-transportable ICBM + TEL system that can launch from a minimally-prepared site, that is not also a missile-derived launcher. I could easily see ITAR concerns being heightened vs. something that requires a large fixed ground infrastructure.
I think you are confusing ITAR with a more generalized proliferation concern. There is no special ITAR concern to building a portable launch system unless it is Internationally Trafficked. This seems to be a boogeyman people are making up, similarly to how a lot of people seem to think that putting guidance on an amateur rocket is somehow illegal.

ITAR is much more relevant if you were a launch company that split their engineering between the US and New Zealand. Or a launch company bought by a Ukranian who offshored IP to Ukraine. Or were a US launch company owned by a British billionaire. Or were a British firm designing engines in the UK but testing them in the US and exporting test results.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/26/2020 03:09 pm
It's also the closest thing to a containerised road-transportable ICBM + TEL system that can launch from a minimally-prepared site, that is not also a missile-derived launcher. I could easily see ITAR concerns being heightened vs. something that requires a large fixed ground infrastructure.
It is designed for all methods of shipment. The containers have an owner ID number on them for international shipment. If someone were to identify them then they can be tracked via shipping databases (although National Security concerns may prohibit such actions).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/26/2020 04:19 pm
The concern is not in the shipment or the building, is in the dissemination of information on how it was done. That's what ITAR covers.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/26/2020 05:51 pm
Launch mission control is in California. Have there been launches with mission control that far from the rocket? I know SpaceX has the pretty mission control in California on webcasts, but I believe the launch is run from the smaller facility at the south gate of CCAFS.

IIRC we‘ve seen remotely (as in from headquarters) controlled engine tests from Vector and Firefly, but of course no launch from them. At that time i didn’t realize why it could make sense running those tests from afar if you need people in situ for setting up the test. But it demonstrates a lot of the stuff necessary for remote launch control.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/26/2020 06:09 pm
Keep in mind, too, that Electron is really a three-stage rocket, the third stage being secret until it flew successfully.  Any number of surprises could be inside that Astra rocket fairing.

 - Ed Kyle

If they want to do more than one burn with it, their second stage will need some RCS etc. With the stage inside the interstage/fairing, all that stuff is inside a controlled environment, and doesn’t need ports on the outside that have to be protected etc.

The second stage can be a lot? lighter if it doesn’t have structural loads from the fairing, like the centaur upper stage on the bigger fairings on Atlas.

Having a shorter burn on the upper stage (via longer burn on first stage) also might make the battery swap that Rocketlab does unnecessary.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/27/2020 02:57 am
Having a shorter burn on the upper stage (via longer burn on first stage) also might make the battery swap that Rocketlab does unnecessary.
I'm not sure we know that the second stage engine has a battery powered pump, or even that it has any pump.  It could be pressure-fed, or maybe even use solid propellant.  This is a tiny rocket.  Not much leeway for fancy stuff.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Jrcraft on 02/28/2020 02:59 am
https://twitter.com/HomemDoEspacoBr/status/1232516592078139392
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/28/2020 03:23 am
I see Scott Manley reported Astra first stage thrust at 140 kN (about 31,470 lbf), or 28 kN for each of the five Delphin engines.  Interestingly, that's about the same ballpark as the Vanguard first stage.  Its roughly 91% of the Electron first stage thrust.  GLOW would be about 11 tonnes if T/W = 1.3, 10.2 tonnes for T/W = 1.4, etc.  (Vanguard weighed 10.05 tonnes.  Electron 12.55 tonnes.)

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 02/28/2020 06:22 am
Hopefully enough to improve the model of the fairing.

Most or all shot by John Kraus.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/28/2020 06:54 am
Funny looking second stage. Looks like a toroidal fuel tank below the LOX tank. Can't tell if its pressure or pump fed.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/28/2020 07:59 am
I think that's made up. That wasn't an Astra rendering.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 02/28/2020 10:13 am
The rocket looks great. I hope they make it.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/28/2020 01:33 pm
Hopefully enough to improve the model of the fairing.

Most or all shot by John Kraus.
That payload fairing looks odd.  Like an umbrella of fabric stretched over a set of ribs.

Which sounds pretty implausible.

Still tremendously exciting as a shot at "responsive space" on a commercial basis. Really looking forward to the launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: HeartofGold2030 on 02/28/2020 01:52 pm
Funny looking second stage. Looks like a toroidal fuel tank below the LOX tank. Can't tell if its pressure or pump fed.

It’s almost definitely just a placeholder unless the maker has inside sources, which I highly doubt. Personally, I think it looks more like a solid-fuel kickstage (e.g. Star 48). A small solid-fuel upper stage would be an interesting attempt to keep costs down, at the expense of efficiency. Furthermore, such a setup would be similar to the early American rockets of the 1950s.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 02/28/2020 04:32 pm
Given that we see the bulkheads for the second stage in their factory they're probably not building solid motors, they don't really have the facilities for that. Also the MLI seen on the top of the second stage might be taken to suggest cryogenic propellants. So I still think the most likely option is a Kerolox second stage.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gmbnz on 02/28/2020 07:51 pm
A small solid-fuel upper stage would be an interesting attempt to keep costs down, at the expense of efficiency.
And at the expense of accuracy - which for smallsats and constellation building is pretty important.

Given that we see the bulkheads for the second stage in their factory they're probably not building solid motors, they don't really have the facilities for that. Also the MLI seen on the top of the second stage might be taken to suggest cryogenic propellants. So I still think the most likely option is a Kerolox second stage.
Performance-wise too if they're not completely optimising their rocket (eg the fairing carbon fibre decision) I can't imagine a solid having enough mojo to lift their claimed 100kg to SSO.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LH2NHI on 03/01/2020 01:24 am
You can see the second stage in the newly released video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkAwpQDW3C4

I guess these tanks are arranged one above the other (like Masten's XOMBIE).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 03/01/2020 02:37 am
You can see the second stage in the newly released video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkAwpQDW3C4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkAwpQDW3C4)

I guess these tanks are arranged one above the other (like Masten's XOMBIE).

Do you mean the stacked spheres towards the back of the room at ~20 seconds?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: john smith 19 on 03/01/2020 06:11 am
You can see the second stage in the newly released video.

I guess these tanks are arranged one above the other (like Masten's XOMBIE).
Welcome to the site.

Interesting idea. Spheres are the minimum area for maximum volume and mass is more critical for the US. I think people have talked about a kerolox US but its so small I think boiloff would be a serious issue without substantial insulation.  It's the obvious choice for reasonably simple, pretty good performance, although it does need an ignition system.

For minimum complexity, safe handling I thing you could be looking at peroxide with a catalyst pack although that sacrifices performance.

If they are willing to risk the complexity and speculation is correct they could be running with battery powered pumps. Li+ battery performance has shown a year on year increase of about 10% so what would borderline for this size a few years ago (when RocketLab started) could be quite viable by now.

Exciting times.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 03/01/2020 03:31 pm
Anyone want to make a guess as to why the launch cube needs gaseous CH4? Given the plumbing inside the launch system I suspect it's part of engine ignition with burners inside the engine combustion chambers, but the old images showing the previous launch tests don't include this.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/01/2020 03:46 pm
https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1234154850247512065

Quote
I think the latest Astra video might have given us a few sightings of the second stage:
twitter.com/djsnm/status/1234157224739491840

Quote
Assuming that this can't be much bigger than 1m in diameter, and assuming they're sticking to LOX/kerosene that could contain 600kg of oxygen in a sphere, and ~230kg of kerosene.
For spherical fuel tanks the fuel tank is 80% of the radius of the LOX tank.

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1234160362502545413

Quote
We can see the plumbing for second stage propellent entering the side of the fairing, and we know the second stage extends up inside this so It's probably something like this.

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1234162335930937344

Quote
But the main thing is the using spherical tanks limits the mass of propellent available. So assuming a 100kg stage, 100kg payload and 830kg of propellant that's a wet dry ratio of ~5 which puts it in the right ball park to boost to orbital velocity with >300s of ISP
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jcm on 03/01/2020 04:26 pm
Has anyone geolocated LP-3B yet?  I assume there is also an LP-3A, is that where the second launch will be from?
Maybe those who are there like John know which way they turn on the road there, or even have a map they can share?
The googleearth image is from 2019 so: the known locations of LP1 and LP2 are marked.  Site C is present but undeveloped in the 2006
image; Site A was added between 2006 and 2010 -  probably support stuff for the Minotaur IV;  Site B/B1/B2 is new since 2010 and is my best guessf for LP-3A/LP-3B.

 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/01/2020 09:00 pm
Came across some recent documents outlining plans for the Spaceport produced by Alaska Aerospace (they operate the spaceport).  They are part of the 2020 - 2030 Master plan for future developments (still a work in progress, these drafts are dated January 9, 2020).  Attached are two figures for the Commercial Launch Area (Area 3) showing Pads A thru D and alternative locations for a further Pad E which may be of interest.

Also attached are Chapters 4 and 5 of the Master Plan which has more details.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ben on 03/01/2020 09:20 pm
More recent satellite imagery. JCM, have you tried getting an education account with Planet?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LH2NHI on 03/02/2020 02:03 pm
It is very interesting. Feb 28, 2020 video showed a distant view, so I compared it with the plan and satellite photos. The first launch uses PadB.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJtqEm_WNaQ&t=13s
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LH2NHI on 03/02/2020 02:16 pm
By the way, according to the link below, the launch capability of ASTRA's Rocket 3.0 is 25 kg for 500 km SSO.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/24/fresh-out-of-stealth-mode-astra-gearing-up-for-orbital-launch-from-alaska/

Also, according to the link below, Rocket4.0's capacity is 50kg for SSO.
https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/

The ASTRA website accepts reservations for 150kg SSO payloads, but how do they improve the rocket?
Larger upper stage (with another container shippment)?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/02/2020 02:52 pm
By the way, according to the link below, the launch capability of ASTRA's Rocket 3.0 is 25 kg for 500 km SSO.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/24/fresh-out-of-stealth-mode-astra-gearing-up-for-orbital-launch-from-alaska/

Also, according to the link below, Rocket4.0's capacity is 50kg for SSO.
https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/

The ASTRA website accepts reservations for 150kg SSO payloads, but how do they improve the rocket?
Larger upper stage (with another container shippment)?
Possibilities include removal of test instrumentation, second stage restart at first apogee, and more thrust/propellant.  My guess is that second stage restart is a likely means of bumping up sun synchronous payload.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 03/02/2020 03:08 pm
By the way, according to the link below, the launch capability of ASTRA's Rocket 3.0 is 25 kg for 500 km SSO.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/24/fresh-out-of-stealth-mode-astra-gearing-up-for-orbital-launch-from-alaska/

Also, according to the link below, Rocket4.0's capacity is 50kg for SSO.
https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/

The ASTRA website accepts reservations for 150kg SSO payloads, but how do they improve the rocket?
Larger upper stage (with another container shippment)?
They've been willing to do major design changes so far, Rocket 3.0 has engines twice the thrust of 2.0 and has to be four-odd times the size of Rocket 1.0.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LH2NHI on 03/02/2020 03:18 pm
By the way, according to the link below, the launch capability of ASTRA's Rocket 3.0 is 25 kg for 500 km SSO.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/24/fresh-out-of-stealth-mode-astra-gearing-up-for-orbital-launch-from-alaska/

Also, according to the link below, Rocket4.0's capacity is 50kg for SSO.
https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/

The ASTRA website accepts reservations for 150kg SSO payloads, but how do they improve the rocket?
Larger upper stage (with another container shippment)?
They've been willing to do major design changes so far, Rocket 3.0 has engines twice the thrust of 2.0 and has to be four-odd times the size of Rocket 1.0.

Yes, I think major design change is necessary to reach 150 kg capacity as you mentiond.
ASTRA rockets are made using traditional manufacturing methods, so they may be larger than Electron to achieve the same capabilities......
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 03/02/2020 07:35 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti5dN97qs3w (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ti5dN97qs3w)

Live stream of today's launch attempt. As of this post, they're holding at T-15.

EDIT: Also, here's the dedicated thread.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50156.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50156.0)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 03/02/2020 08:00 pm
Launch commentary mentioned "the fuel tanks and the single LOX tank", so yeah, seems like the second stage is dissimilar to the first stage.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 03/02/2020 08:07 pm
Callouts during the poll included “Ether” and “Odin” as I heard them
Ether is the “upper” stage
What is Odin?

Ether was said to have 700 pounds of thrust. IIRC
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/03/2020 07:04 am
https://twitter.com/kemp/status/1234705643094675456

Quote
Thanks Jonathan!  We will webcast the next launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 03/16/2020 08:43 pm
Astra Space is located in Alameda:

Quote
Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area will be placed under a shelter-in-place directive by public health officials in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a move that will close virtually all businesses and direct residents to remain at home for the next three weeks.
San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals said he believed that the order, announced in a pair of press conferences Monday afternoon, put the six counties — San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda — on perhaps the most restrictive public health footing anywhere in America since the outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-16/nine-san-francisco-bay-area-counties-ordered-to-shelter-in-place
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: illectro on 06/02/2020 04:38 am
Steve Jurvetson just posted a bunch of photos of astra hardware to his Flickr including the first engine they built:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/49960952648/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/03/2020 09:11 pm
Steve Jurvetson just posted a bunch of photos of astra hardware to his Flickr including the first engine they built:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/49960952648/

Huh. I'm surprised they are ok showing so much detail. That it's a pintle engine, the pintle diameter, single igniter, pressure transducer plugs etc... Maybe it's a deprecated design or something...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/04/2020 01:22 am
Steve Jurvetson just posted a bunch of photos of astra hardware to his Flickr including the first engine they built:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/49960952648/

Huh. I'm surprised they are ok showing so much detail. That it's a pintle engine, the pintle diameter, single igniter, pressure transducer plugs etc... Maybe it's a deprecated design or something...
Astra can't afford to be secretive anymore now that they desperately need investment capital to survive.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/22/2020 07:00 pm
Quote
Space Companies With ‘Astra’ Name Fighting Over Who Gets Brand

Aug. 20, 2020, 8:20 PM

COURT: N.D. Cal.
TRACK DOCKET: No. 3:20-cv-5859 (Bloomberg Law Subscription)
COMPANY INFO: Atmospheric and Space Technology Research Associates LLC, Astra Space Inc. (Bloomberg Law Subscription)

Rocket maker Astra Space Inc. is accused of trademark infringement by a company with a similar name that develops instruments and computer models used in orbit.

Atmospheric and Space Technology Research Associates LLC, known as ASTRA, said the rocket maker’s name confuses customers, according to a lawsuit (https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/AtmosphericandSpaceTechnologyResearchAssociatesLLCvAstraSpaceIncD?1598122778) Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/ip-law/space-companies-with-astra-name-fighting-over-who-gets-brand
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: playadelmars on 08/28/2020 01:23 am
https://spacenews.com/astra-prepares-for-next-launch-attempt-as-it-faces-suit-over-company-name/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 10/02/2020 12:04 am
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/10/astra-pitches-larger-rocket-suborbital-cargo-delivery-plan-to-air-force/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/19/2020 06:09 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1329489151780012033

Quote
We’re excited to announce that Rocket 3.2 is ready for launch! Having completed testing, Rocket 3.2 will soon begin its journey to our launch facility in Kodiak, Alaska. Our launch window is from December 7th to the 18th and is open everyday from 11am to 2pm PT.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TorenAltair on 11/21/2020 03:13 am
https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_4332.html

The corresponding NOTAM

Quote
FDC 0/4332 ZAN AK..AIRSPACE KODIAK, AK..TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 91.143 TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN EFFECT WI AREA BOUNDED BY 572303.09N/1524434.09W TO 573028.77N/1524723.50W TO 573614.81N/1524340.66W TO 574037.92N/1521145.24W TO 573115.78N/1514726.02W TO 572645.86N/1515320.99W TO 571612.68N/1515542.66W TO 570952.47N/1522235.09W TO 570613.17N/1523033.16W TO 565809.82N/1524016.59W TO 565530.70N/1525454.50W TO POINT OF ORIGIN SFC-UNL DUE TO ROCKET LAUNCH ACT. ANCHORAGE /ZAN/ ARTCC TEL 907-269-1103 IS THE FAA CDN FACILITY. DLY 1900-2230 2012071900-2012182230
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 11/29/2020 01:01 am
Flight 2 launch thread here. (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51938.0)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 12/04/2020 04:57 pm
Astra got a license for an unlimited number of Rocket 3 launches from Kodiak:
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: yg1968 on 12/11/2020 09:23 pm
NASA Awards Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 Contract

-Astra Space Inc. of Alameda, California: $3.9 million

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-venture-class-launch-services-demonstration-2-contract

Quote from: Astra
We are honored to have been selected by @NASA to deliver Mission One as part of the CubeSat Launch Initiative! Congratulations to our fellow selectees. Read more here:

https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1337538221920538624
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 12/16/2020 11:01 am
As Astra has electrical driven turbopumps: Do they do a battery hot swap on the second stage like Rocket Lab?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 12/16/2020 11:14 am
Second stage appears to be pressure-fed, not pump-fed.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LouScheffer on 12/16/2020 12:02 pm
Since Astra  got to 7.2 km/sec (https://spacenews.com/astra-narrowly-misses-reaching-orbit-on-second-launch/) when aiming for a polar orbit, it would have been extremely close to orbital speed if it had been aimed east from a low latitude launch site, which adds about 400 m/s.   They now have pretty good odds for their next attempt, I think.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: abaddon on 12/16/2020 07:21 pm
So.... why isn't this in the Other US Launchers section?  Always forget it is here in the Commercial section.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/16/2020 09:57 pm
Best move thread once they are operational and delivering payloads to orbit. Hopefully early next year.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 12/17/2020 10:14 am
Best move thread once they are operational and delivering payloads to orbit. Hopefully early next year.

There are six Astra threads now, with lots more to come. I think this company is on the level of SpaceX and Rocket Lab and deserves their own forum board. Innovative, fast, very low-cost.

They just performed a launch with overall ~15 people (5 on site + mission control), took just one week from delivering rocket & equipment to launch. Just three months from first to second launch under Covid conditions. Did anyone before do that? SpaceX took one year from first to second launch, Rocket Lab seven months.

Good chance that in 2022 Astra will do second-most worldwide launches behind SpaceX.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 12/17/2020 05:47 pm


Best move thread once they are operational and delivering payloads to orbit. Hopefully early next year.



Good chance that in 2022 Astra will do second-most worldwide launches behind SpaceX.
I think you are overestimating their launch cadence. Takes lot money and time to gear up for product rates of 10-20 LVs. RL is only now capable of monthly launches.



Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ncb1397 on 12/17/2020 06:26 pm


Best move thread once they are operational and delivering payloads to orbit. Hopefully early next year.



Good chance that in 2022 Astra will do second-most worldwide launches behind SpaceX.
I think you are overestimating their launch cadence. Takes lot money and time to gear up for product rates of 10-20 LVs. RL is only now capable of monthly launches.

On the other hand, smaller rockets tend to scale faster at least in terms of launch rate. It took Rocket Lab 3 and a half years from  first launch to reach flight 17. It took SpaceX 5 years with Falcon 9. Astra's rocket is even smaller. Theoretically,  if they reach 17 launches in 2 years rather than Rocket Labs 3.5 and apportion 5 of those in 2021 and 12 in 2022, they would be beating Rocket Lab this year and would be doing about half of Falcon 9's launches. Whether that puts them in second is debatable and depends on factors outside of their control (Soyuz launch rate, what occurs in China, etc.), but theoretically possible. There also is a question mark of what Falcon 9 would be doing in 2022, without Starlink Falcon 9 would have launched about 10 times this year (not sure on the exact number), which could theoretically put Astra above Falcon 9 in launch rate and 12 would be within spitting distance of Falcon 9's 13 in 2019.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 12/18/2020 09:16 am
Besides of the rocket size, the whole company is optimized for ridiculously low-cost. AND they adopted the SpaceX model of quick try-fail-fix cycles. Expect market disruption here. Order backlog doubled in 2020, now two dozend booked launches.

Btw, payload capacity of Rocket 3 is about a tenth of Electron, so this is another class of launcher. Rocket 4 is planned for 50 kg to SSO, compared to 200 kg of Electron.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 02/02/2021 12:12 pm
 Astra are going public:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210202005459/en/Astra-to-Become-the-First-Publicly-Traded-Space-Launch-Company-on-NASDAQ-via-Merger-with-Holicity
Quote
ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Astra, the fastest privately-funded company in history to demonstrate orbital launch capability, and Holicity Inc. (NASDAQ: HOL) (“Holicity”), a special purpose acquisition company (“SPAC”), today announced a definitive business combination agreement that will result in Astra becoming a publicly-traded company. The transaction reflects an implied pro forma enterprise value for Astra of approximately $2.1 billion. Upon closing, the transaction is expected to provide up to $500 million in cash proceeds, including up to $300 million of cash held in the trust account of Holicity and an upsized $200 million PIPE led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.
[...]
n December 2020, Astra joined a small, elite group of companies that have made it to space. With over 50 launches in manifest across more than 10 private and public customers, including NASA and DOD, Astra has booked over $150 million of contracted launch revenue. Astra will begin delivering customer payloads this summer and begin monthly launches by the end of this year.

Following the closing of the transaction, the combined company will continue to be led by Founder and CEO Chris Kemp. It is expected that Craig McCaw will join Astra’s board of directors.

The proposed transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Astra and Holicity and remains subject to approval by Holicity’s stockholders. Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Astra and will be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol "ASTR."
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 02/02/2021 12:37 pm
Sigh. How does this business model make sense?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jpo234 on 02/02/2021 12:43 pm
Sigh. How does this business model make sense?
An IPO via SPAC smells like a quick cash grab.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Bananas_on_Mars on 02/02/2021 12:56 pm
Sigh. How does this business model make sense?
Which business model? For the founders, or for Astra?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/02/2021 01:16 pm
Good, they have hardware and a very competitive pricing, so why not?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 02/02/2021 01:34 pm
Because in a world with Starship and space tugs all the dedicated smallsat launchers disappear.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/02/2021 02:48 pm
https://astra.com/blog/hello-nasdaq-astra-is-going-public/

Quote
HELLO, NASDAQ: ASTRA IS GOING PUBLIC
FEBRUARY 2, 2021

Space has always captivated us because it represents a frontier that is just out of reach and a future yet to be written. When I served as Chief Technology Officer at NASA, I was part of a team of extraordinary innovators who believed that space would soon become a tangible, useful part of our everyday lives. We created Astra to build on that vision and make space the next frontier for human innovation.

Today we couldn’t be more excited to announce the next step in our journey. Astra will soon be a Nasdaq-traded company.

We are coming to market in an extraordinarily strong financial position. We have raised more than $500 million from private investors, and we already have more than 50 launches on our manifest. In just the past year, we started producing and launching rockets and activated our first spaceport in Kodiak, Alaska. We carried out our first orbital launch attempt with Rocket 3.1 in September, and three months later we became the fastest privately funded company in U.S. history to reach space and demonstrate a launch system capable of deploying satellites into low Earth orbit.

We’re just getting started. This summer, we’ll deliver our first commercial payload, followed by beginning monthly launches later this year, and over the next 2-3 years we will dramatically increase our launch schedule with a goal of daily launches by 2025.

But this isn’t about the next 2-3 years, it’s about the next 100 years. Starting by making it faster, easier, and less capital-intensive to send payloads into space, we’re building a platform of space services that will catalyze a wave of innovation that will benefit our planet in ways unimaginable today.

This is the journey of a lifetime, and we couldn’t be more excited for what comes next.

Chris Kemp
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Astra
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 02/02/2021 03:23 pm
We are coming to market in an extraordinarily strong financial position. We have raised more than $500 million from private investors, and we already have more than 50 launches on our manifest.

If this is true and not vapor-orders, then this is the best-selling launcher ever. In early 2020 they said a dozen launches, in mid December it was more than two dozen. Six weeks later they claim to have doubled to >50. But not a single customer has been named. Maybe some military constellation(s)? Astra / Vention is a traditional Air Force contractor.

As of February 2020, the plan is to fulfill these launches with Rocket 4, which offers 50 kg to SSO (Spacenews (https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/)). So what they are presumably doing now until summer is finalizing Rocket 4 and build up production capacity.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/02/2021 06:16 pm
Good deal for investors if they can pull it off. Invest $500m into company and sell it for $2.1B. Given silly prices for Virgin shares, which is has only just become operational. They shouldn't have any problems hitting $2.1B target.

Make me wonder what RL is worth given they are actually profitable and flying regularly.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 02/02/2021 06:18 pm
We are coming to market in an extraordinarily strong financial position. We have raised more than $500 million from private investors, and we already have more than 50 launches on our manifest.

If this is true and not vapor-orders, then this is the best-selling launcher ever. In early 2020 they said a dozen launches, in mid December it was more than two dozen. Six weeks later they claim to have doubled to >50. But not a single customer has been named. Maybe some military constellation(s)? Astra / Vention is a traditional Air Force contractor.

As of February 2020, the plan is to fulfill these launches with Rocket 4, which offers 50 kg to SSO (Spacenews (https://spacenews.com/astra-emphasizes-rapid-iteration-in-its-quest-for-low-cost-rapid-launch/)). So what they are presumably doing now until summer is finalizing Rocket 4 and build up production capacity.

I wonder how many of the new missions on the launch manifest is from constellation satellite customers like Planet that are launching a couple CubeSats at a time on Astra's Rocket. Whereas even with Rocket Lab, they can launch many on Electron. Given Chris Kemp is an advisor for Planet, wonder how many of that are just launch agreements and how many are signed/paid for launches. Would it be possible that those numbers came about with Planet saying "we want to launch 50 satellites" with you guys, and if you can only fit 2 on a launch, there's 25 launches added to the manifest. Just in time for a new valuation.

Interestingly Rocket Lab got their billion dollar valuation near the same time frame in development that Astra just did. May be it's just being the first in the pack that investors weren't willing to value the company as much (seeing Rocket Lab's success, the investors were more willing to value small launch companies highly).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/03/2021 02:37 pm
https://youtu.be/NVJX_gmO08E

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1356989725354176512
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/03/2021 03:56 pm
Lots of shots of interesting internals there! Including views of both first-stage and upper-stage engines (judging by the plumbing, the electric pumps for Delphin sit above the gimball mount, rather than 'hung off the side' as with Rutherford), and both a side-on view and a transparent CAD drawing of the elusive upper stage. And at 2m07s, there are a couple of mystery objects that look to be clusters of parallel pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders with insulated fluid passthrough lines.
It looks like the upper stage sits within the interstage even after the upper fairing halves separate. This would be a bunch of extra mass if it were just an aeroshell, but it looks like the payload adapter on the top of the upper stage has extensions directly down to the top of the interstage. It could be that the payload 'sits' on the interstage with the upper stage 'hanging' from the payload adapter right up until the upper stage separates, which would allow for saving structural mass from the upper stage itself (upper stage structure only needs to support payload mass during the maximum acceleration itself can produce, rather than the maximum acceleration the entire stack can produce).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/04/2021 06:21 am
Grabs from the video.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: xyv on 02/06/2021 02:28 am
Am I the only one getting an Elizabeth Holmes vibe from Chris Kemp?  Black silicon valley Steve Jobs chic...check.  'We're doing things nobody else has done just by thinking it through'...check.  I'm on the fence here...they nearly got to orbit but 500 m/s short with no payload (if I can trust what I have read) says they are not that close. Doubling down on fund raising and PR clips like this adds to the smoke and not the substance.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/06/2021 11:21 am
Not comparable in any way. Theranos never had a working microfluidic diagnostic system, never demonstrated a working system, and never had a solid explanation for the functioning of their system, and their only business output was from subcontracting to existing providers. Astra are not promising anything revolutionary (other rockets have gone to orbit), have demonstrated a working rocket, and have no special engines or other components that remain undemonstrated, and are not contracting out all or part of their launch services to other launch providers.
Their upper stage shut down early with remaining propellant in the tanks. That's a 'fix it next launch' problem, not a 'the whole company is a scam and never had a rocket to start with' problem.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: xyv on 02/06/2021 09:23 pm
I hadn't seen that it shut down early with leftover propellant - that makes nearly orbital a more believable proposition.  Agreed, they are a far more real company...it was just a vibe I was getting.. ;).  The "in city" test stand across the street is a real advantage to them...somewhat countered by their launch site weather.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 02/06/2021 11:34 pm
Any company doing an IPO so early raises questions. There have been a few space companies going public early, but none made any money for investors.

Still, the company seems real.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/07/2021 12:53 am
I mean haven't Elon said something similar to 'We're doing things nobody else has done just by thinking it through' in the early days of SpaceX? It's pretty much how innovation is done if you think about it.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/08/2021 03:16 pm
Yeah, I’m skeptical of the space companies using this trick to go public and going public early is sort of questionable. HOWEVER, they are pretty far along. Nearly to orbit. Better than SOME.

But $4 billion valuation?? That’s dumb. A tenth of that would make sense!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: QuantumG on 02/08/2021 10:33 pm
Any company doing an IPO so early raises questions. There have been a few space companies going public early, but none made any money for investors.

Still, the company seems real.

Doesn't "raise questions" to me. It loudly screams WE NEED MONEY yeah?

It's good they haven't gone broke yet.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/09/2021 05:02 am
Any company doing an IPO so early raises questions. There have been a few space companies going public early, but none made any money for investors.

Still, the company seems real.

Doesn't "raise questions" to me. It loudly screams WE NEED MONEY yeah?

It's good they haven't gone broke yet.
On the other hand... people are handing out  multibillion dollar valuations to any space startup with a pulse. So even if they thought they'd be fine, staying private for awhile, it seems they'd be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity while it presents itself...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ThePhugoid on 02/11/2021 06:58 am
Not comparable in any way. Theranos never had a working microfluidic diagnostic system, never demonstrated a working system, and never had a solid explanation for the functioning of their system, and their only business output was from subcontracting to existing providers. Astra are not promising anything revolutionary (other rockets have gone to orbit), have demonstrated a working rocket, and have no special engines or other components that remain undemonstrated, and are not contracting out all or part of their launch services to other launch providers.
Their upper stage shut down early with remaining propellant in the tanks. That's a 'fix it next launch' problem, not a 'the whole company is a scam and never had a rocket to start with' problem.

You would be surprised what a big "fix it next launch" problem that can be. The vehicle coming in at a substantial dV shortfall with what we'd presume to be a very small payload means that even when tuning to correct the propellant imbalance, they would end up at orbital velocity with zero to negative payload mass. This mission also did not shake a stick at performing a Hohmann with a 45 minute dwell and relight, a must-have for typical LEO missions needing anything beyond 300 km altitude. A tiny upper stage like theirs will suffer when confronting such a LOX boiloff scenario.

Their pitch deck is impressive, but whitewashes some very serious obstacles ahead.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 02/11/2021 09:34 am
Any company doing an IPO so early raises questions. There have been a few space companies going public early, but none made any money for investors.

Still, the company seems real.

Doesn't "raise questions" to me. It loudly screams WE NEED MONEY yeah?

It's good they haven't gone broke yet.


The traditional approach has been to use private investment until the company gets to revenue, and then execute an IPO. That’s in theory because no one really has done it in aerospace, at least that I can remember.

Doing a SPAC before getting to revenue seems to be the new thing. Maybe these will result in new shareholders making profits.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 02/11/2021 09:51 am
Any company doing an IPO so early raises questions. There have been a few space companies going public early, but none made any money for investors.

Still, the company seems real.

Doesn't "raise questions" to me. It loudly screams WE NEED MONEY yeah?

It's good they haven't gone broke yet.


The traditional approach has been to use private investment until the company gets to revenue, and then execute an IPO. That’s in theory because no one really has done it in aerospace, at least that I can remember.

Doing a SPAC before getting to revenue seems to be the new thing. Maybe these will result in new shareholders making profits.

Most likely it will result in insiders dumping shares at high prices before excitement in anything space related dies down a bit. There really are no other good reasons to go public other than one desperation or another. The added load from forced quarterly reporting and millions of potential investors and detractors with just enough insight into your business to be dangerous is brutal.

It's nicely illustrated by recent data from JP Morgan that the median SPAC in the last two years resulted in -73% underperformance compared to a proper IPO index for pre-merger speculators, -53% underperformance for post-merger investors and 682% returns for the SPAC executor. Then just wait for the inevitable miss on getting the next test flight before the scheduled quarterly update and writing down potential launch LOIs as they get firmly contracted with a single provider and you get the perfect pump and dump. If the company pulls through it'll might recover and give you market returns in ten or twenty years.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/11/2021 12:27 pm
The vehicle coming in at a substantial dV shortfall with what we'd presume to be a very small payload means that even when tuning to correct the propellant imbalance, they would end up at orbital velocity with zero to negative payload mass.
There is insufficient public information to make that statement. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/11/2021 03:32 pm
Yeah, I’m skeptical of the space companies using this trick to go public and going public early is sort of questionable. HOWEVER, they are pretty far along. Nearly to orbit. Better than SOME.

But $4 billion valuation?? That’s dumb. A tenth of that would make sense!

Umm, where did you see that valuation?

Quote
Small launch vehicle developer Astra will go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), providing the company with nearly $500 million in cash and valuing it at more than $2 billion.
https://spacenews.com/astra-to-go-public-through-merger-with-spac/

And that sounds like the valuation of the post merger company, not pre-merger Astra (Holicity, while not an operating company, is sitting on a decent stack of cash). Back in June 2009, with a small launch vehicle, SpaceX raised tens of millions of dollars giving them a post fund-raising valuation of ~$1 billion (adj. for inflation), and that valuation wouldn't include half a billion dollars in cash.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/17/2021 03:35 pm
https://twitter.com/aplondon/status/1362071437683658760

Quote
I am excited to welcome Apple veteran Benjamin Lyon as @Astra’s new Chief Engineer. I look forward to the work Benjamin and the incredibly talented Astra engineers will accomplish as we improve life on Earth through space.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210217005605/en/Apple-Veteran-Benjamin-Lyon-Joins-Astra-as-Chief-Engineer

Quote
Apple Veteran Benjamin Lyon Joins Astra as Chief Engineer
Lyon brings to Astra two decades of experience at Apple designing and manufacturing hardware

February 17, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Astra today announced that Benjamin Lyon will join Astra as Chief Engineer. Lyon has led the development of core technologies for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

“Astra presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply my experience designing and manufacturing beautiful products to ignite a new wave of innovation in the space industry,” said Lyon. “Astra is incredibly well-positioned to enable a new generation of space services, and the possibilities for humanity are endless.”

Astra recently announced plans to go public on Nasdaq and raise over $500M through a business combination with Holicity, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOL), in order to productize and mass-produce spaceports, rockets, and satellites and build a space services platform.

“We are thrilled to have Benjamin join us as we enter a new phase of growth at Astra,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Astra. “Benjamin’s unique experience helping to design and manufacture products at scale will accelerate our mission of improving life on Earth from space.”

After becoming the fastest privately-funded company in history to demonstrate orbital launch capability in December, Astra is preparing to deliver commercial payloads this summer and start monthly launches by the end of this year, scaling up to daily launches by 2025.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 02/17/2021 05:05 pm
https://twitter.com/aplondon/status/1362071437683658760

Quote
I am excited to welcome Apple veteran Benjamin Lyon as @Astra’s new Chief Engineer. I look forward to the work Benjamin and the incredibly talented Astra engineers will accomplish as we improve life on Earth through space.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210217005605/en/Apple-Veteran-Benjamin-Lyon-Joins-Astra-as-Chief-Engineer

Quote
Apple Veteran Benjamin Lyon Joins Astra as Chief Engineer
Lyon brings to Astra two decades of experience at Apple designing and manufacturing hardware

February 17, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Astra today announced that Benjamin Lyon will join Astra as Chief Engineer. Lyon has led the development of core technologies for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

“Astra presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply my experience designing and manufacturing beautiful products to ignite a new wave of innovation in the space industry,” said Lyon. “Astra is incredibly well-positioned to enable a new generation of space services, and the possibilities for humanity are endless.”

Astra recently announced plans to go public on Nasdaq and raise over $500M through a business combination with Holicity, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOL), in order to productize and mass-produce spaceports, rockets, and satellites and build a space services platform.

“We are thrilled to have Benjamin join us as we enter a new phase of growth at Astra,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Astra. “Benjamin’s unique experience helping to design and manufacture products at scale will accelerate our mission of improving life on Earth from space.”

After becoming the fastest privately-funded company in history to demonstrate orbital launch capability in December, Astra is preparing to deliver commercial payloads this summer and start monthly launches by the end of this year, scaling up to daily launches by 2025.

Feels a little weird to hire a new Chief Engineer when you almost reached orbit last time and in theory only need minor changes to reach orbit next time. Then again, they've made it clear in the past that Rocket 3 isn't their final design, so maybe this is more forward-looking, to their bigger Rocket 4 or Rocket 5 concepts.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: xyv on 02/18/2021 12:49 am
More than one weird thing in that announcement:

"...After becoming the fastest privately-funded company in history to demonstrate orbital launch capability in December..." 

But they haven't demonstrated that yet.  Close, but this is not like a partial credit kind of situation.

"... once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply my experience designing and manufacturing beautiful products..." 

Yes that is what Apple is about, and user experience, etc.  I find rockets beautiful but esthetics do not rise to level of requirements in the design of orbital rockets.  Yes SpaceX adds style where they can (crew access arm, space suits (not a fan), Dragon crew interior), but even Elon gives in on Tin Tin when 2 fins are better.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 02/21/2021 02:00 am
The former Chief Engineer is stepping down.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/21/2021 02:24 am
Apparently Benjamin Lyon was a sensor expert and manager for the "Apple Car" project for 6 years, so I guess it's less weird for him to be the Chief Engineer of a rocket company than I originally thought.

PS: that close up photo of the first stage reminds me of Starship with its rough and beat up aesthetics.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ragmar on 02/22/2021 06:58 pm
The former Chief Engineer is stepping down.

Chris Thompson is leaving?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2021 12:42 am
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/23/what-to-know-about-astra-the-rocket-builder-going-public-via-a-spac.html

Quote
Here’s what investors should know about rocket builder Astra as it prepares to go public
PUBLISHED TUE, FEB 23 20213:44 PM ESTUPDATED TUE, FEB 23 20215:06 PM EST
Michael Sheetz
@THESHEETZTWEETZ

KEY POINTS

Rocket builder Astra is preparing to go public. CEO Chris Kemp spoke to CNBC, differentiating his company from a pack of competitors and explaining how Astra will hit an unprecedented launch rate with daily deliveries in under five years.

“We’re actually building a space platform – in much the same way that when Amazon started, they weren’t marketing themselves as a delivery truck company or a warehouse company,” Kemp said.

The cash proceeds expected from the deal also include a previously unreported $30 million venture funding round that Astra closed in the weeks before the Holicity SPAC merger was announced.

Kemp said Astra is “trying to build a 100-year plan” and last year was “running things lean” during the beginning of the pandemic to complete its rocket development testing.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ThePhugoid on 02/26/2021 12:55 am
The vehicle coming in at a substantial dV shortfall with what we'd presume to be a very small payload means that even when tuning to correct the propellant imbalance, they would end up at orbital velocity with zero to negative payload mass.
There is insufficient public information to make that statement. 

 - Ed Kyle

Sure, there is a lack of public information. But if you design rocket trajectories for a living and know a thing or two about stage sizing, it isn't hard to back out.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/26/2021 08:58 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote
Feb 26, 2021
CONTRACT RELEASE C21-003

NASA Awards Launch Service Contract for TROPICS Mission to Study Storm Processes
NASA has selected Astra Space Inc. to provide a launch service for the agency’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of SmallSats (TROPICS) mission. The TROPICS mission consists of a constellation of six CubeSats and will increase the scientific community’s understanding of storm processes.

The launch service contract for the TROPICS mission is a firm fixed-price contract valued at $7.95 million. NASA’s Launch Services Program at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the launch service.

The CubeSats, each the size of a shoebox, will provide rapid-refresh microwave measurements that can be used to determine temperature, pressure, and humidity inside hurricanes as they form and evolve. The TROPICS mission’s high-revisit imaging and sounding observations are enabled by microwave technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory. These observations will profoundly improve scientists' understanding of processes driving high-impact storms.

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

For more information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

-end-

My emphasis above
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/26/2021 09:18 pm
The TROPICS launch RFP: https://beta.sam.gov/opp/e6569820764c4dcfa03602a06600c316/view
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: yg1968 on 02/26/2021 09:19 pm
Related tweet:

https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1365420149428289536
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/27/2021 07:42 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 02/27/2021 08:56 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

According to this tweet from March 2020 they were considering Omelek Island, but I don't know if that has changed since then. Personally I find it the best choice among all the sites at Kwajalein.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1234579206916493313
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/27/2021 10:15 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

According to this tweet from March 2020 they were considering Omelek Island, but I don't know if that has changed since then. Personally I find it the best choice among all the sites at Kwajalein.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1234579206916493313

IIRC, the logistics on Omelek were not quite trivial, but has the advantage, that you do not have to share the island with other users.
Roi-Namur may be better suited, as it has an airfield. But there may be other restrictions.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ulm_atms on 02/27/2021 10:40 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

Does Omelek still have most of the infrastructure leftover from SpaceX or did they strip it when they left?  If so I could see that as more appealing...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/27/2021 10:56 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

Does Omelek still have most of the infrastructure leftover from SpaceX or did they strip it when they left?  If so I could see that as more appealing...

Which infrastructure? There was no permanent infrastructure. Okay, Astra does also not need permanent infrastructure. The issue is getting stuff, fuel and personnel there.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ulm_atms on 02/28/2021 12:59 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

Does Omelek still have most of the infrastructure leftover from SpaceX or did they strip it when they left?  If so I could see that as more appealing...

Which infrastructure? There was no permanent infrastructure. Okay, Astra does also not need permanent infrastructure. The issue is getting stuff, fuel and personnel there.

I meant the launch platform, plumbing, any fuel tanks, LC building, etc....basically any piece required to launch their rocket that was left over from F1.  If they don't have to bring much to anything except to modify/repair what is already there for their rocket, I could see that as useful.  F1 and their rocket even use the same fuel...so anything left over by SpaceX "should" be usable for theirs.

I do give that time and the salt water air could of made anything left over unusable by now...but it was just a thought....  I know F1 and Astra were/are as bare bones as possible so I figure any little things they could reuse at Omelek and not have to bring there would be helpful...that is all.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 02/28/2021 02:39 pm
Astra's setup is very portable.  There isn't much they'd want to reuse even if an existing launch site was available.  Anything past a concrete pad and maybe some extra propellant tanks would just be in the way.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/28/2021 03:49 pm
Astra's setup is very portable.  There isn't much they'd want to reuse even if an existing launch site was available.  Anything past a concrete pad and maybe some extra propellant tanks would just be in the way.
Any equipment left over from F1 days will have had 10years in tropics next to sea with no maintenance. Most of will only be good for scrap if that.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/28/2021 05:46 pm
Astra's setup is very portable.  There isn't much they'd want to reuse even if an existing launch site was available.  Anything past a concrete pad and maybe some extra propellant tanks would just be in the way.
Portability can be a bit of a spectrum. They have yet to reveal what and how much work they had to do to launch from Kodiak. Is it meaningfully different than Falcon 1?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/28/2021 06:32 pm
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-service-contract-for-tropics-mission-to-study-storm-processes

Quote

Astra Space will launch the CubeSats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period. The TROPICS mission is targeted for launch between Jan. 8 and July 31, 2022, under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launch license.

My emphasis above

Does anyone know, which of the Kwajalein islands is to be used for the launch site? Following islands have so far been used for launches

* Kwajalein (only air launches, no assigned vertical launch sites)
* Roi-Namur (sounding rocket launch site)
* Meck Island (Ballistic Missile Defense launch site) - unlikely - too restricted for civilian personel
* Omelek Island (had been used for SpaceX Falcon-1)
* Illegeni Island (former Sprint ABM test site)

Does Omelek still have most of the infrastructure leftover from SpaceX or did they strip it when they left?  If so I could see that as more appealing...

Which infrastructure? There was no permanent infrastructure. Okay, Astra does also not need permanent infrastructure. The issue is getting stuff, fuel and personnel there.

I meant the launch platform, plumbing, any fuel tanks, LC building, etc....basically any piece required to launch their rocket that was left over from F1.  If they don't have to bring much to anything except to modify/repair what is already there for their rocket, I could see that as useful.  F1 and their rocket even use the same fuel...so anything left over by SpaceX "should" be usable for theirs.

I do give that time and the salt water air could of made anything left over unusable by now...but it was just a thought....  I know F1 and Astra were/are as bare bones as possible so I figure any little things they could reuse at Omelek and not have to bring there would be helpful...that is all.
Everything for Falcon-1 Omleck launch site was designed when dismantled to ship in outfitted shipping containers to fully mobile launch sites. Hardware was shipped back to the "States Proper" for upgrading for then planned Falcon 1e which was to debut from another installation. All that is left is the government maintained infrastructure (dock, helipads) and the concrete and gravel clean pad and concrete pads for temporary HIF, offices, and concrete foundations for the containers.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 02/28/2021 07:03 pm
Astra's setup is very portable.  There isn't much they'd want to reuse even if an existing launch site was available.  Anything past a concrete pad and maybe some extra propellant tanks would just be in the way.
Portability can be a bit of a spectrum. They have yet to reveal what and how much work they had to do to launch from Kodiak. Is it meaningfully different than Falcon 1?

Astra has said (e.g, in this article (https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/astra-set-up-a-rocket-launch-with-five-people-and-came-within-seconds-of-orbit/)) that their entire launch site packs into four shipping containers, and can be set up by a team of five people in one week. So not mobile-missile-platform levels of portable, but about as close as you're going to get for an orbital vehicle.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lars-J on 02/28/2021 10:28 pm
Astra's setup is very portable.  There isn't much they'd want to reuse even if an existing launch site was available.  Anything past a concrete pad and maybe some extra propellant tanks would just be in the way.
Portability can be a bit of a spectrum. They have yet to reveal what and how much work they had to do to launch from Kodiak. Is it meaningfully different than Falcon 1?

Astra has said (e.g, in this article (https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/astra-set-up-a-rocket-launch-with-five-people-and-came-within-seconds-of-orbit/)) that their entire launch site packs into four shipping containers, and can be set up by a team of five people in one week. So not mobile-missile-platform levels of portable, but about as close as you're going to get for an orbital vehicle.

We'll see how accurate that is...  :) Very nice if true, but ground systems have a habit of growing in complexity.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AstroWare on 03/01/2021 01:00 am



(Snip)

We'll see how accurate that is...  :) Very nice if true, but ground systems have a habit of growing in complexity.

Does anyone here know how LOX was delivered for Falcon 1? Trucking in propellants worked for Astra in AK, but what's the plan to get them to the island?

Is shipping lox via Air a commercial practice? Refine on site maybe? Plus, the final leg to the launch island is likely helicopter or boat.

Its not like they need a whole lot.

Just curious!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/01/2021 01:03 am



(Snip)

We'll see how accurate that is...  :) Very nice if true, but ground systems have a habit of growing in complexity.

Does anyone here know how LOX was delivered for Falcon 1? Trucking in propellants worked for Astra in AK, but what's the plan to get them to the island?

Is shipping lox via Air a commercial practice? Refine on site maybe? Plus, the final leg to the launch island is likely helicopter or boat.

Its not like they need a whole lot.

Just curious!

i vaguely recall just via a ship.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AstroWare on 03/01/2021 02:16 am



(Snip)

We'll see how accurate that is...  :) Very nice if true, but ground systems have a habit of growing in complexity.

Does anyone here know how LOX was delivered for Falcon 1? Trucking in propellants worked for Astra in AK, but what's the plan to get them to the island?

Is shipping lox via Air a commercial practice? Refine on site maybe? Plus, the final leg to the launch island is likely helicopter or boat.

Its not like they need a whole lot.

Just curious!

i vaguely recall just via a ship.
Hmmm. A lox-specific ship? Or lox tanks/refrigeration support equipment on a cargo ship?

If Astra could make the tank infrastructure mobile like seemingly the rest of their GSE, it could be a pretty neat architecture.

Wanna launch from AK? Send containers 1-4, and truck in propellants. Wanna launch from the Atolls? Send containers 1-6. (Just an example, as in The other two being the propellants and their respective support equipment).

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/01/2021 02:38 am



(Snip)

We'll see how accurate that is...  :) Very nice if true, but ground systems have a habit of growing in complexity.

Does anyone here know how LOX was delivered for Falcon 1? Trucking in propellants worked for Astra in AK, but what's the plan to get them to the island?

Is shipping lox via Air a commercial practice? Refine on site maybe? Plus, the final leg to the launch island is likely helicopter or boat.

Its not like they need a whole lot.

Just curious!

i vaguely recall just via a ship.
Hmmm. A lox-specific ship? Or lox tanks/refrigeration support equipment on a cargo ship?

If Astra could make the tank infrastructure mobile like seemingly the rest of their GSE, it could be a pretty neat architecture.

Wanna launch from AK? Send containers 1-4, and truck in propellants. Wanna launch from the Atolls? Send containers 1-6. (Just an example, as in The other two being the propellants and their respective support equipment).


the latter.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/01/2021 09:13 pm
Good article on Astra
https://spacenews.com/astras-100-year-plan-qa-with-ceo-chris-kemp/

No plan to build larger LV eg  RL 8t Neutron or RLV.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 03/01/2021 10:18 pm
No plan to build larger LV eg  RL 8t Neutron or RLV.

... or eat hat.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ragmar on 03/11/2021 08:23 pm
Has Astra posted a service guide publicly anywhere?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Asteroza on 03/12/2021 02:53 am
No plan to build larger LV eg  RL 8t Neutron or RLV.

... or eat hat.

The (hat) cake is a lie!

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1369402715676303363 (https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1369402715676303363)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 03/16/2021 01:12 pm
A couple of additions to Astra team:

https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1371457284937633792

https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1371821472591716354
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 03/16/2021 08:42 pm
John Kraus got a really sick image of Delphin starting up on the test stand. https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1371937929174474752/photo/1
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/22/2021 12:08 am
Higher res version: https://flic.kr/p/2kM5Ybz
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2021 05:55 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1378043089365786627

Quote
🔥Fire and ice! 🧊

Check out a recent hotfire test of our upper stage engine, Aether. Ice accumulates on LOX lines in our test chambers and is shaken off at engine ignition, generating a brief shower of ice. #AdAstra

We're hiring: astra.com/careers/

📸: @johnkrausphotos
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/16/2021 06:49 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1383129067344457729

Quote
I’m on a personal trip to NorCal but had a few hours free this morning to make a stop, and one CEO has persistently asked me to visit his factory.

Thanks for the @Astra tour, @Kemp & co.!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 05/02/2021 07:00 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1388858816679251971
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 05/02/2021 08:13 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1388858816679251971

That article is really good, and everyone interested in Astra ought to read it.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/02/inside-astras-rocket-factory-as-the-company-prepares-to-go-public.html

Some highlights:
Wants to get the total cost of their rocket down to <$500,000
They've switched from carbon fiber to aluminum fairings, bring the cost of them from $250,000 down to $33,000
Need less than 10 people in mission control for launch, and only need 6 at launch site
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 05/02/2021 08:18 pm
That article is really good, and everyone interested in Astra ought to read it.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/02/inside-astras-rocket-factory-as-the-company-prepares-to-go-public.html

Some highlights:
Wants to get the total cost of their rocket down to <$500,000
They've switched from carbon fiber to aluminum fairings, bring the cost of them from $250,000 down to $33,000
Need less than 10 people in mission control for launch, and only need 6 at launch site

I thought they were already down to just needing five people at the launch site (https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/astra-set-up-a-rocket-launch-with-five-people-and-came-within-seconds-of-orbit/), so saying they're going to reduce it to six feels odd to me.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: beardedNoobz on 05/03/2021 03:42 am

That article is really good, and everyone interested in Astra ought to read it.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/02/inside-astras-rocket-factory-as-the-company-prepares-to-go-public.html

Some highlights:
Wants to get the total cost of their rocket down to <$500,000
They've switched from carbon fiber to aluminum fairings, bring the cost of them from $250,000 down to $33,000
Need less than 10 people in mission control for launch, and only need 6 at launch site

I think if they managed to do that, it will be a legit business model. Unlike Rocket Lab that needed to step up the market because spacex/soyuz rideshare, as long as the launch cost is below or at least close to $2mil, they will survive. The promised $2mil cost to launch Starship is still a long way to go, and I read somewhere Gwyne Shotwell said the are trying to market Starship at current F9 cost with Starship capability for foreseeable future.
Not all payload can do rideshare and the market is still profitable as long as they can win the contract.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Vultur on 05/03/2021 04:53 am
<$500,000 orbital rocket sounds pretty impressive.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 05/03/2021 08:56 am
I thought they were already down to just needing five people at the launch site (https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/astra-set-up-a-rocket-launch-with-five-people-and-came-within-seconds-of-orbit/), so saying they're going to reduce it to six feels odd to me.

"needs just five people" is Eric Berger's perception, not a statement by Astra. That was a launch under special Covid restrictions.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Genial Precis on 05/03/2021 05:19 pm
<$500,000 orbital rocket sounds pretty impressive.
It's very impressive, though I imagine you need a fair amount of traffic to run a rocket company that way.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: beardedNoobz on 05/04/2021 01:47 pm
<$500,000 orbital rocket sounds pretty impressive.
It's very impressive, though I imagine you need a fair amount of traffic to run a rocket company that way.

$500K is production cost. They will sell it at 3 to 5 millions USD. So the margin is rather high per launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: friendly3 on 05/05/2021 01:27 am
$500K is production cost. They will sell it at 3 to 5 millions USD. So the margin is rather high per launch.

How could you know? NASA announced Feb. 26 that it awarded a $7.95 million contract to Astra for three launches of the company’s Rocket 3 vehicle. That's $2.65 million per launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/05/2021 04:44 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Vultur on 05/05/2021 06:32 am
I wouldn't invest in any launch company (except SpaceX, if that were possible) at this point. But this seems more plausible than most competitors except RocketLab - there ought to be some market for non-rideshare small payloads.

(Also, is the billions of dollars company valuation, or actually spent? From F1/F9, a rocket this size shouldn't cost anything like a billion dollars to develop.)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/05/2021 06:59 am
I wouldn't invest in any launch company (except SpaceX, if that were possible) at this point. But this seems more plausible than most competitors except RocketLab - there ought to be some market for non-rideshare small payloads.

(Also, is the billions of dollars company valuation, or actually spent? From F1/F9, a rocket this size shouldn't cost anything like a billion dollars to develop.)

I have no idea what the valuation is. I was just going by the valuation levels that Rocketlab and Virgin SPAC’s got recently. The SPAC frenzy is at mad levels.🤷‍♂️
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 05/05/2021 07:19 am
So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

Don't see a multi-billion evaluation of Astra. Besides from that: It depends on the capital cost. If investors expect low interest rates for a long time, a low ROCE (return on capital employed) can be acceptable - it still yields profit on the bottom line.

The fair value of a company always depends on both - the company's expected earnings and the money market situation.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/05/2021 07:22 am


I wouldn't invest in any launch company (except SpaceX, if that were possible) at this point. But this seems more plausible than most competitors except RocketLab - there ought to be some market for non-rideshare small payloads.

(Also, is the billions of dollars company valuation, or actually spent? From F1/F9, a rocket this size shouldn't cost anything like a billion dollars to develop.)

I have no idea what the valuation is. I was just going by the valuation levels that Rocketlab and Virgin SPAC’s got recently. The SPAC frenzy is at mad levels.

RL has steady revenue stream which is more than can be said for some of these going down SPARC path. Lot are forecasting large future profits with no significant past or present revenue.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 05/05/2021 01:40 pm
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

So to be clear, you're not actually talking about the business case, but the investment case, right? Because while it might not make sense to invest in Astra, their business case is, "we're the cheapest", and therefore perhaps the best in the market.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/05/2021 01:49 pm
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.
I actually don’t think the commercial orbital launch part is gonna be where the value is.

Imagine $500,000 for basically a ground transportable miniature ICBM (could be a conventional, precision-guided payload).

A Tomahawk cruise missile (which granted has a much greater payload) is $1.5 million each and has a fraction of the range.

It’s like having an Aegis missile cruiser but it can defend Taiwan from a Normandy-scale invasion without leaving its home port in California. (And you don’t even need the boat to float. And it doesn’t even need to be a boat: can be 5 guys in a random field in Alaska.)

Or if you need to replenish a constellation in a couple hours because your adversary just anti-satted the entire sky. Or you want a cheap ballistic missile defense capability (who cares if it takes 3 anti-ICBM missiles for each ICBM or even each MIRVed warhead if your anti-ICBM missiles are that cheap??). Ultra-cheap expendable launch capability changes the strategic calculus of all this stuff. It makes much of the Navy unnecessary. Global hegemony on the cheap, without the massive footprint of military bases and ships all over the planet.

The real value of an ultra-cheap expendable launch capability is military. This is why DARPA funded the challenge. A huge valuation like that is Jonesing for an acquisition by a defense giant.

It’s also why I don’t particularly like the “cheap access to space by cheap expendable rockets” concept: it fundamentally is about making cheap missiles, whereas full reuse is optimizing for recoverable transport and is less militarily useful than the same capability would be if expendable.

EDIT: And this isn’t just pure speculation. Look at who they’ve gotten funded contracts from. One was from the Missile Defense Agency for developing technology for parts for “Missile Defense Interceptors.”

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/03/26/ventionsastra-space/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gudetama on 05/06/2021 06:16 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

Astra's investor deck shows a target of 300 launches in 2025 with 70% gross margins. Whether or not this is achievable....who knows. I'd be curious to know if the market demand really is there to support Astra's supply of nearly daily launches.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/06/2021 07:42 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

So to be clear, you're not actually talking about the business case, but the investment case, right? Because while it might not make sense to invest in Astra, their business case is, "we're the cheapest", and therefore perhaps the best in the market.

Closing a business case means closing the financial case. You can be cheapest and best, but operate at a tremendous loss while doing so. Then you don’t have a business case.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/06/2021 07:44 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

Astra's investor deck shows a target of 300 launches in 2025 with 70% gross margins. Whether or not this is achievable....who knows. I'd be curious to know if the market demand really is there to support Astra's supply of nearly daily launches.

Haha.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/06/2021 08:16 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

Astra's investor deck shows a target of 300 launches in 2025 with 70% gross margins. Whether or not this is achievable....who knows. I'd be curious to know if the market demand really is there to support Astra's supply of nearly daily launches.

Haha.
RL were forecasting forenightly to weekly launches by now with no small LV competition. Markets never pan out as forecasted. By 2025 small LV market will be lot more competitive, just don't  see Astra doing much more than dozen or more launches a year by then.



Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/07/2021 04:54 pm
https://flic.kr/p/2kX8S6C

Quote
Astra HQ | Alameda, CA
Photo credit: Astra / John Kraus
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/19/2021 01:14 pm
https://astra.com/news/planet-labs-using-space-to-help-life-on-earth/

Quote
PLANET LABS: USING SPACE TO HELP LIFE ON EARTH
MAY 18, 2021
By Chris Kemp

We are thrilled to be working with Planet Labs on a multi-launch mission in 2022. This is a milestone for both of our companies, and creates an important inflection point as we begin delivering launch services to our customers that are creating a healthier and more connected planet.

Planet’s mission is to image the world every day to make global change visible, accessible and actionable. This has huge implications across the global economy, such as powering efficient agriculture that can feed more people more affordably and helping the forestry industry fine-tune sustainable practices. This is the kind of real change in people’s lives that companies like Planet are enabling and supporting every day.

My relationship with Planet goes back to Astra’s founding, when I joined the Planet team as an advisor in 2013. Two rockets carrying Planet missions exploded, destroying a total of 34 satellites. After experiencing the frustration and inefficiency first-hand, I recognized that many companies needed better infrastructure services. This was part of the inspiration that led Adam London and me to found Astra and provide a more reliable, affordable, and efficient way to get to space.

I’m especially excited about how we are building toward this space platform. Our launch services have the ability to deliver payloads of up to 500 kg to 500 km. Our vertically integrated rocket means we are able to rapidly iterate to produce our parts on-site and decrease costs, translating to lower prices for both the enterprises and entrepreneurs who are harnessing the $1 trillion economic opportunity to build in space.

Working with the team at Planet marks the next important step in expanding and accelerating access to space. Learn more here:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/551625809
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ParabolicSnark on 05/19/2021 03:08 pm
After that video showing the second stage extending far into the fairing, I've wondered how much usable space they actually have left. I was just messing around with some of their images to get an idea of that payload volume on Rocket 3. I think it's about the size of a basketball, maybe a cubic foot tops.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 05/19/2021 09:20 pm
Astra just added the following performance chart to their Launch Services (https://astra.com/launch-services/) page...but I can't believe this is describing Rocket 3. This suggests performance greater than that of Electron, and possibly greater than LauncherOne, too. We've known for a while that Astra is planning a bigger rocket, and the page doesn't explicitly say this is for Rocket 3...perhaps these are the anticipated numbers for Rocket 4?

(https://imgur.com/a/oUboh5d)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/20/2021 12:18 am
Astra just added the following performance chart to their Launch Services (https://astra.com/launch-services/) page...but I can't believe this is describing Rocket 3. This suggests performance greater than that of Electron, and possibly greater than LauncherOne, too. We've known for a while that Astra is planning a bigger rocket, and the page doesn't explicitly say this is for Rocket 3...perhaps these are the anticipated numbers for Rocket 4?

(https://imgur.com/a/oUboh5d)

This is certainly not Astra Rocket 3.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/21/2021 06:01 am
https://www.flickr.com/photos/astraphotos/51191547697/

Quote
Rocket 3.1 | Orbital Launch Attempt | Heat distortion
Photo credit: Astra / John Kraus
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: LH2NHI on 05/30/2021 09:42 am
This video is very interesting because it introduces Astra's engine, the position of the second stage in the fairing, machining with general machine tools and the state of the test stand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKWG4RMgcgY
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 05/30/2021 10:34 am
This video is very interesting because it introduces Astra's engine, the position of the second stage in the fairing, machining with general machine tools and the state of the test stand.

That's some random guy's re-upload. Original video from Astra was discussed back here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2187631#msg2187631).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 05/31/2021 02:40 am
So again - what’s the business case here? $3m/launch means you need 100 launches to get to $300m annual revenue.

Given typical net after tax profit margins of around 15% (generous estimate), that means maybe $45m profit per year on 100 launches.

So fine for a small business, but if this generates multiple billions of investment through some sort of SPAC (or have they SPACed already?), that just isn’t justifiable.

At 100 launches a year that would require something like 20 years just to recover a billion dollars of original investment, ignoring time value of money and the risk of disruptive competitors killing their business.

Just not a good investment, I have to be frank.

Astra's investor deck shows a target of 300 launches in 2025 with 70% gross margins. Whether or not this is achievable....who knows. I'd be curious to know if the market demand really is there to support Astra's supply of nearly daily launches.

Haha.
RL were forecasting forenightly to weekly launches by now with no small LV competition. Markets never pan out as forecasted. By 2025 small LV market will be lot more competitive, just don't  see Astra doing much more than dozen or more launches a year by then.



Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk


We saw a lot of bad market forecasts back in the 1990s, during the first wave of new space companies. Every market forecast was junk.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jongoff on 06/01/2021 05:56 am
This video is very interesting because it introduces Astra's engine, the position of the second stage in the fairing, machining with general machine tools and the state of the test stand.


It was cool seeing Mike Judson get to make a cameo in the video (at the ~2:47 mark). He was one of my two last interns at Masten the summer I left to start Altius (the other was Tim Ellis who started Relativity), and was one of my early employees at Altius (he was the other guy on our Sticky Boom zero-g flight back in 2011). Great engineer, and glad to see him get a minute in that video.

~Jon
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/01/2021 06:07 pm
This video is very interesting because it introduces Astra's engine, the position of the second stage in the fairing, machining with general machine tools and the state of the test stand.

That's some random guy's re-upload. Original video from Astra was discussed back here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2187631#msg2187631).

It's an extended version.  If someone can point me to an official source of the full video I'll gladly replace the link.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/05/2021 08:03 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1401262218478489603

Quote
Successful Upper Stage hot fire last night with near-perfect LOX/RP-1 prop depletion observed on that full duration burn - Astra's Chris Kemp.

youtube.com/watch?v=6L3lKG…
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/05/2021 08:11 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1401269977034993664

Quote
Astra's CEO on the case against reusability on cheap aluminum small rockets. Noting Rocket Lab want their carbon fiber back, but for the "tin cans" and simplicity of Astra, it's about economics.

youtube.com/watch?v=6L3lKG…
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 06/05/2021 08:15 pm
Big thing from that stream I'd like to note: they expect to build a dozen more Rocket 3s, and then start launching Rocket 4 next year. Rocket 4 to have a new, bigger engine, with no details.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/05/2021 08:50 pm
a few notes I jotted down during the show (some already mentioned above):

rocket 3.4 is 5 feet longer
rocket 4.0 next year, weekly launches, several hundred kg of payload, new engine
flying monthly starting in fourth quarter, increased run of 3.x series production to a dozen
aiming for high reliability but not 100%
engines electrically gimballed, electric pump fed.  Two 3D printed parts, main combustion chamber and pump impellers.  Those are the most expensive parts, would like to move to different manufacturing method.
almost 180 employees now
currently certifying AFTS system, running in shadow mode now
Cape could be backup option for TROPICS launches
looking for eventually around a dozen spaceports
will have their own spacecraft bus to which customers can easily add sensors/payloads/programs
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FlattestEarth on 06/06/2021 12:43 am
Rocket 4 to have a new, bigger engine, with no details.
Wonder if it will be electric pump and if it can still be tested at Alameda.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: space_snap828 on 06/06/2021 12:53 am
aiming for high reliability but not 100%

My problem with this goal follows this analogy. If I aim for a B in a class from the beginning, I will likely fail the class. I'll cut corners and fall behind. So, if they aim for a little less than 100% success, they might end up with much less than 100%.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/06/2021 04:59 am
Very interesting how they have the totally opposite view to Relativity when it comes to 3D printing. Kemp says 3D printing is the worst possible approach to take if you want to mass produce something at low cost.

Relativity, by contrast, want to 3D print absolutely everything.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/06/2021 06:26 am
Very interesting how they have the totally opposite view to Relativity when it comes to 3D printing. Kemp says 3D printing is the worst possible approach to take if you want to mass produce something at low cost.

Relativity, by contrast, want to 3D print absolutely evertything.
The car industry doesn't 3D parts for their mainstream cars.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/06/2021 06:30 am
Very interesting how they have the totally opposite view to Relativity when it comes to 3D printing. Kemp says 3D printing is the worst possible approach to take if you want to mass produce something at low cost.

Relativity, by contrast, want to 3D print absolutely evertything.
The car industry doesn't 3D parts for their mainstream cars.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Yep, I’m not criticising Kemp’s statement. I’m noting how this calls into question Relativity’s self proclaimed competitive advantage, which is entirely based on a 3D printing approach to everything.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: uranium on 06/06/2021 02:09 pm
I don't think it's a contradiction. Relativity isn't talking about making 100000 of anything. Their advantage comes from being able to reduce their part count, labor cost, iteration time, and supply chain, not because they can make individual parts cheaper.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 06/06/2021 02:25 pm
He is absolutely right about 3D printing. I've worked quite bit with metal printing especially, and while it looks shiny there are no good reasons to use it outside of one-off prototyping or very specific specialized parts that can't be made any other way where cost is no criteria.

If you think about the taxonomy of manipulating material, you go from bending and riveting through cutting and welding to machining and casting. You spend a bit more energy and wast material at each stage for a bit more capability. 3D printing is at the very extreme end of this scale. You literally grind the material down into tiny particles and rebuild and melt every bit of it from scratch.

Not only does this use pretty much the highest possible amount of energy to build a given part, the melting process also vaporizes about 50% of the material and wastes it into the air outlet filter. You also have constraints on material selection which is inconvenient considering you'd use it for especially high performing parts.

If you can cast the part instead of printing it, you save the material without increasing energy use. If you can machine it, you use far less energy but still waste some material. For something like a tank, both are far too complex. Bending and welding sheets, hoops and stringers is dirt cheap not just because it is simple and reliable technology, but also from a first principles point of view regarding material and energy cost that you can't get past regardless of technological development.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/06/2021 05:01 pm
He is absolutely right about 3D printing. I've worked quite bit with metal printing especially, and while it looks shiny there are no good reasons to use it outside of one-off prototyping or very specific specialized parts that can't be made any other way where cost is no criteria.

If you think about the taxonomy of manipulating material, you go from bending and riveting through cutting and welding to machining and casting. You spend a bit more energy and wast material at each stage for a bit more capability. 3D printing is at the very extreme end of this scale. You literally grind the material down into tiny particles and rebuild and melt every bit of it from scratch.

Not only does this use pretty much the highest possible amount of energy to build a given part, the melting process also vaporizes about 50% of the material and wastes it into the air outlet filter. You also have constraints on material selection which is inconvenient considering you'd use it for especially high performing parts.

If you can cast the part instead of printing it, you save the material without increasing energy use. If you can machine it, you use far less energy but still waste some material. For something like a tank, both are far too complex. Bending and welding sheets, hoops and stringers is dirt cheap not just because it is simple and reliable technology, but also from a first principles point of view regarding material and energy cost that you can't get past regardless of technological development.
You forgot to add quality control of material in end product. With forging or sheet metal we know properties of the end product as process doesn't change it much.

Additiving manufacturing means bonding lots of matetial together by heat typically laser or arch welding. The quality of each one of those bonds has to be consistant.
With 3D a lot of printing R&amp;D has gone into determining if material properties of end product are with spec.
As example solid looking block of plastic we 3d printed at work on $1000 printer was porous. This wasn't by design just result of not so perfect bonding between layers.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 06/06/2021 05:26 pm
He is absolutely right about 3D printing. I've worked quite bit with metal printing especially, and while it looks shiny there are no good reasons to use it outside of one-off prototyping or very specific specialized parts that can't be made any other way where cost is no criteria.

If you think about the taxonomy of manipulating material, you go from bending and riveting through cutting and welding to machining and casting. You spend a bit more energy and wast material at each stage for a bit more capability. 3D printing is at the very extreme end of this scale. You literally grind the material down into tiny particles and rebuild and melt every bit of it from scratch.

Not only does this use pretty much the highest possible amount of energy to build a given part, the melting process also vaporizes about 50% of the material and wastes it into the air outlet filter. You also have constraints on material selection which is inconvenient considering you'd use it for especially high performing parts.

If you can cast the part instead of printing it, you save the material without increasing energy use. If you can machine it, you use far less energy but still waste some material. For something like a tank, both are far too complex. Bending and welding sheets, hoops and stringers is dirt cheap not just because it is simple and reliable technology, but also from a first principles point of view regarding material and energy cost that you can't get past regardless of technological development.
You forgot to add quality control of material in end product. With forging or sheet metal we know properties of the end product as process doesn't change it much.

Additiving manufacturing means bonding lots of matetial together by heat typically laser or arch welding. The quality of each one of those bonds has to be consistant.
With 3D a lot of printing R&amp;D has gone into determining if material properties of end product are with spec.
As example solid looking block of plastic we 3d printed at work on $1000 printer was porous. This wasn't by design just result of not so perfect bonding between layers.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Good call on the quality aspect. Guess I should have remembered that considering my work is on the quality monitoring software... With metal especially since you're ripping apart all the crystal structures that were evolved in thousands of years of metalworking. Printed crystal formation monitoring is literally an unsolved research problem. Quality control currently largely amounts to looking for outliers in a few brightness and energy values with little connection to actual physical properties.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2021 12:09 pm
https://spacenews.com/astra-to-acquire-spacecraft-propulsion-company-apollo-fusion/

Quote
Astra to acquire spacecraft propulsion company Apollo Fusion
by Jeff Foust — June 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Launch vehicle developer Astra is acquiring Apollo Fusion, a company developing electric propulsion systems for spacecraft, as part of its effort to create vertically integrated space systems.

Astra is purchasing Apollo Fusion for $30 million in stock and $20 million in cash in a deal announced June 7.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2021 12:48 pm
https://spacenews.com/astra-to-acquire-spacecraft-propulsion-company-apollo-fusion/

Quote
Astra to acquire spacecraft propulsion company Apollo Fusion
by Jeff Foust — June 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Launch vehicle developer Astra is acquiring Apollo Fusion, a company developing electric propulsion systems for spacecraft, as part of its effort to create vertically integrated space systems.

Astra is purchasing Apollo Fusion for $30 million in stock and $20 million in cash in a deal announced June 7.
That SPAC money is apparently burning a hole in their pocket. They will need to spend it fast before somebody figures out that the 300 launches a year driving the valuation of their currently suborbital launcher is wildly optimistic...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2021 01:11 pm
https://astra.com/news/astra-apollo-reaching-new-orbits-together/?swcfpc=1

Quote
ASTRA & APOLLO: REACHING NEW ORBITS TOGETHER
JUNE 7, 2021
By: Benjamin Lyon

Today, we announced that Astra will acquire Apollo Fusion. This acquisition enables Astra to efficiently deliver and operate throughout our solar system, and brings incredible technology and talent into our team.

So, what is this all really about? At Astra we’re focused on rapid and affordable access to space. This really requires two kinds of transportation: You always have to first fly from Earth to a low orbit on the edge of space, and Astra shines in getting you to the best possible low orbit for your mission. However, often you need to keep going — to fly higher in space for your operational mission. And this is where Apollo comes in.

Let’s dig into this a bit. When flying from the ground to space, you need powerful, high-thrust engines to overcome gravity and push the vehicle with its payload through the atmosphere at an ever-increasing speed. This requires a LOT of thrust and consumes a huge amount of fuel. (Typically, 90% of more of the weight of a rocket ready to lift off is fuel) Once you get to space and are in a low orbit, the spacecraft is floating in zero gravity, so you can use very small forces to move around. This is analogous to a getting a boat into a lake – it’s very heavy to lift and carry it on the ground, but light paddling will move it easily once it’s in the water.

This “paddling” is where electric propulsion (EP) systems come into play in space. Harnessing the power of the sun, they use electricity to accelerate a very small flow of inert gas to high speed, producing a constant, low thrust that is highly efficient. The high efficiency allows a spacecraft to slowly but continuously accelerate, which moves it to a higher and higher orbit. This makes EP an excellent solution for going from low earth orbits to medium, high, or geostationary orbits, and even to the moon or beyond!

We chose Apollo Fusion because they had developed a best-in-class EP system that is cost-effective and reliable, at scale. Apollo’s design cycles are measured in months, not years, and their solutions are both easy to manufacture and to assemble. They don’t see their job as done when they have something that initially works. Apollo continues to optimize for manufacturability and scalability.

Astra has purposefully drawn its talent from beyond the aerospace industry, and bringing the best practices from tech, automotive, services and other industries has been a key element to our rapid progress to date. Apollo Founder and CEO, Mike Cassidy, shares the same belief in the value diverse skill sets bring. He has both the understanding and experience of how bring consumer technologies like high performance, low power processing to aerospace, with team members from companies such as SpaceX, Google, Tesla and Apple. Their deep expertise is important too: Apollo team members have contributed to over 2,000 satellites in orbit today. Their culture shares Astra’s focus on maximizing development velocity, designing for scale, and passion about the opportunity that space creates.

We are delighted to welcome the Apollo Fusion team into the Astra team! I’m excited to see what we do together.

Ad Astra!

-B
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 06/07/2021 01:13 pm
They will need to spend it fast
No they don't.
The whole point of a SPAC is they get an immediate lump-sum cash injection with very minimal strings attached (i.e. no jumping through the hoops of an IPO) and no debt to repay. The post-acquisition stock price tanking makes further investment funding rounds unlikely and annoys employees expecting large share option payouts (and means investors in the initial SPAC make out poorly), but does not mean Astra's existing funding suddenly vanishes. That cash is in the bank.
It's prudent to spend what they have to accelerate development - as their R&D is paid for by past income rather than future debt, penny-pinching and stretching development time to reduce total R&D outlay is not an optimal strategy - but not mandatory.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2021 01:55 pm
They will need to spend it fast
No they don't.
The whole point of a SPAC is they get an immediate lump-sum cash injection with very minimal strings attached (i.e. no jumping through the hoops of an IPO) and no debt to repay. The post-acquisition stock price tanking makes further investment funding rounds unlikely and annoys employees expecting large share option payouts (and means investors in the initial SPAC make out poorly), but does not mean Astra's existing funding suddenly vanishes. That cash is in the bank.
It's prudent to spend what they have to accelerate development - as their R&D is paid for by past income rather than future debt, penny-pinching and stretching development time to reduce total R&D outlay is not an optimal strategy - but not mandatory.
The SPAC has not closed yet, and they do not yet have the cash in their bank account. See Momentus for details.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: deadman1204 on 06/07/2021 02:09 pm
He is absolutely right about 3D printing. I've worked quite bit with metal printing especially, and while it looks shiny there are no good reasons to use it outside of one-off prototyping or very specific specialized parts that can't be made any other way where cost is no criteria.

If you think about the taxonomy of manipulating material, you go from bending and riveting through cutting and welding to machining and casting. You spend a bit more energy and wast material at each stage for a bit more capability. 3D printing is at the very extreme end of this scale. You literally grind the material down into tiny particles and rebuild and melt every bit of it from scratch.

Not only does this use pretty much the highest possible amount of energy to build a given part, the melting process also vaporizes about 50% of the material and wastes it into the air outlet filter. You also have constraints on material selection which is inconvenient considering you'd use it for especially high performing parts.

If you can cast the part instead of printing it, you save the material without increasing energy use. If you can machine it, you use far less energy but still waste some material. For something like a tank, both are far too complex. Bending and welding sheets, hoops and stringers is dirt cheap not just because it is simple and reliable technology, but also from a first principles point of view regarding material and energy cost that you can't get past regardless of technological development.

if 50% of your material is caught in air filters, how do you manage that for larger projects?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/07/2021 02:35 pm
https://twitter.com/kemp/status/1401908302305320961

Quote
Update on @Astra’s process of going public - our S-4 is now effective with the SEC. We will start mailing proxy statements today for shareholders of $HOL to vote ahead of the shareholder meeting on 6/30. We intend to start trading on @Nasdaq as $ASTR on 7/1!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2021 03:34 pm
https://twitter.com/kemp/status/1401908302305320961

Quote
Update on @Astra’s process of going public - our S-4 is now effective with the SEC. We will start mailing proxy statements today for shareholders of $HOL to vote ahead of the shareholder meeting on 6/30. We intend to start trading on @Nasdaq as $ASTR on 7/1!
There you go.

Now the issue here is that Holicity's shareholders - the people who own the SPAC units - can redeem their units for the value they paid, $10.00, plus interest.

So if the share trades below that price, or people believe it will trade below that price, as Holicity has done in the past month, the SPAC may see some problems closing [edited] the merger, as happened with Stable Road and Momentus, or, if goes through, potentially lots of redemptions, reducing the cash in trust at the SPAC, and thus the cash that lands in the bank account of the merger target.

The only capital that is locked in is the money in the PIPE, and those investors are only "in" because they can buy cheap, and in happier times expect a big 50%-100% pop when the stock traded.

But with many announced SPACs trading close to or below redemption price, and those closing trading well below the redemption price, the PIPE market has dried up in the past 10-12 weeks, because all those ebullient announcements in Q1 are struggling to close at significant pops.

And the PIPE market is very important as it basically validates the price negotiated between SPAC and target. So without a solid PIPE, it's unlikely the SPAC will succeed.

Three examples, two of which are related:-

AST Mobile: a business that says it can make (literally, see slide 30 of the investor deck) a 99% profit margin, lol. Drops 30% within days of trading to about $7 and change. PIPE investors are underwater.

Arqit: announces a $400m SPAC merger with Centricus - but with a tiny $70m PIPE made up of connected investors (related to the same guys running the SPAC). SPAC is trading below redemption price since it was announced, $9.96

Rocket Lab: which is the pick of the litter, is barely trading above redemption price at $10.06. Peter Beck is probably doing all the promotional conferences possible to make sure that price stays afloat.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/07/2021 04:57 pm
Thanks for update on SPACs.

Here is quick summary of four space ones. Of four only Astra isn't operational with solid revenue stream.
https://investorplace.com/2021/03/4-space-spacs-with-exciting-futures/?mod=mw_quote_news

All four's near term earnings projections are optimistic to say the less. I think Redwire is one with best grow potential, they have MIS. In space manufacturing is still a while away but will be massive if we are to expand into space.

 Blacksky is operating in competitive and crowded earth observation market. Don't see them going under but also don't see massive grow.

RL has steady revenue stream from varied space business. While launch gets all media coverage RL isn't solely reliant on it.
I don't think they will hit their optimistic future earnings predictions anytime soon but I do expect them to survive and do well.

Astra is big gamble, Unlike RL and Redwire they seem to be one trick pony that has yet to start making money. Small LV market is going to become very crowded in next couple of years. With RLVs likely to dominate.





Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 06/07/2021 05:21 pm
So if the share trades below that price, or people believe it will trade below that price, as Holicity has done in the past month, the SPAC may see a vote against the merger, as happened with Stable Road and Momentus,

I don't know what you mean by "a vote against the merger, as happened with Stable Road".  Stable Road had to have a vote to extend the deadline for the merger agreement (the SPACs have a limited lifetime) or the agreement would have been automatically canceled.  The vote (barely) passed.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/07/2021 05:44 pm
So if the share trades below that price, or people believe it will trade below that price, as Holicity has done in the past month, the SPAC may see a vote against the merger, as happened with Stable Road and Momentus,

I don't know what you mean by "a vote against the merger, as happened with Stable Road".  Stable Road had to have a vote to extend the deadline for the merger agreement (the SPACs have a limited lifetime) or the agreement would have been automatically canceled.  The vote (barely) passed.
I meant the first vote where they didn't get the 65% support to extend the timeline, which as you say would have killed the merger. But I see they have re-voted with barely quorate success now, with 66.2%. So we can put that in the resounding success column....
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/07/2021 07:26 pm
The former Chief Engineer is stepping down.

Chris Thompson is leaving?

As Chief Engineer, to be clear.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 06/07/2021 07:40 pm
Astra is big gamble, Unlike RL and Redwire they seem to be one trick pony that has yet to start making money. Small LV market is going to become very crowded in next couple of years. With RLVs likely to dominate.

Actually, hasn't Astra been talking recently about diversifying their portfolio? With the acquisition of Apollo Fusion, they now have skin in the "satellite components" game, and they've been making noises that sound like they plan to build a kick-stage/satellite bus similar to Photon, too. Aside from their "big" we'll-eventually-get-there rocket being a 500-kg-to-LEO vehicle, not an 8-ton medium-lift launcher, they're actually going into basically the same markets Rocket Lab is.

That said, their talk about "we'll be flying Rocket 3 monthly by the end of 2021, and Rocket 4 weekly during 2022" seems even more optimistic than Rocket Lab's "we'll design, build, and launch Neutron by 2024," so they're not in exactly the same category.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/12/2021 09:53 pm
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1403831428736028675

Quote
Astra has got big plans for small rockets. Here's two pages of history and aspirations, as told by CEO Chris Kemp during an interview on NSF Live:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/astra-ceo-chris-kemp-previews-rocket-4-0-daily-launches-and-a-smarter-planet/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/14/2021 10:14 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1404561129150443522

Quote
Testing the Delphin rocket engine at our Orion facility here at Astra HQ. We operate on a repurposed naval base, which is the ideal facility to help achieve Astra's vision of improving life on Earth from space. bit.ly/astraearth #AdAstra

Image courtesy of @johnkrausphotos
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/18/2021 06:31 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1405950229388595202

Quote
Astra’s open-floor rocket factory allows for collaboration between team members as we scale production. Visit our website to learn more bit.ly/astra-site

#AdAstra
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 06/19/2021 11:17 am
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/19/2021 11:41 am
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1405950229388595202

Quote
Astra’s open-floor rocket factory allows for collaboration between team members as we scale production. Visit our website to learn more bit.ly/astra-site

#AdAstra

Seriously?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Scintillant on 06/19/2021 06:29 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1405950229388595202

Quote
Astra’s open-floor rocket factory allows for collaboration between team members as we scale production. Visit our website to learn more bit.ly/astra-site

#AdAstra

Some Twitter users spotted an interesting looking thing in the top left corner. Anyone know what that rocket is for?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 06/19/2021 06:48 pm
Some Twitter users spotted an interesting looking thing in the top left corner. Anyone know what that rocket is for?

Seems to have DARPA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA) logos on it. Obviously Astra was the last contender for the DARPA Launch Challenge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA_Grand_Challenge#2018_Launch_Challenge), but that expired over a year ago, does Astra have ongoing involvement with DARPA? We know that the rocket in the picture can't be the DARPA Launch Challenge rocket, since that was lost in an on-pad RUD. (There are masks in the picture, so I don't think it's an old picture from February 2020 or earlier, either.)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zond on 06/19/2021 07:10 pm
Some Twitter users spotted an interesting looking thing in the top left corner. Anyone know what that rocket is for?
It seems to be the SALVO rocket (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36753.0) that Ventions (Astra's predecessor) was developing for DARPA. It matches with the picture on Skyrocket's website: https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm (https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/19/2021 07:43 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1405950229388595202

Quote
Astra’s open-floor rocket factory allows for collaboration between team members as we scale production. Visit our website to learn more bit.ly/astra-site

#AdAstra

Some Twitter users spotted an interesting looking thing in the top left corner. Anyone know what that rocket is for?

I think this the cancelled airlaunched SALVO rocket developed for DARPA by Ventions, which later more or less became Astra. I had only seen a very low resolution image of SALVO before in one presentation.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gmbnz on 06/25/2021 11:53 pm
https://www.satellitetoday.com/business/2021/06/24/chris-kemp-talks-astra-spac-and-his-no-gimmicks-approach-to-rockets/

There's not a huge amount of new information in there but just paraphrasing the article:
- Astra’s deal with Holicity, Inc. is expected to close on June 30, and to provide up to $500 million in cash proceeds
- Plan to start monthly launches in the fourth quarter, weekly next year, then eventually daily. Compares to RL which isn't monthly launches even after 4 years of launches
- Keen to launch on non-US soil for other countries, RL has ITAR precedent for NZ launch site so should be possible
- Total rocket production cost <$2m - plan to be cheaper per kg than RL by scaling production more even though current mass to orbit is less
- Focused on business side rather than tech "gimmicks" like carbon fibre and 3d printing
- Planning on manufacturing SVs
- Most likely do more acquisitions with the SPAC cash
- Going public now before getting to orbit is normal, plenty of SPACs are even further away from being profitable and Astra has significant pipeline and just needs the cash for scaling rather than tech dev

Also does anyone know how to make nice bulletpoints? Thanks!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/26/2021 01:31 am
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1405950229388595202

Quote
Astra’s open-floor rocket factory allows for collaboration between team members as we scale production. Visit our website to learn more bit.ly/astra-site

#AdAstra

Some Twitter users spotted an interesting looking thing in the top left corner. Anyone know what that rocket is for?

I think this the cancelled airlaunched SALVO rocket developed for DARPA by Ventions, which later more or less became Astra. I had only seen a very low resolution image of SALVO before in one presentation.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/salvo.htm

Good guess.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/26/2021 01:33 am
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.

Building up to going public, that's all.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/26/2021 05:46 am
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.

By 2024 the flight schedule will look like this, if you believe the investor deck:

January flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

February flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28.

March flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

April flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

May flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

June flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

July flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

August flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

September flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

October flight dates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

November flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

December flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: meekGee on 06/26/2021 02:26 pm
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.

By 2024 the flight schedule will look like this, if you believe the investor deck:

January flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

February flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28.

March flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

April flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

May flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

June flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

July flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

August flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

September flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

October flight dates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

November flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

December flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.
You had such a simple job.

2024 is a leap year.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 06/26/2021 05:18 pm
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.

By 2024 the flight schedule will look like this, if you believe the investor deck:

January flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

February flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28.

March flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

April flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

May flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

June flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

July flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

August flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

September flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

October flight dates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

November flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

December flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.
You had such a simple job.

2024 is a leap year.
That's a rest day for the launch crews....
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: meekGee on 06/26/2021 06:08 pm
Astra is too talkative in the past weeks, IMHO. Should tell a date for their next launch instead.

By 2024 the flight schedule will look like this, if you believe the investor deck:

January flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

February flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28.

March flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

April flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

May flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

June flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

July flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

August flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

September flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

October flight dates 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.

November flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.

December flight dates
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31.
You had such a simple job.

2024 is a leap year.
That's a rest day for the launch crews....
Once every four years whether they need it or not!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/30/2021 01:38 pm
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210630005611/en/Astra-Becomes-the-First-Space-Launch-Company-to-Trade-on-Nasdaq (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210630005611/en/Astra-Becomes-the-First-Space-Launch-Company-to-Trade-on-Nasdaq)

ALAMEDA, Calif. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”), the fastest privately-funded U.S. company in history to reach space, and Holicity, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOL) (“Holicity”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, today completed their previously announced transaction to take Astra public.... [etc]
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 07/01/2021 02:06 pm
And... they are now public
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 07/03/2021 12:25 am
..and I bought some stock, their symbol is ASTR.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RoadWithoutEnd on 07/03/2021 01:31 am
Astra's case in the NSF interview was very convincing.  They have a Strategy, in the most rigorous sense of the word: All about the logistics, which should be the keystone of any transport system. 

None of the others in its class have been that precise.  Even Rocket Lab, which I believe in implicitly due to its record of getting things done, has been vague lately.

Astra will either succeed or offer valuable insights in why it didn't.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Redclaws on 07/03/2021 02:37 am
Astra will either succeed or offer valuable insights in why it didn't.

I especially like this comment; this is one benefit of a clear plan: Little risk of “not even wrong” style muddles and messes.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/05/2021 05:57 am
Images released yesterday by Astra. First two of rocket 3.1 launch and last two from rocket 3.2 launch day.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/15/2021 11:47 am
From May timeframe:

https://twitter.com/natemartinsf/status/1398807409892618242
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 07/16/2021 04:52 am
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1415791562739625986

Quote
Astra S-1 filing shows the rocket builder had an operating loss of $24.7 million in Q1 2021 and $73.5 million for the year of 2020:

h/t @jordannovet: https://t.co/9GG1xuiu6x $ASTR pic.twitter.com/qXesqO9z10
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 07/16/2021 03:25 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1415791562739625986

Quote
Astra S-1 filing shows the rocket builder had an operating loss of $24.7 million in Q1 2021 and $73.5 million for the year of 2020:

h/t @jordannovet: https://t.co/9GG1xuiu6x $ASTR pic.twitter.com/qXesqO9z10

What was the total funds raised prior to the merger?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Thunderscreech on 07/29/2021 02:21 pm
Application filed for Astra to launch a Rocket-3 NET 10/1/2021:
https://twitter.com/FccSpace/status/1420749777050882052?s=20
Quote
This application is for the launch of Astras Rocket 3-series orbital rocket, for launch attempts between October 1st 2021 and April 1st 2022.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 07/29/2021 04:38 pm
Application filed for Astra to launch a Rocket-3 NET 10/1/2021:

That's interesting because this came out today for August 27 through September 3 and September 7 through September 11.  It doesn't say who is launching.  I thought it might be Astra, but that doesn't fit with an STA starting October 1.

Edit: I just noticed that in the subheading it says "Astra".
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 07/29/2021 04:44 pm
That FCC permit NET October doesn't have to be for the next launch, they already have one granted for August through February.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 07/29/2021 05:02 pm
That FCC permit NET October doesn't have to be for the next launch, they already have one granted for August through February.

Okay, then presumably the notice I posted is for Rocket 3.3 (if that's what they're still calling it).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 07/29/2021 06:03 pm
That FCC permit NET October doesn't have to be for the next launch, they already have one granted for August through February.

Okay, then presumably the notice I posted is for Rocket 3.3 (if that's what they're still calling it).

That's almost certainly it. Their next launch window.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2021 01:02 pm
https://astra.com/news/stp-27ad1/

Quote
ASTRA ANNOUNCES MULTI-LAUNCH CONTRACT AND FIRST LAUNCH WITH DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
AUGUST 5, 2021

Space Force expected to fly demonstration launch no earlier than August 27th   
 
Alameda, CA. August 5, 2021. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), today announced a launch window beginning August 27, 2021 for its first commercial orbital launch with the United States Space Force. Following this launch, Astra is under contract to perform a second launch later this year.
 
“We are thrilled to partner with Astra on this mission and believe this showcases critical low-cost, mobile and responsive launch capability,” said Colonel Carlos Quinones, Director, Department of Defense Space Test Program. 
 
Space Force contracted the launch through the Defense Innovation Unit’s Other Transaction Agreement with Astra. Space Force will be launching a test payload for the Space Test Program (STP-27AD1).
 
“We’re excited to kick off a multi-launch campaign with the Space Force” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Astra. “This orbital demonstration launch allows our team to verify numerous upgrades to our launch system.”
 
STP-27AD1 will be conducted from Astra’s Kodiak Spaceport, located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. The launch window will begin at 1:00PM PT, on Friday, August 27, 2021 and will be open through Saturday, September 11, 2021.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2021 01:54 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1423273966672793606

Quote
[email protected] has "over 50 launches in our backlog," Kemp said.

The company reports its Q2 results on Aug. 12 after the market close. $ASTR

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/05/astra-targeting-late-august-for-next-launch-with-space-force-satellite.html
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 08/05/2021 03:14 pm
Interestingly, the new District 17 weekly report from the US Coast Guard that came out today does NOT include the Astra launch information that was in last week's report (which included the launch notice from PSCA that I posted above).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2021 11:27 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1423425251858259968

Quote
Successful hot fire test ✅.

bit.ly/hot-fire-LV006

#AdAstra

https://vimeo.com/583576217
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 08/08/2021 05:55 pm
0685-EX-CN-2021
Quote
The overall goal of the University of California –Berkeley QubeSat mission, is to research the effects of space environment on a quantum gyroscope based on NV–centers in diamond. NV–centers are defect points in the diamond lattice, where a neighboring pair of lattice positions consists of a nitrogen atom, and a lattice vacancy. NV–centers in diamond can also be used to create magnetometers and other sensors, which are also critical in space missions; this project could provide a platform for further qualification of these sensors.

The satellite will be launched asa secondary payload aboard the VCLS Demo 2 Astra mission, No Earlier Than December 1, 2021. It will be inserted into a 500 km circular orbit, on an inclination from the equator of 41degrees.

2U Cubesat
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 08/12/2021 01:25 pm
https://spacenews.com/astra-announces-launch-contract-with-spire/

Quote
WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle developer Astra Space announced Aug. 12 it has a contract with Spire Global to launch some of that company’s smallsats.

Astra said it will begin launching Spire satellites in the spring of 2022 but did not disclose how many satellites or how many launches are covered under the agreement, or the value of the launch contract.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/12/2021 08:21 pm
https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-second-quarter-2021-financial-results

Quote
ASTRA ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER 2021 FINANCIAL RESULTS
Aug 12, 2021

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 12, 2021-- Astra Space, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended June 30, 2021.

“Astra achieved several key milestones in the first half of 2021 to further its mission to improve life on Earth from space,” said CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Chris Kemp. “Astra obtained significant funding to further our plan for rapid, low-cost access to space by completing the Holicity merger and associated PIPE transaction. We delivered on key customer initiatives by winning our second NASA contract in a row (TROPICS) and signing a long-term launch deal with Planet Labs. And last week, we announced Space Force as our first commercial customer for a test launch planned during a sixteen-day window beginning August 27, 2021. I am pleased with our execution and want to thank the entire Astra team for their dedicated efforts. We all look forward to the upcoming launch.”

“Completing the Holicity merger and PIPE investment led by BlackRock added $464 million to our balance sheet and puts us in a strong cash position as we continue our progress towards daily rocket launches,” said CFO Kelyn Brannon. “Our team overcame many obstacles to arrive at this most exciting chapter in Astra’s quest to deliver low-cost, rapid access to space.”

Second Quarter 2021 and Recent Business Highlights:

Completed our merger with Holicity, Inc. and began publicly trading on the Nasdaq.
Closed our PIPE transaction led by accounts owned and managed by BlackRock.
Added $464 million to our balance sheet (net of fees) via merger and PIPE transactions.
NASA awarded Astra the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS), a three-launch mission to observe and analyze the impact of tropical storms.

Awarded a multi-launch contract from Planet Labs, one of the leading small satellite companies focused on Earth Observation.

Began expansion of our Alameda factory to 350,000 square feet, a tripling of current capacity.
Added to Astra’s leadership team with several executive-level and proven leaders from companies such as Apple, Tesla, Blue Origin, IBM, and SpaceX.

Acquired Apollo Fusion, one of the leading propulsion engines in the market, which expands our total addressable market to mid-Earth, geosynchronous, and lunar orbits.

Announced Space Force will be our first commercial launch customer during a sixteen-day window beginning August 27, 2021.

Awarded the Orbital Services Program (OSP)-4 contract from the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) of the Space Force. This agreement positions Astra to compete for several launches over the next 9 years.

Announced Spire as a customer with plans to begin launching next spring.
Welcomed new board members Michèle Flournoy, a former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy under President Obama, and Lisa Nelson, a former high-level finance executive at Microsoft, to join Astra’s board and partner with current independent directors, Scott Stanford, Mike Lehman and Craig McCaw, to advise Astra.

Second Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights:

GAAP Net Loss was $(31.3) million for the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Adjusted Net Loss* was $(23.1) million for the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Adjusted EBITDA* of $(21.4) million for the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Capital expenditures totaled $8.5 million for the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaled $452.4 million as of June 30, 2021.
_________

*Denotes Non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to “Explanation of Adjusted (or Non-GAAP) Financial Measures” later in this press release for reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP financial measures.

Third Quarter 2021 Outlook

As of August 12, 2021, we are providing guidance for the third quarter 2021 based on current market conditions and expectations. We emphasize that the guidance is subject to various important cautionary factors referenced in the section entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” below and our Form 10-Q, including risks and uncertainties associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the increased transmission rates from the Delta variant. For the third quarter ending September 30, 2021, Astra currently expects:

Adjusted EBITDA* between $(32.0) million and $(35.0) million.
Depreciation and Amortization between $1.0 million and $1.3 million.
Stock-based compensation between $6.0 million and $10.0 million.
Cash taxes of approximately zero.
Basic shares outstanding between 255 million and 260 million.
Capital expenditures between $10.0 million and $15.0 million.
_________

*Denotes Non-GAAP financial measure. Refer to “Explanation of Adjusted (or Non-GAAP) Financial Measures” later in this press release for reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP financial measures.

Conference Call Information

In conjunction with this announcement, Astra will host a conference call for investors at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) today to discuss second quarter results and, our outlook for the third quarter ending September 30, 2021. The live webcast and a replay of the webcast will be available on the Investor Relations section of Astra’s website: https://investor.astra.com/news-and-events/events-and-presentations.

About Astra Space, Inc.

Astra’s mission is to improve life on Earth from space by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Astra’s first flight to space was within 4 years of its inception, making it the fastest company to reach space. Visit www.astra.com for more information.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements made in this press release are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “estimate”, “plan”, “outlook”, and “project” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements reflect the current analysis of existing information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. As a result, caution must be exercised in relying on forward-looking statements. Due to known and unknown risks, actual results may differ materially from Astra’s expectations or projections , including the following factors, among others: (i) the failure to meet projected development and launch targets, including as a result of the decisions of governmental authorities or other third parties not within our control; (ii) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (iii) the ability of the Astra to meet its financial and strategic goals, due to, among other things, competition; (iv) the ability of Astra to pursue a growth strategy and manage growth profitability; (v) the possibility that Astra may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (vi) the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Astra and (vii) other risks and uncertainties described herein, as well as those risks and uncertainties discussed from time to time in other reports and other public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Astra.

Explanation of Adjusted (or Non-GAAP) Financial Measures

This press release includes information about Adjusted Net Loss and Adjusted EBITDA (collectively the “non-GAAP financial measures”). These non-GAAP financial measures are measurements of financial performance that are not prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and computational methods may differ from those used by other companies. Non-GAAP financial measures are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable GAAP measures and should be read only in conjunction with Astra’s consolidated financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. Non-GAAP financial measures are reconciled to GAAP in the table set forth in this release.

We believe that both management and shareholders benefit from referring to these non-GAAP financial measures in planning, forecasting and analyzing future periods. Our management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in planning, monitoring and evaluating its financial and operational decision making and as a means to evaluate period-to-period comparisons. Our management recognizes that the non-GAAP financial measures have inherent limitations because of the excluded items described below.

We believe that providing the non-GAAP financial measures, together with the reconciliation to GAAP, helps investors make comparisons between Astra and other companies in our industry. In making any comparisons to other companies in our industry, investors need to be aware that companies use different non-GAAP measures to evaluate their financial performance. Investors should pay close attention to the specific definition being used and to the reconciliation between such measure and the corresponding GAAP measure provided by each company under applicable SEC rules

Adjusted Net Loss differs from GAAP Net Loss in that it excludes the following items: (a) loss on the extinguishment of convertible notes, (b) stock-based compensation, and (c) non-recurring expenses. During the second quarter, our non-recurring expense related solely amounts paid in settlement of a claim.

Astra defines Adjusted EBITDA as Adjusted Net Loss, excluding the following items: (a) interest expense and interest income, (b) income tax expense and (c) depreciation and amortization. Astra is unable to predict with reasonable certainty the ultimate outcome of these exclusions without unreasonable effort.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/13/2021 02:49 pm
twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1426193237895680002

Quote
Astra will publicly livestream its next launch, CEO Chris @Kemp said during the company's Q2 call. $ASTR

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1426193835319775232

Quote
Astra on Monday is shipping rocket LV0006 up to Kodiak for the launch of a Space Force test satellite. $ASTR
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Thunderscreech on 08/17/2021 08:26 pm
Possible Astra launch windows?
https://twitter.com/spacetfrs/status/1427725713633857537?s=21

https://twitter.com/spacetfrs/status/1427729496866758663?s=21
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/19/2021 02:03 pm
https://twitter.com/kemp/status/1428349301202112516

Quote
Thrilled that @Astra now authorized to conduct launches out of Kodiak through 2026 with @FAA launch operator’s license! #AdAstra

Edit to add: updated FAA licence attached
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/19/2021 11:33 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1428499542924693509

Quote
In the factory with @NASASpaceflight.

#AdAstra
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/21/2021 09:11 pm
https://twitter.com/kemp/status/1429188861964345349

Quote
@Astra just arrived in Alaska this week, and our red team has already deployed the launch system!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/23/2021 04:42 pm
https://astra.com/news/on-the-ground-lv0006-static/

Quote
ON THE GROUND: LAUNCH VEHICLE 0006 STATIC TEST
AUGUST 20, 2021

https://vimeo.com/589595951

“The hot fire test is the final test of the entire integrated launch system, where we get to test every single component of the rocket,” explains Chris Kemp, Astra’s Founder and CEO. “It allows us to make sure all of the upgrades work before we send the rocket into space.”

During this “dress rehearsal for launch,” the fully assembled vehicle is positioned on the ground while engines are fired at full thrust. The static test — or “hot fire test” as it is sometimes known — allows our team to ensure all mechanics and ground support systems are functioning as expected, ready for a successful launch.

The video above shows the hot fire test for Astra Launch Vehicle 0006 on August 4, 2021. There are three main stages to the hot fire testing process that you can see in the video:

Fire suppression system: Water is sprayed out of the flame deflectors to cool down the vehicle prior to thrust.
All engines go: Engines are fired at full thrust, for 8-10 seconds. Flames erupt from the rocket’s booster, turning water from the fire suppression system into steam.
Shutdown: Systems are shut down, measurements are taken and analyzed, and the rocket is prepared for next steps.

Make sure to catch the live stream for the launch of LV0006. The launch window opens August 27, 2021 and runs through September 11, 2021. Follow us on Twitter for the latest announcements and news.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/24/2021 01:06 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1430154350001889283

Quote
The NASASpaceflight team has been working hard with @Astra to bring you live coverage of this exciting test flight!

twitter.com/astra/status/1430154218309046276

Quote
Don’t miss our live stream with @NASASpaceflight for LV0006. Launch window opens on August 27, 2021. Visit astra.com/livestream and follow us here for timely updates. #AdAstra
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/24/2021 01:08 pm

https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astras-apollo-fusion-thruster-ignites-first-attempt-orbit

Quote
ASTRA’S APOLLO FUSION THRUSTER IGNITES ON FIRST ATTEMPT IN ORBIT WITH SPACEFLIGHT
Aug 24, 2021

Ignition demonstrates reliable electric propulsion (EP) system

ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 24, 2021-- Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced the successful orbital ignition of its Apollo Fusion thruster on board the Spaceflight Sherpa-LTE1 orbital transfer vehicle (OTV). The Sherpa OTV launched June 30, 2021 from SpaceX’s Transporter-2 mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida. After successfully deploying all rideshare payloads, Spaceflight commissioned the Apollo Fusion thruster, representing Astra’s first attempt at firing the thruster in orbit.

“The telemetry from the on-orbit firing looked excellent and closely matched our ground test results,” said Mike Cassidy, Vice President of Product Management at Astra. “We expect to deliver thrusters for additional satellites over the next quarter and these on-orbit test results provide further validation for several programs for which we are supplying propulsion systems.”

“This represents the industry’s first fully functional electric propulsion OTV,” said Philip Bracken, VP of Engineering at Spaceflight. “Our next-gen Sherpa OTVs were intentionally designed for maximum modularity, flexibility and rapid development including offering several innovative propulsion solutions. The successful commissioning and ignition of Apollo Fusion’s system paves the way for expanding orbital destinations for smallsats and is paramount in achieving our goal of getting our customers’ payloads to space whenever and wherever they want.”

Astra acquired Apollo Fusion in July 2021 to leverage Apollo Fusion’s shared focus on designing and manufacturing products at scale that can reach destinations beyond low Earth orbit.

"We're incredibly proud of everyone who built this EP system,” said Benjamin Lyon, Chief Engineer at Astra. “This is an important milestone on our journey to provide rapid, low-cost access to space.”
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/26/2021 08:02 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1430983783604441089

Quote
NSF's Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) sat down with Astra Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chris Kemp (@Kemp) at the launch provider's factory in Alameda, California. We will be streaming Astra's upcoming launch of LV0006 on our YouTube channel.

➡️ https://youtu.be/0jU9l6bNU9o
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/26/2021 09:22 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1430983783604441089

Quote
NSF's Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) sat down with Astra Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chris Kemp (@Kemp) at the launch provider's factory in Alameda, California. We will be streaming Astra's upcoming launch of LV0006 on our YouTube channel.


Hold on, did Chris drop a bombshell in the last 10 seconds of that interview? "This payload will not be deployed from the spacecraft." It almost sounds like the payload is just a sensitive instrument package to measure Astra's launch environment, so the Space Test Program will know what types of payloads they can handle in the future.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Yiosie on 08/26/2021 10:17 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1430983783604441089

Quote
NSF's Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) sat down with Astra Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chris Kemp (@Kemp) at the launch provider's factory in Alameda, California. We will be streaming Astra's upcoming launch of LV0006 on our YouTube channel.


Hold on, did Chris drop a bombshell in the last 10 seconds of that interview? "This payload will not be deployed from the spacecraft." It almost sounds like the payload is just a sensitive instrument package to measure Astra's launch environment, so the Space Test Program will know what types of payloads they can handle in the future.

That's exactly what it is, as reported in SpaceNews two weeks ago:
https://spacenews.com/astra-to-fly-upgraded-rocket-on-next-launch/
Quote
The launch is the first of two under a Space Force award announced Aug. 5, arranged using the other transaction authority of the Defense Innovation Unit. At the time, the company said only that a “test payload” would be on the launch, designated STP-27AD1 by the Space Force.

Kemp said the payload will not be an operational satellite but instead equipment to measure the launch environment of the rocket. “It’s really there to test the loads and environments so that, when we do our next launch with the Space Force, they’ll be able to predict the impact on their satellite.”
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/27/2021 12:43 am
So SF is paying for maiden flight with dummy load. That is nice bonus.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 08/27/2021 01:40 am
The FAA has just issued a notification to airlines advising them of a possible rocket launch. This would be between 21:00 UTC on August 27th and 00:30 on August 28th
https://twitter.com/SpaceTfrs/status/1431067936937103362 (https://twitter.com/SpaceTfrs/status/1431067936937103362)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: mlindner on 08/27/2021 11:43 am
Is NSF staking ownership of the Astra launch stream? If so I think that's not a good thing for the community as it prevents restreams.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RocketLover0119 on 08/27/2021 01:02 pm
Are we getting a separate thread for today’s launch?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 08/27/2021 01:48 pm
Is NSF staking ownership of the Astra launch stream? If so I think that's not a good thing for the community as it prevents restreams.
Why should other channels get ad revenue if they're not doing any work, but just stealing content?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 08/27/2021 03:20 pm
Where can I watch the launch at?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 08/27/2021 04:45 pm

Astra Space updated its website with the mission kit.
https://astra.com/media-kit-lv0006/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 08/27/2021 04:47 pm
Astra transmission will begin 60 minutes prior to launch.
https://astra.com/livestream/ (https://astra.com/livestream/)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Rocketdog2116 on 08/27/2021 04:50 pm
Based on the press kit it looks like a significantly longer burn time for stage 1 than the previous rocket 3 flights. 2:50 vs 2:20.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 08/27/2021 04:51 pm
Based on the press kit it looks like a significantly longer burn time for stage 1 than the previous rocket 3 flights. 2:50 vs 2:20.


This is mainly due to the fact that the first stage tanks are larger, so they have more combustion time.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/27/2021 04:54 pm
Based on the press kit it looks like a significantly longer burn time for stage 1 than the previous rocket 3 flights. 2:50 vs 2:20.


This is mainly due to the fact that the first stage tanks are larger, so they have more combustion time.

Comparing the mission kits for Rocket 3.2 (https://astra.com/press-kit/) and Rocket 3.3 (LV0006) (https://astra.com/media-kit-lv0006/), the vehicle has been stretched five feet. Also, the upper-stage engine thrust has been uprated slightly, from 665 lbf vacuum to 740 lbf vacuum.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 08/27/2021 05:01 pm
Desciption of the flight plan of LV0006
https://astra.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Astra_MediaKit_LV0006.pdf
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jcm on 08/27/2021 05:07 pm


Quote
NSF's Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) sat down with Astra Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chris Kemp (@Kemp) at the launch provider's factory in Alameda, California. We will be streaming Astra's upcoming launch of LV0006 on our YouTube channel.


Hold on, did Chris drop a bombshell in the last 10 seconds of that interview? "This payload will not be deployed from the spacecraft." It almost sounds like the payload is just a sensitive instrument package to measure Astra's launch environment, so the Space Test Program will know what types of payloads they can handle in the future.

That is exactly what it sounds like, and historically speaking it's a pretty standard thing to do on a first orbital launch in fact.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Jrcraft on 08/27/2021 05:13 pm
Are we getting a separate thread for today’s launch?

We should really start a new section under "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" for Astra.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 08/27/2021 05:16 pm
Are we getting a separate thread for today’s launch?

We should really start a new section under "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" for Astra.

+1

Here is a thread for LV0006/STP-27AD1:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54659.0
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: electricdawn on 08/27/2021 06:15 pm
You know, in about 3 hours we can say that two (Rocket Lab and Astra) small-sat launch companies have successfully put something into orbit in a much faster timeframe with much less funds than Blue Origin.

Which still hasn't put anything into orbit...

Edit: THAT would irk me. Not that SpaceX has lapped Blue several times already. No. That more than one small-sat launcher has beat me to orbit. On a shoe-string budget.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 08/27/2021 06:30 pm
Are we getting a separate thread for today’s launch?

We should really start a new section under "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" for Astra.

+1
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/27/2021 06:31 pm
You know, in about 3 hours we can say that two (Rocket Lab and Astra) small-sat launch companies have successfully put something into orbit in a much faster timeframe with much less funds than Blue Origin.

Which still hasn't put anything into orbit...

Edit: THAT would irk me. Not that SpaceX has lapped Blue several times already. No. That more than one small-sat launcher has beat me to orbit. On a shoe-string budget.

Don't forget Virgin Orbit. Although its budget has been significantly larger than that of Rocket Lab and Astra, it still pales in comparison with Blue Origin. A little harder to say how long they've existed, since work on what would become Virgin Orbit was conducted within Virgin Galactic for a few years before the companies split, but since Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004, it's certainly younger than Blue. And of course Virgin Galactic also beat Blue Origin to putting its financial backer into "space."
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: 1 on 08/27/2021 08:16 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1430154350001889283

Quote
The NASASpaceflight team has been working hard with @Astra to bring you live coverage of this exciting test flight!

twitter.com/astra/status/1430154218309046276

Quote
Don’t miss our live stream with @NASASpaceflight for LV0006. Launch window opens on August 27, 2021. Visit astra.com/livestream and follow us here for timely updates. #AdAstra

This post needs way more attention, and the people involved deserve some serious kudos. Super cool that we're getting a good livestream of the action.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: mlindner on 08/27/2021 09:01 pm
Is NSF staking ownership of the Astra launch stream? If so I think that's not a good thing for the community as it prevents restreams.
Why should other channels get ad revenue if they're not doing any work, but just stealing content?

It's not about ad revenue. It's about there being more communities on the internet than NSF fans. Also it's not "stealing content" when the content is Astra's launch, not NSF's commentary. (Unless Astra is letting them do this for free, Astra is likely paying NSF. It's not NSF paying Astra. So Astra owns it.)

There's also alternative language channels that add their own commentary or live translate it and would completely ignore any NSF Q&A sections.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: mlindner on 08/27/2021 10:05 pm
Unfortunate about the Scrub, hopefully the best for the next attempt.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 08/27/2021 10:15 pm
Also it's not "stealing content" when the content is Astra's launch
Astra own their own content, it is no more acceptable to restream a a video self-hosted by them than one hosted by NSF staff.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/27/2021 10:18 pm
Also it's not "stealing content" when the content is Astra's launch
Astra own their own content, it is no more acceptable to restream a a video self-hosted by them than one hosted by NSF staff.

That said, Everyday Astronaut (for example) restreams from SpaceX and Rocket Lab, how would this be different? I assume "because SpaceX and Rocket Lab don't have Super Chats in their YouTube streams that are a revenue source," but that gets back to this being an NSF stream in some important ways, not just an Astra stream.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/27/2021 11:59 pm


Quote
NSF's Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) sat down with Astra Founder, Chairman, and CEO Chris Kemp (@Kemp) at the launch provider's factory in Alameda, California. We will be streaming Astra's upcoming launch of LV0006 on our YouTube channel.

Astra aren't very forecoming about their LV performance. Webpage says 500kg to LEO but Rocket 3 is more like 150kg given its only 2/3  thrust of Electron, ie 5x 6300lkbs Delphin engine. They are working on Rocket 4( 500kg?) which is going to need a few more Delphins or higher power version.

I assume $2.5m launch price is for 2 stage Rocket 3. In future they will offer SEP kickstage based on Apollo electric thrusters.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/28/2021 12:53 am
Astra aren't very forecoming about their LV performance. Webpage says 500kg to LEO but Rocket 3 is more like 150kg given its only 2/3  thrust of Electron, ie 5x 6300lkbs Delphin engine. They are working on Rocket 4( 500kg?) which is going to need a few more Delphins or higher power version.

I assume $2.5m launch price is for 2 stage Rocket 3. In future they will offer SEP kickstage based on Apollo electric thrusters.

Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Based on this interview from back in June (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/astra-ceo-chris-kemp-previews-rocket-4-0-daily-launches-and-a-smarter-planet/2/), it seems like Rocket 4 is where they cross into "several hundred kilograms" of payload. I even have a vague recollection of another interview which made me think that it wouldn't be until Rocket 5 that they'd hit 500kg in particular. Honestly, it's a little sketchy how they don't like to make these distinctions clear: when Tim Dodd put together his round-up of small launchers, Astra wanted him to use 500kg as their payload mass, while all other statistics came from Rocket 3. My impression is they think Rocket 4 and Rocket 5 will also have sub-$3 million price points, thus justifying their conflation with Rocket 3.

The interview I linked also mentions that future rockets will use uprated engines, not just more of the same, which makes sense because I think the number of Delphins they'd need on their 500kg-payload rocket would get a bit impractical.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 08/28/2021 02:46 am
I'm pretty sure they gave a payload value towards the beginning of the NSF webcast today. You guys could just go back and check that.

EDIT: I was thinking of the interview from earlier in the week. I've timestamped the question for you all. Or I tried to anyway; it's 4:10 if it doesn't work.
https://youtu.be/0jU9l6bNU9o?t=251

So the answer is around 50 kg to LEO for Rocket 3. Although I imagine, with the stretch, that 3.3 probably does a little better than that now.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 08/28/2021 07:31 am
So the answer is around 50 kg to LEO for Rocket 3. Although I imagine, with the stretch, that 3.3 probably does a little better than that now.

I rather suspect the opposite. In February 2020, Adam London said that Rocket 3 "is designed to do 25 kilograms (55 pounds) to sun-synchronous orbit" (see Spaceflight Now article (https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/24/fresh-out-of-stealth-mode-astra-gearing-up-for-orbital-launch-from-alaska/)). But that 2020 design - of which three rockets were built - actually did not reach oribital velocity with zero payload.

So they optimized and stretched it, and now claim 50 kg to LEO. Probably needs more optimizations to actually lift that payload.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: mlindner on 09/01/2021 11:21 am
Also it's not "stealing content" when the content is Astra's launch
Astra own their own content, it is no more acceptable to restream a a video self-hosted by them than one hosted by NSF staff.

If that were true NSF and Everday Astronaut restreaming SpaceX streams wouldn't be acceptable. So your analogy makes no sense.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/03/2021 06:18 pm
I'm not sure if this is just some noise, but "Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Astra Space, Inc."

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/shareholder-alert-pomerantz-law-firm-investigates-claims-on-behalf-of-investors-of-astra-space-inc---astr-301365630.html
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Scintillant on 09/03/2021 06:27 pm
I'm not sure if this is just some noise, but "Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Astra Space, Inc."

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/shareholder-alert-pomerantz-law-firm-investigates-claims-on-behalf-of-investors-of-astra-space-inc---astr-301365630.html

Classic public company noise. As Matt Levine over at Bloomberg Opinion likes to say, Everything Is Securities Fraud. The process is as follows: something bad happens, the stock price goes down, someone sues for securities fraud because they lost money, claiming that the company didn't adequately disclose some risk. Annoying but mostly harmless, just part of being a public company.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/04/2021 10:41 am
In mean time share price seems to have recovered some what back to $10.27.


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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FlatFootShift on 09/20/2021 02:39 pm
Is this company finished? All communication seems non-existent since the August launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/20/2021 03:20 pm
Is this company finished? All communication seems non-existent since the August launch.

$ASTR is still trading on the stock market.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: tleski on 09/20/2021 03:51 pm
Astra posted seven times on their twitter account since the failed launch, last time four days ago. So they definitely exist. Unfortunately all of the posted messages are PR pieces. No updates on any future plans or anomaly investigation since August 28th.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 09/20/2021 11:45 pm
Interesting string of tweets from a few weeks ago:
https://twitter.com/ashleevance/status/1432075051503808512

Quote
Been hearing rumors that @Firefly_Space is sellling engines to @Astra. Firefly CEO has said it has a deal to sell 50 engines to some rocket maker. Astra CEO Chris Kemp, however, denied this is an interview with me. “We are not buying engines from Firefly,” Kemp said. He added

That Astra will buy IP as needed. "There could be a relationship with Firefly, right?," he said. "But we are not having them make engines for us."

Don't totally know what all this means. . . .
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 09/21/2021 01:01 pm
https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2021/9/21/22670063/astra-firefly-reaver-rocket-engine-ip-agreement

https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1440286953744650249
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/21/2021 03:27 pm
They'll need a lot of infrastructure to be built up to produce the Reaver engines, even if they have all the IP like engineering drawings, etc. The TCA specifically is made completely different processes from the Astra's engines (details on that are discussed in prior conversations). How reliant Astra will be on outside suppliers for each step of the TCA fabrication process is important to see as investors. May be they'll just develop their own TCA and just take the power pack from Reaver.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 09/21/2021 03:39 pm
Interesting.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gulanr on 09/21/2021 03:41 pm
They'll need a lot of infrastructure to be built up to produce the Reaver engines, even if they have all the IP like engineering drawings, etc. The TCA specifically is made completely different processes from the Astra's engines (details on that are discussed in prior conversations). How reliant Astra will be on outside suppliers for each step of the TCA fabrication process is important to see as investors. May be they'll just develop their own TCA and just take the power pack from Reaver.

One point to consider: The TCA in the Reaver engine is "integral" to the engine itself thanks to the nature of the tap-off cycle. I suspect it would be very difficult substitute Firefly's TCA with a different, considering the exact method the combustion gas is extracted in the TCA probably has very much to do with the performance and reliability of the engine. Plus, I'm sure the extraction method is the secret sauce that's hard to nail down.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/21/2021 03:53 pm
They'll need a lot of infrastructure to be built up to produce the Reaver engines, even if they have all the IP like engineering drawings, etc. The TCA specifically is made completely different processes from the Astra's engines (details on that are discussed in prior conversations). How reliant Astra will be on outside suppliers for each step of the TCA fabrication process is important to see as investors. May be they'll just develop their own TCA and just take the power pack from Reaver.

One point to consider: The TCA in the Reaver engine is "integral" to the engine itself thanks to the nature of the tap-off cycle. I suspect it would be very difficult substitute Firefly's TCA with a different, considering the exact method the combustion gas is extracted in the TCA probably has very much to do with the performance and reliability of the engine. Plus, I'm sure the extraction method is the secret sauce that's hard to nail down.

Right and the fabrication process is integral to the design as well. Not many vendors can do electrodeposited jackets. Makes me wonder why they didn't try reaching a deal with Ursa Major where most of the engine is AM'd. May be they might pivot to a gas generator engine and not deal with tap off. Honestly, that's probably the best bet for Astra IMHO if they are all in on this Reaver engine IP. Leverage the turbomachinery tech and use a production technique they have experience with.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/21/2021 05:20 pm
Firefly intent to move onto 8t Beta RLV so supporting 500kg competing LV isn't  whiling making money from it isn't bad deal. Astra 500kg LV will still be competing against Firefly 1000kg Alpha, time will tell which is more competitive LV.

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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 09/21/2021 06:09 pm
How close does one Reaver come to replacing the 5 Delphins on Rocket 3?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/21/2021 06:23 pm
How close does one Reaver come to replacing the 5 Delphins on Rocket 3?

Question would be roll control of the vehicle (if that means they'll use gas thrusters or what) and retrofitting the vehicle with a new thrust structure and an additional TVC axis on the engine + engine controller, etc...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ncb1397 on 09/21/2021 06:26 pm
How close does one Reaver come to replacing the 5 Delphins on Rocket 3?

740 kN reaver engine versus 5 28 kN Delphin engines.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AllenB on 09/21/2021 06:29 pm
How close does one Reaver come to replacing the 5 Delphins on Rocket 3?

740 kN reaver engine versus 5 28 kN Delphin engines.

I think that 740 kN number is for the Firefly first stage, with four Reavers. So about 185 kN per engine, versus 140 kN for a set of five Delphins.

Could this be a reaction to the recent Astra failure? Seems like something that would have already been in planning stages for some time.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 09/21/2021 06:40 pm
I kind of assume this won't be replacing the five Delphins on Rocket 3, but rather is part of their plan to build a bigger (post-Rocket 3) vehicle. So maybe a dual-Reaver setup, with the intent of building their 500kg-to-500km-SSO rocket.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 09/21/2021 07:09 pm
Could this be a reaction to the recent Astra failure? Seems like something that would have already been in planning stages for some time.

The first time I saw a tweet suggesting the Astra was buying Reavers was in August, before the Rocket 3 failure. So I don't think so.

How close does one Reaver come to replacing the 5 Delphins on Rocket 3?
740 kN reaver engine versus 5 28 kN Delphin engines.
I think that 740 kN number is for the Firefly first stage, with four Reavers. So about 185 kN per engine, versus 140 kN for a set of five Delphins.

I spent an hour or so several weeks ago on this; 740 is definitely the entire Alpha first stage.

185kN vs 140kN? Reasonably close. Still far enough apart that it probably will not be used on Rocket 3, but perhaps Rocket 4 will be powered by a single Reaver?

Question would be roll control of the vehicle (if that means they'll use gas thrusters or what) and retrofitting the vehicle with a new thrust structure and an additional TVC axis on the engine + engine controller, etc...

I figure it wouldn't be too hard to stick a little vectoring nozzle on the end of the Reaver's turbine exhaust pipe. I can't say how much of a challenge the rest of those problems would be, but I'm pretty confident that that at least is easily doable for a professional rocket company.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gulanr on 09/22/2021 04:33 am
I figure it wouldn't be too hard to stick a little vectoring nozzle on the end of the Reaver's turbine exhaust pipe. I can't say how much of a challenge the rest of those problems would be, but I'm pretty confident that that at least is easily doable for a professional rocket company.

I think you are correct, especially considering Firefly's second stage engine (which appears to be a scaled version of Reaver) gimbals in two directions. Not sure the turbine exhaust pipe is the best spot for it, but nonetheless should be feasible. Perhaps Firefly will consider doing the same in light of their inaugural launch attempt? Of course, retaining "pointy end up and flamey bit down" wouldn't have enabled a successful mission in that case, perhaps it would have prolonged the inevitable.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 09/22/2021 09:19 am
Max Haot, CEO at Launcher (who also imported Ukrainian tech/IP to have an off-the-shelf turbopump) thinks the deal is "insane":-

https://twitter.com/maxhaot/status/1440327473044983815 (https://twitter.com/maxhaot/status/1440327473044983815)

https://twitter.com/maxhaot/status/1440327475091832845 (https://twitter.com/maxhaot/status/1440327475091832845)

The comment about 5 years and going too fast is interesting though.

If true that would not bode well for the younger startups, but might be a good thing for those further along the development roadmap.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RoadWithoutEnd on 09/22/2021 09:26 am
Max Haot, CEO at Launcher (who also imported Ukraininan tech/IP to have an off-the-shelf turbopump) thinks the deal is "insane"

Come again?  That post is a lot of external linking without much information content. 

Please state directly what you mean without linking to Twitter or anything else.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 09/22/2021 04:16 pm
Max Haot, CEO at Launcher (who also imported Ukrainian tech/IP to have an off-the-shelf turbopump) thinks the deal is "insane":-


The comment about 5 years and going too fast is interesting though.

If true that would not bode well for the younger startups, but might be a good thing for those further along the development roadmap.

I think he may be thinking that they are attempting to exchange the existing engines on Rocket 3 with Reavers. Which if it is, he would be correct. But I believe these engines are for the next generation rockets.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 09/22/2021 04:21 pm
I think he may be thinking that they are attempting to exchange the existing engines on Rocket 3 with Reavers. Which if it is, he would be correct. But I believe these engines are for the next generation rockets.

That said, they've been claiming their next-generation rockets will be flying monthly or more in 2022. Changing the design at this point, even if using a "proven" design with Firefly's Reavers, will probably take a little longer to integrate with their workflows.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 09/23/2021 07:20 pm
Max Haot, CEO at Launcher (who also imported Ukraininan tech/IP to have an off-the-shelf turbopump) thinks the deal is "insane"

Come again?  That post is a lot of external linking without much information content. 

Please state directly what you mean without linking to Twitter or anything else.

He's not stating anything. Max Haot is another smallsat CEO, who commented about the Astra-Firefly deal on twitter. He's linking to those tweets here not to make a point, but just so that we know about them. The same way that all of Elon Musk's tweets about Blue end up in Blue Origin threads.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/24/2021 07:33 am
I think he may be thinking that they are attempting to exchange the existing engines on Rocket 3 with Reavers. Which if it is, he would be correct. But I believe these engines are for the next generation rockets.

That said, they've been claiming their next-generation rockets will be flying monthly or more in 2022. Changing the design at this point, even if using a "proven" design with Firefly's Reavers, will probably take a little longer to integrate with their workflows.
What engine were they planning to use other than Reaver?. Not the engines in Rocket 3 as they are electric pump and don't scale well. I don't see a 2xReaver Rocket 5 LV being any cheaper per kg than Firefly's Alpha. 

Sent from my SM-T733 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 09/24/2021 12:09 pm
I don't see a 2xReaver Rocket 5 LV being any cheaper per kg than Firefly's Alpha.
Doesn't need to be: If you payload is 500kg or smaller, and you can launch on a Firefly Alpha or an Astra 'Rocket 4', then rough $/kg parity is of less interest than total cost. Half sized rocket in that case means half the launch cost, and even anything up to double $/kg still puts you ahead in terms of the actual bill.
If you're in the smallsat launcher market in the first place, then you've already rejected the minimise-$/kg rideshare option in favour of having your own dedicated launcher (orbit and schedule not dependant on the whims of anyone else), so $/launch is the metric of merit.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/24/2021 03:51 pm
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1441423298617880576

Quote
Chris Thompson says today is his last day at Astra. The SpaceX co-founder was most recently the launch director for LV0006.

Wishing Chris the best!

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/chris-thompson-b3b5588_today-marks-my-last-day-at-astra-this-was-activity-6847182230310268928-MLDl/

Quote
Today marks my last day at Astra, this was not an easy decision, but one I made none the less. I want to thank Chris Kemp & Adam London for bringing me on the Astra adventure, It was a fun ride, and I'm sure that Astra is going to do great things in the future - I'll be watching! What's next for me will come to light in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. Again all the best to the Astra team! Ad Astra!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 10/11/2021 12:09 pm
Hello everyone! How do you think, does this TFR https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1481.html means that Astra probably gonna make flight in october?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 10/11/2021 12:38 pm
Hello everyone! How do you think, does this TFR https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1481.html means that Astra probably gonna make flight in october?

I usually see something from PSCA in advance of anything else, and there hasn't been anything.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 10/11/2021 12:48 pm
Hello everyone! How do you think, does this TFR https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1481.html means that Astra probably gonna make flight in october?

I usually see something from PSCA in advance of anything else, and there hasn't been anything.
I just looked into Kodiak launch history and as I figured out (correct me if I wrong) nothing was launched from there since 2014 expect Astra rocket. Am I wrong?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 10/11/2021 02:34 pm
I don't know what that TFR is for, but I doubt it's Astra or ABL.  ABL still hopes to launch from Kodiak this year.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: RocketLover0119 on 10/12/2021 01:07 pm
Bingo! Launch window opens the 27th

https://astra.com/news/lv0007-launch-window/

Also have released the reason of the LV0006 anomaly:

https://twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF/status/1447910039751208962
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Joseph Peterson on 10/12/2021 09:35 pm
Recovering from a failure in only two months is impressive.  Not as impressive as the power slide but even still I'm more confident in Astra's future than ever.  Perhaps it is time the Astra threads should be moved to their own section.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 10/12/2021 10:33 pm
Recovering from a failure in only two months is impressive.  Not as impressive as the power slide but even still I'm more confident in Astra's future than ever.  Perhaps it is time the Astra threads should be moved to their own section.

+1 about the creation of a new Astra section, if they mantain this pace in development and launch the number of threads about them will increase rapidly in the next months
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 10/12/2021 11:06 pm
Recovering from a failure in only two months is impressive.  Not as impressive as the power slide but even still I'm more confident in Astra's future than ever.  Perhaps it is time the Astra threads should be moved to their own section.

I kind of like the idea of giving them a section as soon as they reach orbit, but with three threads already, perhaps that's not the important distinction.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/13/2021 06:07 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTsKF5E3YDI
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: tleski on 10/13/2021 06:36 pm
https://twitter.com/Kemp/status/1448100069287280641
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: cpushack on 10/14/2021 05:27 am
Bingo! Launch window opens the 27th

https://astra.com/news/lv0007-launch-window/

Also have released the reason of the LV0006 anomaly:

https://twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF/status/1447910039751208962

That's encouraging, failure was more GSE related than rocket related

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 10/17/2021 09:32 pm
I don't see a 2xReaver Rocket 5 LV being any cheaper per kg than Firefly's Alpha.

Really? Because I figure that a 2xReaver Rocket 5 would definitely be cheaper per kg than the Firefly Alpha.

First of all, you're moving from carbon-composite tanks and fairings to literally sheet-aluminum fairings and tankage that any auto-repair shop could make. Then add to that that Astra seems to utilize off-the-shelf components more than any other rocket builder I'm aware of. If we assume an aluminum, Delphin powered upper stage... well, that's about the simplest and cheapest to build upper stage I can imagine. So I figure that on every level, a Rocket 5 would be cheaper to construct than the Firefly Alpha.

Now, it is true that there are of aspects of launching an orbital rocket where the cost does not go down with scale. However, Astra has made an effort to reduce some of those costs in other ways. They launch from Kodiak, which I'm sure is less than half the regulatory headache as other options; they have a mission control team which (just looking at launch stream footage) seemed to be about half the size of Firefly's; their on-site team is only 6 people; their vehicle ships in a standard shipping container; etc.

Frankly, I think I'd be shocked if the Rocket 5 doesn't at least match the Alpha on $/kg. (Note: I'm assuming the current Alpha, not a theoretical reusable Alpha, because I have no idea how that would reduce the vehicle $/kg)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: StraumliBlight on 11/05/2021 05:58 pm
Astra are planning to launch a constellation of up to 13,620 LEO satellites: (https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20211104-00140/13337296)

Quote
The Space Segment portion of Astra’s Constellation will be deployed in three phases and be distributed at equatorial, mid-inclination and sun-synchronous (SSO) altitudes, with an estimated operational lifetime of ten years.

The Initial Deployment phase of the Astra Constellation will feature a single equatorial plane comprised of 40 satellites operating at 700km altitude, permitting certain early services to be offered in targeted locations.

A second phase of 2,296 additional satellites distributed in a set of 56 mid-inclination planes at 700 km and 14 SSO planes at 690 km will permit global broadband services to customers located in all latitudes.

A third phase will densify the constellation and enhance service capabilities globally with as many as 11,284 further satellites at two mid-inclination altitudes (390 km and 400 km) and one sun-synchronous plane at 380 km.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Scintillant on 11/05/2021 06:17 pm
How Astra Is Building Lower Cost Rockets | Factory Tour (https://youtu.be/dmACuTqFkPY)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 11/05/2021 06:40 pm
Astra are planning to launch a constellation of up to 13,620 LEO satellites: (https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20211104-00140/13337296)

Quote
The Space Segment portion of Astra’s Constellation will be deployed in three phases and be distributed at equatorial, mid-inclination and sun-synchronous (SSO) altitudes, with an estimated operational lifetime of ten years.

The Initial Deployment phase of the Astra Constellation will feature a single equatorial plane comprised of 40 satellites operating at 700km altitude, permitting certain early services to be offered in targeted locations.

A second phase of 2,296 additional satellites distributed in a set of 56 mid-inclination planes at 700 km and 14 SSO planes at 690 km will permit global broadband services to customers located in all latitudes.

A third phase will densify the constellation and enhance service capabilities globally with as many as 11,284 further satellites at two mid-inclination altitudes (390 km and 400 km) and one sun-synchronous plane at 380 km.

They are going to need a bigger rocket.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/05/2021 08:11 pm
Astra are planning to launch a constellation of up to 13,620 LEO satellites: (https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20211104-00140/13337296)

Quote
The Space Segment portion of Astra’s Constellation will be deployed in three phases and be distributed at equatorial, mid-inclination and sun-synchronous (SSO) altitudes, with an estimated operational lifetime of ten years.

The Initial Deployment phase of the Astra Constellation will feature a single equatorial plane comprised of 40 satellites operating at 700km altitude, permitting certain early services to be offered in targeted locations.

A second phase of 2,296 additional satellites distributed in a set of 56 mid-inclination planes at 700 km and 14 SSO planes at 690 km will permit global broadband services to customers located in all latitudes.

A third phase will densify the constellation and enhance service capabilities globally with as many as 11,284 further satellites at two mid-inclination altitudes (390 km and 400 km) and one sun-synchronous plane at 380 km.

They are going to need a bigger rocket.
This doesn't seem to be the same Astra company. I have not read the whole filing yet.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 11/05/2021 08:25 pm
This doesn't seem to be the same Astra company. I have not read the whole filing yet.

It's the same Astra, just set up a subsidiary for the constellation like SpaceX did.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 11/05/2021 09:03 pm
Astra are planning to launch a constellation of up to 13,620 LEO satellites: (https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20211104-00140/13337296)

Quote
The Space Segment portion of Astra’s Constellation will be deployed in three phases and be distributed at equatorial, mid-inclination and sun-synchronous (SSO) altitudes, with an estimated operational lifetime of ten years.

The Initial Deployment phase of the Astra Constellation will feature a single equatorial plane comprised of 40 satellites operating at 700km altitude, permitting certain early services to be offered in targeted locations.

A second phase of 2,296 additional satellites distributed in a set of 56 mid-inclination planes at 700 km and 14 SSO planes at 690 km will permit global broadband services to customers located in all latitudes.

A third phase will densify the constellation and enhance service capabilities globally with as many as 11,284 further satellites at two mid-inclination altitudes (390 km and 400 km) and one sun-synchronous plane at 380 km.

They are going to need a bigger rocket.

They're planning on building a bigger rocket, in the 335kg-to-500km-SSO range. That still doesn't seem bigger enough for a 13,620-satellite constellation, but they do talk about weekly or even daily flights -- to all the questions about "is there really demand for such a ridiculously high cadence?", they've clearly decided to build their own demand, much as SpaceX did with Starlink. If that extreme scale can help bring their per-launch and per-kg costs down to the point where they're paying the same amount to build a constellation that Kuiper is, perhaps it'll ultimately justify their whole approach.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Yiosie on 11/05/2021 11:21 pm
Astra are planning to launch a constellation of up to 13,620 LEO satellites: (https://fcc.report/IBFS/SAT-LOA-20211104-00140/13337296)

Quote
The Space Segment portion of Astra’s Constellation will be deployed in three phases and be distributed at equatorial, mid-inclination and sun-synchronous (SSO) altitudes, with an estimated operational lifetime of ten years.

The Initial Deployment phase of the Astra Constellation will feature a single equatorial plane comprised of 40 satellites operating at 700km altitude, permitting certain early services to be offered in targeted locations.

A second phase of 2,296 additional satellites distributed in a set of 56 mid-inclination planes at 700 km and 14 SSO planes at 690 km will permit global broadband services to customers located in all latitudes.

A third phase will densify the constellation and enhance service capabilities globally with as many as 11,284 further satellites at two mid-inclination altitudes (390 km and 400 km) and one sun-synchronous plane at 380 km.

They are going to need a bigger rocket.

Article from SpaceNews quotes Astra as noting it is "willing and able to utilize third party launch providers in part or in whole for Constellation deployment."

https://spacenews.com/astra-files-fcc-application-for-13600-satellite-constellation/

Though the application itself states that "Astra plans to employ its own launch vehicles to deploy the Astra Constellation, capturing the benefits of vertical integration to build efficiencies and compress the time required for constellation services roll-out."
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 11/06/2021 12:18 am
At a hypothetical, (and probably unachievable) $1m marginal cost per launch (of 1 satellite), excluding overheads,  that’s about 4 times SpaceX’s cost.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 11/06/2021 01:57 am
I notice they plan a plane at 55 degrees, 700 km. In other words, right through the AST constellation.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/06/2021 03:08 am
At a hypothetical, (and probably unachievable) $1m marginal cost per launch (of 1 satellite), excluding overheads,  that’s about 4 times SpaceX’s cost.

Good luck.
Yeah, they're both tiny AND expendable. I don't see how they can compete. With SpaceX or even with OneWeb or Amazon or whoever.

I get it. Mass production. There's a benefit to scaling in production capacity. BUT that benefit is limited, and I honestly think the size and reuse are each more important factors overall.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Craftyatom on 11/06/2021 06:28 pm
Assuming a 9-year deployment deadline for the full constellation like other providers, that's more than 4 satellites per day.  Even daily launches of a vehicle twice the size of Rocket 3 wouldn't cut it (the SpaceNews article says they can launch 2 at a time with their current vehicle).  So they will definitely either need another provider's help, or a significantly larger rocket - the question is which of those they're planning for right now.  We'll find out eventually, assuming the FCC approves it.

I'm happy that they chose a lower altitude for their final 10k+ shell, but even the middle 2k+ shell seems a bit much for 700km - active deorbit is obviously not a problem with their thrusters, but passive deorbit in case of failure will take a while (though of course being in a less-crowded orbit may mitigate some debris concerns).  I personally would really like to see their initial deployment of 40 satellites happen at the lower orbit, since they're both the most likely to fail on orbit and the least useful to the constellation as a whole (since future sats will incorporate lessons learned).  That said, I suppose that would increase the number of satellites needed for initial equatorial testing, and if insertion happens at a low altitude before orbit raising (which certainly seems prudent given the size of their launch vehicle) that will mitigate some early losses.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 11/07/2021 02:17 am
Astra could quit the launch business and be a comsat builder & constellation operator. Just pay SpaceX or someone else to deployed their comsats with Starships or something else.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Danderman on 11/07/2021 02:47 pm
Astra could quit the launch business and be a comsat builder & constellation operator. Just pay SpaceX or someone else to deployed their comsats with Starships or something else.

There is a technical issue for small satellites to be deployed by a single large launcher.

Constellations are deployed in planes for a reason.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 11/07/2021 02:50 pm
Astra could quit the launch business and be a comsat builder & constellation operator. Just pay SpaceX or someone else to deployed their comsats with Starships or something else.

Sure. But what puts them in a better position to do that than say Apple, or General Motors or any random billionaire with a few billion to spare? Astra has no competitive advantage here, and little capital to finance such an endeavour.

Basically, they are hoping naive investors will associate the fact that they are a “space” business with some kind of expertise in satellite construction and operations, when this is far removed from the truth.

Zero sense in this move, other than the exploitation of (undeserved) hype.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 11/07/2021 03:07 pm
Astra could quit the launch business and be a comsat builder &amp; constellation operator. Just pay SpaceX or someone else to deployed their comsats with Starships or something else.
They are yet to join the launch business.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/07/2021 03:59 pm
I think Astra has a pretty good approach to cost optimized aerospace manufacturing. And that approach would be much more profitable and value-adding if they were mass producing satellites rather than inefficiently-small expendable rockets.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: groundbound on 11/07/2021 05:23 pm
I think Astra has a pretty good approach to cost optimized aerospace manufacturing. And that approach would be much more profitable and value-adding if they were mass producing satellites rather than inefficiently-small expendable rockets.

Yup. There has always been more money in spacecraft than in launchers. With the rapid pace of change happening to launchers right now, it is likely that this disparity will grow. When investors figure this out, they will look for companies that also seem to have figured it out.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Tywin on 11/21/2021 09:44 pm
Should Astra have her own subforum now?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/21/2021 09:52 pm
Should Astra have her own subforum now?
Like with SpaceX, Rocket Lab, et al, the time will come when there are enough missions with enough frequency and activity to justify a dedicated subsection.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Tywin on 11/21/2021 10:14 pm
Well the next mission I think is before the end of the year...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Tywin on 11/22/2021 11:36 am
Up!!! UP!!!

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 11/23/2021 02:06 am
Astra becomes the fastest rocket company to reach orbit (https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/astras-quick-and-dirty-development-plan-pays-off-as-its-rocket-goes-orbital/)

Quote from: Eric Berger
Astra never sought to build the best rocket, the biggest rocket, or the safest rocket. The California-based space company simply wanted to build a rocket that was just good enough, and to do it fast.

Early on Saturday morning, Astra proved the value of this philosophy by successfully launching a stripped-down rocket for the first time. The mission hefted a small test payload for the US Space Force into an orbit 500 km above the planet.

The launch came five years and one month after Astra was founded by Chris Kemp and Adam London in October 2016. With this weekend's success, Astra became the fastest company to reach orbit with a privately developed liquid-fueled rocket. With its Falcon 1 rocket, SpaceX required six years and four months. Firefly, Virgin Orbit, and Rocket Lab all needed seven or more years to successfully reach orbit.

TL;DR: iterative development works, blowing things up works.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 11/23/2021 06:07 pm
Looks like Astra has an upcoming launch from Florida in the next ~6 months.
1903-EX-ST-2021 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=111697&RequestTimeout=1000)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotical on 11/23/2021 10:21 pm
Astra becomes the fastest rocket company to reach orbit (https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/11/astras-quick-and-dirty-development-plan-pays-off-as-its-rocket-goes-orbital/)

TL;DR: iterative development works, blowing things up works.

Unless you only care about the daily stock price. Then you want to avoid failure to the point of not doing anything at all.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Yiosie on 11/24/2021 02:24 am
Looks like Astra has an upcoming launch from Florida in the next ~6 months.
1903-EX-ST-2021 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=111697&RequestTimeout=1000)

This is very likely the VCLS Demo-2A mission, which they hope to launch by the end of the year.

From Stephen Clark's article on the LV0007 launch (bolds mine):

Astra reaches orbit for first time, clearing way for commercial launches (https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/11/22/astra-reaches-orbit-for-first-time-clearing-way-for-commercial-launches/) [dated Nov. 22]

Quote
Astra’s next rocket, LV0008, is “well on its way to being integrated,” Lyon said Monday. Officials said details about the LV0008 launch would be announced soon.

Scott Higginbotham, head of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative at Kennedy Space Center, said Friday that the space agency is the sole customer for the next Astra launch. The mission is part of NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services, or VCLS, program, which awarded Astra a $3.9 million contract last year for a commercial CubeSat launch.

Astra’s first launch for NASA could happen before the end of the year, according to Higginbotham.

NASA and Astra officials declined to identify the launch site for the VCLS demonstration mission, but multiple sources said the mission is currently slated to fly from pad 46, a commercial launch complex operated by Space Florida at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 11/24/2021 04:18 am
This notice from PSCA doesn't say whether it is Astra, but it is the pad that they use.

Quote from: PSCA
Alaska Aerospace, Pacific Spaceport Complex

Alaska Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) will be conducting a launch from Launch Pad LP-3B at Narrow Cape, Kodiak, Alaska, with a launch azimuth of 172°. Daily launch operations are scheduled between 0500-0830 UTC which is 2000-2330 Alaska Time on December 15th through December 21st, 2021 (local). Mariners are requested to remain clear of the Hazard Areas during the scheduled launch operations.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/24/2021 05:28 am
This notice from PSCA doesn't say whether it is Astra, but it is the pad that they use.

Quote from: PSCA
Alaska Aerospace, Pacific Spaceport Complex

Alaska Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) will be conducting a launch from Launch Pad LP-3B at Narrow Cape, Kodiak, Alaska, with a launch azimuth of 172°. Daily launch operations are scheduled between 0500-0830 UTC which is 2000-2330 Alaska Time on December 15th through December 21st, 2021 (local). Mariners are requested to remain clear of the Hazard Areas during the scheduled launch operations.
It should be for ABL as they are the next publicly scheduled user for that clean pad.

2021
Late - L2 Aerospace 1, L2 Aerospace 2 - RS1 (ABL space system) [first flight] - Kodiak LP-3B
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 11/24/2021 07:30 am
This notice from PSCA doesn't say whether it is Astra, but it is the pad that they use.

Quote from: PSCA
Alaska Aerospace, Pacific Spaceport Complex

Alaska Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) will be conducting a launch from Launch Pad LP-3B at Narrow Cape, Kodiak, Alaska, with a launch azimuth of 172°. Daily launch operations are scheduled between 0500-0830 UTC which is 2000-2330 Alaska Time on December 15th through December 21st, 2021 (local). Mariners are requested to remain clear of the Hazard Areas during the scheduled launch operations.

It should be for ABL as they are the next publicly scheduled user for that clean pad.

2021
Late - L2 Aerospace 1, L2 Aerospace 2 - RS1 (ABL space system) [first flight] - Kodiak LP-3B

In ABL's STA application (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=110545) they talk about LP-3C
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/24/2021 07:50 am
This notice from PSCA doesn't say whether it is Astra, but it is the pad that they use.

Quote from: PSCA
Alaska Aerospace, Pacific Spaceport Complex

Alaska Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) will be conducting a launch from Launch Pad LP-3B at Narrow Cape, Kodiak, Alaska, with a launch azimuth of 172°. Daily launch operations are scheduled between 0500-0830 UTC which is 2000-2330 Alaska Time on December 15th through December 21st, 2021 (local). Mariners are requested to remain clear of the Hazard Areas during the scheduled launch operations.

It should be for ABL as they are the next publicly scheduled user for that clean pad.

2021
Late - L2 Aerospace 1, L2 Aerospace 2 - RS1 (ABL space system) [first flight] - Kodiak LP-3B

In ABL's STA application (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=110545) they talk about LP-3C
Like SpaceX in Florida the pads within LP-3 complex are interchangeable. It could also be for an unknown defense launch but drop zones at quick glance does not match any known missiles for tests.

[Discussion continues in the ABL RS1 inaugural launch thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55274.0).]
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/03/2021 04:32 am
Five December Kennedy/Canaveral launches:
Starlink 4-3
STP-3
IXPE
Turksat 5B
Dragon SpX-24.

This probably means that the Astra Rocket LV0008 launch from LC-46 is delayed into 2022.

https://twitter.com/SLDelta45/status/1466594550705639424
Quote
Congrats to SLD 45 & @SpaceX on this evening’s Starlink 4-3 launch. This launch kicks off what is sure to be a busy December, with 5 launches slated to close out the year. Without the dedication from our teammates, this high ops tempo would not be possible! #SetThePaceForSpace

That could have been phrased a little more clearly, but if I read it as Starlink 4-3 being the first of five launches in December (one of which is ULA) then no pop-up Starlink launches would be in there (which doesn't necessarily mean one couldn't occur).

Edit: Corrected Astra launch designation.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 12/03/2021 08:52 pm
Five December Kennedy/Canaveral launches:
Starlink 4-3
STP-3
IXPE
Turksat 5B
Dragon SpX-24.

This probably means that the Astra Rocket AV0008 launch from LC-46 is delayed into 2022.


What is the source that AV0008 was going from the Cape?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/03/2021 08:56 pm
Five December Kennedy/Canaveral launches:
Starlink 4-3
STP-3
IXPE
Turksat 5B
Dragon SpX-24.

This probably means that the Astra Rocket AV0008 launch from LC-46 is delayed into 2022.


What is the source that AV0008 was going from the Cape?
Astra tweet or implication of media is what I recall. The mission tail number is the assigned number per the order shipped  post testing from the factory test stand to the launch site via intermodal containers. There is apparently also a factory number which is internal and includes test articles.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Yiosie on 12/03/2021 10:07 pm
Five December Kennedy/Canaveral launches:
Starlink 4-3
STP-3
IXPE
Turksat 5B
Dragon SpX-24.

This probably means that the Astra Rocket AV0008 launch from LC-46 is delayed into 2022.


What is the source that AV0008 was going from the Cape?

LV0008 is launching from the Cape according to SFN, as stated a few posts back:

Looks like Astra has an upcoming launch from Florida in the next ~6 months.
1903-EX-ST-2021 (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=111697&RequestTimeout=1000)

This is very likely the VCLS Demo-2A mission, which they hope to launch by the end of the year.

From Stephen Clark's article on the LV0007 launch (bolds mine):

Astra reaches orbit for first time, clearing way for commercial launches (https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/11/22/astra-reaches-orbit-for-first-time-clearing-way-for-commercial-launches/) [dated Nov. 22]

Quote
Astra’s next rocket, LV0008, is “well on its way to being integrated,” Lyon said Monday. Officials said details about the LV0008 launch would be announced soon.

Scott Higginbotham, head of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative at Kennedy Space Center, said Friday that the space agency is the sole customer for the next Astra launch. The mission is part of NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services, or VCLS, program, which awarded Astra a $3.9 million contract last year for a commercial CubeSat launch.

Astra’s first launch for NASA could happen before the end of the year, according to Higginbotham.

NASA and Astra officials declined to identify the launch site for the VCLS demonstration mission, but multiple sources said the mission is currently slated to fly from pad 46, a commercial launch complex operated by Space Florida at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/06/2021 01:12 pm
ASTRA ANNOUNCES LAUNCH FOR NASA FROM CAPE CANAVERAL IN JANUARY (https://astra.com/news/astra-announces-cape-canaveral/?utm_campaign=Cape+Canaveral+2021)
DECEMBER 6, 2021

ALAMEDA, California. December 6, 2021– Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced that it plans to deploy its first satellite in orbit for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in January 2022. The launch from Cape Canaveral will be conducted out of Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) and will be Astra’s first launch out of Cape Canaveral.

“This historic launch site has been prepared for a new commercial launch partner in less than year, which is a tremendous milestone for our combined team, and illustrates how SLD 45 sets the pace for access to space.” said Brigadier General Stephen Purdy, Commander of Space Launch Delta 45 and Director of the Eastern Range. “SLD 45, Space Florida, and Astra have moved at a rapid speed to demonstrate critical and responsive launch capabilities. We are excited to welcome Astra to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.”

Astra and Space Launch Delta 45, a part of the United States Space Force, enabled Astra to launch out of Cape Canaveral in record time – shortening the multi-year approval time to months.

“Launching out of the Cape allows us to serve customers with mid-inclination delivery needs, broadening our market,” said Martin Attiq, Chief Business Officer at Astra. “This is an additional step in our global spaceport strategy and positions us to serve the broad low earth orbit (LEO) market.”

Astra’s launch will be livestreamed in partnership with NASASpaceFlight. Updates will be shared on Astra’s Twitter feed, @astra.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 12/06/2021 08:13 pm
What is the source that AV0008 was going from the Cape?

LV0008 is launching from the Cape according to SFN, as stated a few posts back:

Quote
NASA and Astra officials declined to identify the launch site for the VCLS demonstration mission, but multiple sources said the mission is currently slated to fly from pad 46, a commercial launch complex operated by Space Florida at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Thanks. It was the "multiple sources..." part that sounded vague to me. But they were right!
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/06/2021 09:54 pm
I guess Astra doesn't intend to take a long break after their launch from Florida.

1952-EX-ST-2021 Near Space Launch, Inc.
Quote
The goal of the S4 CROSSOVER mission, is to obtain flight heritage testing for a prototype
payload host platform. Features that will be tested for use in supporting future payloads, include a
Globalstar transmitter and an Iridium transceiver, as well space environmental instruments to
characterize the radiation and plasma densities to which the payloads will be exposed. S4
CROSSOVER is self powered and operates independently of the larger Astra launch vehicle
second stage to which it is permanently attached. It demonstrates a platform that may in the future
be used to host payloads; it is an experimental activity.

The Astra rocket, LV009, will be launched from the Pacific Spaceport on Kodiak Island Alaska, No
Earlier Than January 15, 2022, into a circular sun synch orbit at 525 km altitude, 97.5 inclination.
Transmission from the S4 CROSSOVER will begin after second stage engine cutoff, activated by
relays on the launch vehicle, and will operate until demise, which is expected to occur within a few
weeks after launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AstroWare on 12/06/2021 10:09 pm
I guess Astra doesn't intend to take a long break after their launch from Florida.

1952-EX-ST-2021 Near Space Launch, Inc.
Quote
The goal of the S4 CROSSOVER mission, is to obtain flight heritage testing for a prototype
payload host platform. Features that will be tested for use in supporting future payloads, include a
Globalstar transmitter and an Iridium transceiver, as well space environmental instruments to
characterize the radiation and plasma densities to which the payloads will be exposed. S4
CROSSOVER is self powered and operates independently of the larger Astra launch vehicle
second stage to which it is permanently attached. It demonstrates a platform that may in the future
be used to host payloads; it is an experimental activity.

The Astra rocket, LV009, will be launched from the Pacific Spaceport on Kodiak Island Alaska, No
Earlier Than January 15, 2022, into a circular sun synch orbit at 525 km altitude, 97.5 inclination.
Transmission from the S4 CROSSOVER will begin after second stage engine cutoff, activated by
relays on the launch vehicle, and will operate until demise, which is expected to occur within a few
weeks after launch.
How does a 525km circular orbit decay "within a few weeks" after launch? I thought objects at that altitude took more like a few years to decay.

Or does "operate until demise" mean something else besides reentry...?

Sent from my Pixel 5a using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: harrystranger on 12/08/2021 11:31 am
Space Launch Delta 45 had submitted a permit (now withdrawn https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/ep/#/prmtInfo?curId=&hdr=1&usrId=0&offclId=24246&seqNo=3), regarding the water deluge system for Rocket 3.
In the documents, it's noted that "Astra Aerospace, will be launching small rockets at SLC 46 in the next
two years for up to 12 times per year
" as shown in the screenshot below.

Whether they live up to that cadence is another thing, but hopefully this is a good sign for many upcoming cape launches  :)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/08/2021 02:01 pm
How does a 525km circular orbit decay "within a few weeks" after launch? I thought objects at that altitude took more like a few years to decay.

Or does "operate until demise" mean something else besides reentry...?

Maybe the payload runs on batteries and can't recharge.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/08/2021 02:59 pm
How does a 525km circular orbit decay "within a few weeks" after launch? I thought objects at that altitude took more like a few years to decay.

Or does "operate until demise" mean something else besides reentry...?

Maybe the payload runs on batteries and can't recharge.

No, the payload runs on solar cells.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/s4-crossover.htm
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: MostlyHarmless on 12/08/2021 07:34 pm
How does a 525km circular orbit decay "within a few weeks" after launch? I thought objects at that altitude took more like a few years to decay.

Or does "operate until demise" mean something else besides reentry...?

Maybe the payload runs on batteries and can't recharge.

No, the payload runs on solar cells.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/s4-crossover.htm

From what I've been able to find, the payload remains attached to the second stage.  I haven't come across any info that discusses deorbit of Astra's second stage.  Running a basic orbital decay time model shows that something this size/mass would take anywhere from 6-15 years with low solar activity or 1-4 years with high solar activity. 

So, it'll be around long after the design life has passed.  As for the demise after a few weeks, I can only guess that they didn't need to collect more than that amount of data -- and building it more robust was either not needed or cost prohibitive. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 12/14/2021 03:47 am
Myriota made an FCC filing regarding their new Lemur based 3U satellites.
SAT-APL-20211213-00190 (https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/ib/forms/reports/swr031b.hts?q_set=V_SITE_ANTENNA_FREQ.file_numberC/File+Number/%3D/SATAPL2021121300190&prepare=&column=V_SITE_ANTENNA_FREQ.file_numberC/File+Number)
Quote
The 36 satellites will be launched into six (6) equally spaced, sun-synchronous orbital planes at a planned altitude between 500 and 550km, with the satellites ultimately equally spaced within each circular orbital plane and each orbital plane being separated by two (2) hours of LTDN. The launches will take place between June and December 2022 on a combination of rideshare and dedicated launch vehicles. It is anticipated that the launch vehicles will include the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the Astra Rocket v4. This is subject to revision based on launch availability, but the anticipated orbital parameters will not change.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 12/26/2021 05:51 pm
I wonder what we can expect from Rocket 4 in the new year. In June, Chris Kemp said:

Quote
So we’ve increased the production run for the Rocket 3 series to a dozen. And we’ll be flying those monthly starting in the fourth quarter. And then that monthly rate will ramp up to weekly with the Rocket 4 series starting next year.

Actual Rocket 3 launch cadence now is about one every two months, which is a great achievement. And in November, Kemp said that Rocket 4 "will be tested next year, while the Rocket 3 commercial launches will continue." (source (https://www.caboodle.ca/after-a-successful-first-launch-astra-is-poised-to-start-commercial-activities/)) Astra develops and tests iteratively. First Rocket 3 test flights had a dummy second stage, just testing the first stage. Then it took two years until first orbital attempt, and another year to orbit. So this year some experiments to evaluate Rocket 4 technology, and orbit realistically NET 2024? Or will additional funding and experience enable an orbital launch in 2023?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 12/27/2021 07:20 pm
Kemp talks a little about what to expect from Rocket 4 in the companies Q3 report during the Q&A portion.
Here's the link to the transcript: https://investor.astra.com/static-files/5f63e785-7096-45c2-8ec8-c8a61028f66a

Quote
I think the other big framework to share is that this spacecraft will -- that comprises the constellation will be something that we can launch one or many of on our rockets. And so if you think about our current Rocket 4 capacity, around 150 kilograms, there's your number. I mean, we will ensure that the next version of our rocket, which is 4.0, will fly 1.0 satellite -- the 1.0 spacecraft. And maybe it will fly 2, maybe it will fly 3.

Quote
So when we go from Rocket 3 series to Rocket 4 series, the rocket's going to roughly stay the same size, but we're going to be introducing a lot of new production techniques from examples, taking some of the processes we have around putting a cork covering on the rocket, which is cut and glued to the rocket. There's now a robotic arm. It will be spraying that on the vehicle, which will remove probably 100 hours of labor.

We can also probably expect Rocket 4 to use the Reaver engine for the first stage as Kemp has previously stated that the Delphin was only for Rocket 3 and that Rocket 4 will use a new higher performance engine.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 12/29/2021 04:34 pm
Pretty brutal and thorough short seller report on Astra.

https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Lar on 12/29/2021 05:34 pm
(mod) A caution, we are not a stock site, so short seller reports may not necessarily be a good thing to post, without context... to a reader interested in Astra the company, not Astra the stock, does this report contain anything of interest? Give us some context please.

(that said...) I found it pretty informative, as long as you realise they have an agenda and will be stating everything in the most negative terms possible.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 12/29/2021 05:46 pm
(mod) A caution, we are not a stock site, so short seller reports may not necessarily be a good thing to post, without context... to a reader interested in Astra the company, not Astra the stock, does this report contain anything of interest? Give us some context please.

From a quick skim, it does not only contain nothing of interest, but is pretty shoddily put together. Stuff like a graph sorting commercial rockets from smallest to biggest and then pointing at Astra for having so little capacity compared to a heavy lifter... Plus a random assortment of concerns from the size of the launch market to viability of communications constellations with no specific reference to Astra.

No actual research here and certainly not comparable to actual reports from reputable firms that found something new by digging through a companies trash and interviewing business partners. Pull ten random posts from any concerned small launcher thread in this forum and put headlines above them and you have the same report.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 12/29/2021 06:46 pm
(mod) A caution, we are not a stock site, so short seller reports may not necessarily be a good thing to post, without context... to a reader interested in Astra the company, not Astra the stock, does this report contain anything of interest? Give us some context please.

From a quick skim, it does not only contain nothing of interest, but is pretty shoddily put together. Stuff like a graph sorting commercial rockets from smallest to biggest and then pointing at Astra for having so little capacity compared to a heavy lifter... Plus a random assortment of concerns from the size of the launch market to viability of communications constellations with no specific reference to Astra.

No actual research here and certainly not comparable to actual reports from reputable firms that found something new by digging through a companies trash and interviewing business partners. Pull ten random posts from any concerned small launcher thread in this forum and put headlines above them and you have the same report.

I disagree. They are using NSR for market numbers which is a reputable firm. They are also addressing every aspect of the business. I’ve rarely heard anyone make a case that an EP space tug isn’t going to competitive with a chemical one. You can disagree with their conclusions here but I haven’t seen any pro-Astra reports this thorough. I think one of the advantages of these companies going public is that you get non-industry insider perspective on how good of a business it really is.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 12/29/2021 06:52 pm
In response to that short seller report from Kerrisdale Capital, Rosen Law Firm is planning a class-action lawsuit (https://www.morningstar.com/news/business-wire/20211229005380/equity-alert-rosen-law-firm-encourages-astra-space-inc-fka-holicity-inc-investors-with-losses-to-inquire-about-class-action-investigation-astr-hol) on behalf of investors who lost money due to Astra having "issued materially misleading business information to the investing public." Realistically, this is a nuisance suit, I believe other publicly-traded new space companies have faced similar, but it shows that at least someone is taking this report semi-seriously.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 12/29/2021 07:54 pm
Rosen have somewhat of a history of launching lawsuits immediately after a Kerrisdale hit-piece is published, with the basic tactic of:
- Kerrisdale publishes a hit-piece
- Stock price drops
- Rosen announces a lawsuit due to 'investor losses' from drop in stock price citing the Kerrisdale report

Same tactic has been or is being pursued against Metamaterials Inc, Camber Energy, and others.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 12/29/2021 11:31 pm
US govt. is forcing Polyakov to sell his stake at Firefly.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-12-29/firefly-owner-max-polyakov-to-sell-stake-in-rocket-startup

Which could be bad news for Astra regarding the plan to licensing the engine production.

But Astra could also buy out Polyakov's stock if they have the money.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 12/30/2021 02:20 am
Pretty brutal and thorough short seller report on Astra.

https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf

I know M.E.T. would love this report :D

Without agreeing to its conclusion, I don't see anything nefarious about the numbers and assumptions, it's basically some of us have been saying for a while on this forum.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 12/30/2021 12:49 pm
(mod) A caution, we are not a stock site, so short seller reports may not necessarily be a good thing to post, without context... to a reader interested in Astra the company, not Astra the stock, does this report contain anything of interest? Give us some context please.

From a quick skim, it does not only contain nothing of interest, but is pretty shoddily put together. Stuff like a graph sorting commercial rockets from smallest to biggest and then pointing at Astra for having so little capacity compared to a heavy lifter... Plus a random assortment of concerns from the size of the launch market to viability of communications constellations with no specific reference to Astra.

No actual research here and certainly not comparable to actual reports from reputable firms that found something new by digging through a companies trash and interviewing business partners. Pull ten random posts from any concerned small launcher thread in this forum and put headlines above them and you have the same report.
It's a negative and obviously biased view but actually quite well founded in terms of industry knowledge, data and anecdotal research.

Many of the opinions would find a happy home on NSF with a much lower barrier to publication e.g the 300 launches per annum statistic.

Some of the positive views around Rocket Lab seem very well founded, and the comment on Astra's payload size (50-60kg) has been largely overlooked by most people.

Overall it's a solid piece of work. Wait until they dig into firms like Virgin Orbit, Terran Orbital, Momentus and esp. ArQit....
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 12/30/2021 02:28 pm
Pretty brutal and thorough short seller report on Astra.

https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf

I know M.E.T. would love this report :D

Without agreeing to its conclusion, I don't see anything nefarious about the numbers and assumptions, it's basically some of us have been saying for a while on this forum.

This report seems to be stating the obvious to me. Yes, the authors have a vested interest as short sellers, but the factual points they put forward are quite logical and hard to argue against.

The only question is why so many people have their heads buried in the sand.


Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: toren on 12/30/2021 06:31 pm
Since I have no experience at all in aerospace, I seldom comment here.  But early stage investing and public equity markets, that's a different matter:

I'd encourage those whose background or interests are primarily technical or exploration/settlement based to give the report linked above a read.  It's a classic bit of market structure analysis, tempered by the business model of short sellers.  That model is essentially "shoot the cripples", that is, pick the most egregiously overpriced enterprise out of a class and talk it down.

Given the ridiculously over-inflated valuations of space related SPACs in 2021, there's plenty of potential targets.  So it's worth noting which ones are NOT targeted.  They didn't go after Rocket Lab, which has reasonable claims to leadership in its niche and a possibly credible plan to grow beyond it.  They stuck to a market, launch, which is far enough along that its structure, e.g., product classes, costs, margins, growth, etc. is well enough understood for a credible analysis.  In spite of some potentially juicy targets, they did not go after other markets, e.g., OTV or earth sensing satellites, where that structure is not so well understood as yet.

They've picked ASTR as the cripple because it's visibly mispositioned in a market that is becoming understood, is behind in both technology development and attempts to move beyond its initial niche, and because it's publicly traded and can be shorted.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 01/01/2022 09:04 am
Does anyone knows which sources of information can use everyday astronaut or this site https://www.spacelaunchschedule.com/launch/astra-rocket-3-vcls-demo-2/ when they set a next launch date at 31 january? I looked for TFRs but found nothing.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 01/01/2022 03:02 pm
Does anyone knows which sources of information can use everyday astronaut or this site https://www.spacelaunchschedule.com/launch/astra-rocket-3-vcls-demo-2/ when they set a next launch date at 31 january? I looked for TFRs but found nothing.

It's a fake placeholder date.  Just look at their overall list of launches, it's obvious.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 01/01/2022 03:41 pm
Pretty brutal and thorough short seller report on Astra.

https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf (https://www.kerrisdalecap.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Astra-Space-Inc.-ASTR.pdf)

I know M.E.T. would love this report :D

Without agreeing to its conclusion, I don't see anything nefarious about the numbers and assumptions, it's basically some of us have been saying for a while on this forum.

This report seems to be stating the obvious to me. Yes, the authors have a vested interest as short sellers, but the factual points they put forward are quite logical and hard to argue against.

The only question is why so many people have their heads buried in the sand.

I particularly liked the sub-title:
“Headed for Dis-Astra”
Somewhat juvenile but kinda cute

OTOH the statement on the methodology of short sellers could be expanded to “Shoot the cripples and steal their crutches.”

Agree that much here is blatantly obvious
18 launches to get 36 very small satellites into six SSO planes?
It has to be cheaper to use some proven systems to distribute them from far fewer rideshares on larger rockets.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: gongora on 01/01/2022 03:59 pm
It has to be cheaper to use some proven systems to distribute them from far fewer rideshares on larger rockets.

There really aren't many such proven systems yet.  Hopefully more will be proven this year.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Comga on 01/01/2022 06:06 pm
It has to be cheaper to use some proven systems to distribute them from far fewer rideshares on larger rockets.

There really aren't many such proven systems yet.  Hopefully more will be proven this year.

There are at least two
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ThePhugoid on 01/01/2022 11:01 pm
Overall it's a solid piece of work. Wait until they dig into firms like Virgin Orbit, Terran Orbital, Momentus and esp. ArQit....

Surely you're not putting Virgin Orbit and Terran on the same page as Astra and Momentus, are you?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 01/03/2022 03:43 pm
Six new space operations TFR appears, but most likely they related with starlink launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 01/05/2022 03:06 pm
And I see that Astra have FAA license only for launches from Alaska, does that mean that we can't wait launches from Cape any time soon?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Kryten on 01/05/2022 04:24 pm
And I see that Astra have FAA license only for launches from Alaska, does that mean that we can't wait launches from Cape any time soon?
Launch licenses are only published when actually granted, it's perfectly possible they have one that will go through tomorrow. They've appeared only a few days before launches before.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 01/05/2022 06:11 pm
And I see that Astra have FAA license only for launches from Alaska, does that mean that we can't wait launches from Cape any time soon?
Launch licenses are only published when actually granted, it's perfectly possible they have one that will go through tomorrow. They've appeared only a few days before launches before.
And we got license just now.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FlattestEarth on 01/06/2022 03:44 am
And I see that Astra have FAA license only for launches from Alaska, does that mean that we can't wait launches from Cape any time soon?
Launch licenses are only published when actually granted, it's perfectly possible they have one that will go through tomorrow. They've appeared only a few days before launches before.
And we got license just now.

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/Astra%20License%20Orders%20VOL%2022-124%20Pre-Flight%20SLC46_2022-01-04.pdf
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Fmedici on 01/07/2022 01:48 pm
From Spaceflight Now (https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/01/06/spacex-deploys-49-more-starlink-satellites-in-first-launch-of-2022/):

Quote
Another launch is scheduled for Jan. 18 from pad 46, when the small satellite launch company Astra plans to send a handful of CubeSats into orbit for NASA. It will be the first launch of Astra’s smallsat rocket from Cape Canaveral.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 01/07/2022 05:01 pm
FCC license for the launch of Astra
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=112080
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Hayate on 01/07/2022 05:04 pm
FCC license for the launch of Astra
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=112080
Only Alaska mentioned. Nothing about Florida.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 01/07/2022 06:30 pm
FCC license for the launch of Astra
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=112080
Only Alaska mentioned. Nothing about Florida.
Its for one of their launches later this year not the one coming up out of the cape. With this approval, they have 5 pending. Here's a spreadsheet I threw together of their current or pending FCC filings with their associated windows of operation.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JoeWakefield on 01/08/2022 08:08 pm
LV0008 is vertical
https://twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1479922338162515972?s=21
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: kdhilliard on 01/09/2022 03:28 am
LV0008 is vertical

First Astra rocket vertical in Florida at SLC-46 (https://spaceexplored.com/2022/01/08/first-astra-rocket-vertical-in-florida-at-slc-46/) · Seth Kurkowski · 8 January 2022 · Space Explored.

The article includes an ocean-side photo of the pad, also by Jared Locke.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 01/09/2022 06:08 pm
Wet Dress Rehearsal or WDR and Static Fire?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: cpushack on 01/09/2022 06:34 pm
It looks so small in comparison to the pad infrastructure around it
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 01/09/2022 07:16 pm
It looks so small in comparison to the pad infrastructure around it
Because it is a really small launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: harrystranger on 01/09/2022 11:21 pm
Another photo from today.
https://twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1480265167946633216?s
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 01/10/2022 06:47 pm
Launch window for LV0008 | VCLS Demo 2 is 18:00-21:00 UTC (1pm - 4pm EST)
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/10/2022 07:17 pm
Launch window for LV0008 | VCLS Demo 2 is 18:00-21:00 UTC (1pm - 4pm EST)
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
january 18th, 2022.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 01/11/2022 07:11 pm

Astra is on track to test its LV0008 vehicle with a static fire test at LC-46.https://twitter.com/vishaldalmia/status/1480555064540471302
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 01/12/2022 04:51 pm
From the latest FAA ATCSSC Operations Plan:

Quote from: FAA
PRIMARY         18/1800-2137Z    -ASTRA3.3
BACKUP          19-22/1800-2137Z

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdis.jsp?advn=16&adv_date=01122022&facId=DCC&title=OPERATIONS+PLAN&titleDate=01/12/22 (https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdis.jsp?advn=16&adv_date=01122022&facId=DCC&title=OPERATIONS+PLAN&titleDate=01/12/22)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 01/13/2022 04:22 am
I created a topic for Astra LV0008 at https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55588.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55588.0).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 01/24/2022 01:04 am
https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1484165072788230150
Quote
"Astra's launching 3 satellites for NASA this summer out of Cape Canaveral as part of the TROPICS program to help us better understand tropical storms.
-Kemp
Kemp confirming that TROPICS will be flying out of the cape. It was looking like they wouldn't end up flying out of Kwaj and this is just confirmation of that.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ken the Bin on 01/27/2022 04:33 am
The PSCA has issued a notice for mission id P135, which per discussion in the ABL RS1 topic is Astra LV0009, so I created a topic for LV0009 at https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55685.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55685.0).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 02/10/2022 07:10 pm
stock price changing from +5% to -5% within seconds after launch failure.
trading halted.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 02/10/2022 07:46 pm
In the terminal count, there was an interesting callout from the LD to the FSO, advising them to prepare to issue an 'option command' at T+164 (2m 44s into flight) calling out "an event". Going by the timeline that's just prior to MECO. AFTS is not armed and instead in shadow mode (FSO would not be inhibiting an on-board system, the FTS is fired by ground command) so something to listen out for on the next attempt.
Well, that turned out to be an opaque 'option enabled' callout.
Some news on the option/event mystery, the most recent stream had a more verbose callout on the countdown net:
Quote
Miffco (MFCO?), prepare to issue option when rocket IIP passes min MECO point and is within disperse trajectories calling out an event
And later:
Quote
- Flight, MFCO, option sent!
- FTS confirms option detected.
- Safety can't confirm.
- That callout of an option means that the system will be safely able to ignite the upper stage after-
- MECO
- our stage separation.

Sounds to me like part of their FSS involves only enabling the upper stage engine (from the ground, rather than autonomously) once the vehicle's instantaneous impact point has passed into a corridor, bounded by:
- 'min MECO point': the minimum distance the vehicle must travel before successful MECO (presumably to prevent a premature staging from producing a high velocity suborbital trajectory rather than a ballistic fall)
- 'within disperse trajectories': the maximum extent of first stage debris trajectories in the event upper stage ignition destroys the first stage
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: AstroDave on 02/10/2022 07:53 pm
  Hope they get it figured out. Walking through a door that isn't opened tends to make for a rough day.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 02/10/2022 07:55 pm
stock price changing from +5% to -5% within seconds after launch failure.
trading halted.
stock crushing -38% when trading resumed.
Currently -27%
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/10/2022 08:31 pm
Man, it’s weird to see the stock react so extremely during launch. Having a publicly traded launch company is so extremely stressful. (I’m glad I don’t do any individual stock investing.)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/11/2022 05:29 am
ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against Astra Space, Inc. f/k/a Holicity, Inc.; Encourages Investors with Losses Over $100K to Secure Counsel - ASTR, HOL (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rosen-a-top-ranked-law-firm-files-securities-class-action-lawsuit-against-astra-space-inc-fka-holicity-inc-encourages-investors-with-losses-over-100k-to-secure-counsel--astr-hol-301479350.html)

Quote from: prnewswire.com
WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, announces it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Astra Space, Inc. f/k/a Holicity, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTR, HOL) between February 2, 2021 and December 29, 2021, inclusive (the "Class Period"). A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than April 11, 2022.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Astra securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

<snip>

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose: (1) Astra cannot launch "anywhere"; (2) Astra significantly overstated its addressable market; (3) Astra overstated the effectiveness of its designs and reliability; (4) Astra significantly overstated its plans for diversification and its broadband constellation plan; and (5) as a result, defendants' public statements were materially false and/or misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: launchwatcher on 02/12/2022 03:55 pm
ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against Astra Space, Inc. f/k/a Holicity, Inc.; Encourages Investors with Losses Over $100K to Secure Counsel - ASTR, HOL (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rosen-a-top-ranked-law-firm-files-securities-class-action-lawsuit-against-astra-space-inc-fka-holicity-inc-encourages-investors-with-losses-over-100k-to-secure-counsel--astr-hol-301479350.html)
This is routine legal trolling that is likely to happen any time there's sufficiently bad news about a publicly traded company.   Not remarkable in any way.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: butters on 02/12/2022 04:16 pm
Astra is unique in that they openly pitched a strategy of compromising some reliability in exchange for lower costs, so they're the last launch provider that could be credibly accused of overstating the reliability of their designs.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/12/2022 04:51 pm
ROSEN, A TOP RANKED LAW FIRM, Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against Astra Space, Inc. f/k/a Holicity, Inc.; Encourages Investors with Losses Over $100K to Secure Counsel - ASTR, HOL (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rosen-a-top-ranked-law-firm-files-securities-class-action-lawsuit-against-astra-space-inc-fka-holicity-inc-encourages-investors-with-losses-over-100k-to-secure-counsel--astr-hol-301479350.html)
This is routine legal trolling that is likely to happen any time there's sufficiently bad news about a publicly traded company.   Not remarkable in any way.
This lawsuit combined with recent failure isn't helping share price.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/12/2022 05:37 pm
Four failures in five orbital attempts, plus another rocket destroyed on the ground, doesn't look good, but if you look at the timeline of the failures and the one success, progress is visible.  They started with all sorts of ground processing problems.  Then they worked through flight control and propulsion problems.  Those early problems seem mostly ironed out.  Now they have the fairing issue.  If they can figure that out they have a chance, but quality control of both hardware and processes going forward will be key.  They did reach orbit less than two years after their first attempt (it took longer for Falcon 1, about the same for Lockheed's Athena, but less for Electron and LauncherOne).

Great to see a launch from SLC 46 again.  Wish that place was busier.

 - Ed Kyle   
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/20/2022 03:52 am
https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/1494437279355576320

Quote
Launching from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station costs @Astra about $1.5 million, says Astra's Tom Williams. Private spaceports are about one-third of that. #csf2022
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 02/22/2022 07:00 pm
I have no sympathy for these investors. They should've done their homework before of investing amount of money in Astra that justifies a lawsuit.

http://parabolicarc.com/2022/02/22/astra-space-faces-class-action-lawsuits/

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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 02/22/2022 08:13 pm
I have no sympathy for these investors. They should've done their homework before of investing amount of money in Astra that justifies a lawsuit.

http://parabolicarc.com/2022/02/22/astra-space-faces-class-action-lawsuits/

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk

Same lawsuit originally announced the same day the Kerrisdale Capital short-seller report came out (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2326082#msg2326082), and which Rosen elaborated on a couple of weeks ago (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2340094#msg2340094). Although it does seem that five more law firms have signed on here -- perhaps that touches on edzieba's suggestion that this might be a coordinated one-two punch with Kerrisdale Capital (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2326100#msg2326100)?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/23/2022 05:05 am
Countersue for stock price manipulation, then
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 02/27/2022 09:24 am
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1497642751726428160

Quote
Dunn with a couple updates on other launches:

• Planning CAPSTONE launch on Electron in late April, maybe pushing into May;
• Three Astra Rocket 3.3 launches (for TROPICS) still expected in late spring/early summer despite launch failure earlier this month.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 03/04/2022 07:08 pm
https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1499814890244034564
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 03/07/2022 05:24 pm
Cross-posts:
New update from Astra on the failure:

Post-Launch Investigation: What We Found and Next Steps (https://astra.com/news/post-launch-investigation-what-we-found-and-next-steps/)

Quote from: Astra
By Andrew Griggs, Senior Director, Mission Management & Assurance at Astra

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.

What Happened:
Our investigation verified that the payload fairing did not fully deploy prior to upper stage ignition due to an electrical issue. The separation mechanisms (our fairing has 5 of these) were fired in an incorrect order, which resulted in off-nominal movement of the fairing that caused an electrical disconnection. Due to the disconnection, the last separation mechanism never received its command to open, which prevented the fairing from separating completely before upper stage ignition.

Separately, we discovered a software issue that resulted in the upper stage engine being unable to use its Thrust Vector Control system. This led to the vehicle tumbling after the off-nominal stage separation, and caused the end of the mission.

What We Learned:
The root cause of the fairing separation issue was an error in an electrical harness engineering drawing. This harness was built and installed onto the vehicle exactly as specified by our procedures and the engineering drawing, but the drawing error led to two harness channels (pictured below at the locations ‘4’ and ‘5’) being swapped. Prior to the LV0008 flight, we had conducted an end-of-line signal test to verify the separation system and ensure that the system was wired correctly. This test would have been able to detect an error in the harness build or installation, but it was unable to detect an error in the design. The swapped separation channels caused a different deployment sequence than we expected, and this led to the failure to open the fairing. We’ve been able to recreate the failure mode by conducting several experiments at our factory with real flight hardware, one of the benefits of having an active production floor with several launch vehicles in various states of production at the same time.

After determining the root cause of the software issue, we found that our flight control software was vulnerable to a specific “packet loss” failure mode. A missed series of signals resulted in a chain of events, resulting in the upper stage’s inability to recover from its tumble. Although we had designed our software suite to be resilient to packet loss, an unlikely combination of factors caused a failure that we didn’t predict. We have been able to use our hardware-in-the-loop simulator to step through exactly what happened and diagnose the root cause with high confidence.

How We Fixed It:
Through the investigation process we had identified two problems that needed fixing: the harness issue and the software issue. Soon after discovering the harness drawing error, we fixed the drawing and incorporated the change on previously built harnesses. We also implemented a new end-of-line signal test that will allow us to identify this class of issue in the future, if it were to occur, prior to launch. On the software side, we’ve introduced a trio of upgrades designed to make our system even more resilient to packet loss and other similar failure modes. Through constant iteration and extensive testing, we have been able to demonstrate that the changes eliminate the failure mode we saw on LV0008, while making the software suite much more robust.

Here at Astra, iteration and learning are core parts of our culture. I’ve been continuously impressed with the speed, passion, and diligence that the team showed as they worked through these complex issues to identify exactly what occurred and determine the right path forward to resolve each problem. With the root causes identified and corrective measures in place, we’re preparing to return to the launch pad with LV0009 soon — stay tuned!



Astra has announced the results of the ELaNa 41 mission failure investigation. Two separate failures - an electrical issue with the fairing, and a software issue on the upper stage - caused the loss of mission.

https://twitter.com/TGMetsFan98/status/1500834111073792004
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: su27k on 03/23/2022 03:22 am
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1505993100984000526

Quote
Attiq: $ASTR's automated approach to production is already showing results, as the company has gone from building one rocket "every 6 to 8 months" to currently "building 1 a month, and next year our goal is to build one a week."



Attiq: Russia's Soyuz "was a workhorse" and $ASTR is going after opportunities where payloads no longer have a ride to orbit.

"We're talking" to customers about where Astra can fly satellites that expected to fly on Soyuz.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 03/28/2022 03:47 am
SFN Launch Schedule (https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/) update, March 25 (one of many):
Three pairs of TROPICS satellites will launch on the next three Astra Rocket 3.3, from Cape Canaveral SFS SLC-46.
TROPICS 1 and 2 in April.
TROPICS 3 and 4 in April.
TROPICS 5 and 6 in May.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 04/01/2022 01:29 am
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1509625241215160326?s=21&t=gG5na9XdoiC-qLRIjQnO-g

Of interest, I note their backlog is now $160M. At a 10% net profit margin after tax, that would give them ~$16M per year profit (assuming the $160M can all be delivered in one year and also assuming it can be done profitability in the first place).

So that means about 15 such profitable years will be required to recoup the ~$250m net loss from the past year.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 04/01/2022 01:59 pm
Cross-post:
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1509642794624765956?cxt=HHwWiMCy9fGHqvMpAAAA
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 04/09/2022 11:22 am
TROPICS has passed the KDP-E

https://tropics.ll.mit.edu/CMS/tropics/Latest-News-and-Updates (https://tropics.ll.mit.edu/CMS/tropics/Latest-News-and-Updates)
Quote
Mar. 31, 2022: The TROPICS Mission successfully passed the Key Decision Point for Phase E (KDP-E)
KDP-E provides permission to move forward with the launches and start operations.
In February 2022, TROPICS completed the Operational Readiness Review and Mission Readiness Review.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?filename=0&article=3640&context=smallsat&type=additional (https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?filename=0&article=3640&context=smallsat&type=additional)
See p. 23 for information on the Phase E & KDP-E
The original timeline was evidently not observed  :D
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 04/11/2022 07:23 pm
Should Astra get its own forum now that they are flying paying customers? What's the criteria for this?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Blackjax on 04/11/2022 08:44 pm
Should Astra get its own forum now that they are flying paying customers? What's the criteria for this?

Good question, we'll likely be facing the same question for several other launchers as well before the year is done.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/11/2022 08:52 pm
Should Astra get its own forum now that they are flying paying customers? What's the criteria for this?
Yes.  Absolutely.  Astra Rocket 3.3 has made it to orbit twice.  The company has completed six orbital attempts altogether, including two this year.  LauncherOne has its own thread, but has only completed four attempts to orbit (with three successes).  Blue Origin has its own thread but has never flown to orbit.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 04/20/2022 10:58 pm
SFN Launch Schedule (https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/) update, April 20 (one of many):
All three TROPICS launches are listed TBD.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 04/28/2022 08:08 pm
SFN Launch Schedule (https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/) update, April 28 (three of many updates today):

First launch: TROPICS 1 and 2 launch in June.

Second launch: TROPICS 3 and 4 also launch in June.

Third launch: TROPICS 5 and 6 launch in July.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/29/2022 02:43 pm
Should Astra get its own forum now that they are flying paying customers? What's the criteria for this?
Yes.  Absolutely.  Astra Rocket 3.3 has made it to orbit twice.  The company has completed six orbital attempts altogether, including two this year.  LauncherOne has its own thread, but has only completed four attempts to orbit (with three successes).  Blue Origin has its own thread but has never flown to orbit.

 - Ed Kyle
The launch industry has grown a lot. Back when Virgin got their own thread, there were fewer companies. Also, Virgin is, of course, now two companies and are one of the OG newspace companies. Same for Blue Origin.

...all of that to say it's understandable why it doesn't have its own forum, yet, simply because there are so many newspace companies now. Also, Astra was extremely secretive for a while, so there was less content to even put in a forum.

But now may be the right time. Especially as Astra also has in-space services, etc, so there's potentially more to talk about than just launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 04/30/2022 12:28 am
I was digging through Alameda county work permits to see what was going on with the factory expansion and I found a proposal for a new entrance and redesign of their factory campus.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 04/30/2022 09:33 am
I was digging through Alameda county work permits to see what was going on with the factory expansion and I found an approved proposal for a new entrance and redesign of their factory campus.
Nice find! As well as expanding office/meeting space, they're adding additional large capacity LOX, LN2 and RP-1 tanks around the existing engine test cells.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 04/30/2022 04:18 pm
I was digging through Alameda county work permits to see what was going on with the factory expansion and I found an approved proposal for a new entrance and redesign of their factory campus.
Nice find! As well as expanding office/meeting space, they're adding additional large capacity LOX, LN2 and RP-1 tanks around the existing engine test cells.

That's not actually their existing test Building. Their current active cells are in Building 397 (see below), the test cell shown in this document is Building 372 which is another abandoned test cell from the Navy. They put in an application to bring 372 under their control in July of last year which I believe was only approved as of Jan 31 2022.

Quote
On July 22, 2021 Astra submitted an application for a Conditional Use Permit to expand their operations to include and rehabilitate Building 372 for additional indoor engine testing capability, and expand their current headquarters and production space into the remainder of Building 360 (approximately 110,000 square feet).

https://alameda.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5158515&GUID=D4AEB9A9-DCE7-4963-84C2-665805D64029&FullText=1 (https://alameda.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=5158515&GUID=D4AEB9A9-DCE7-4963-84C2-665805D64029&FullText=1)
With the second building they will have 4 test cells on campus between the two buildings.

To give a little more context to the expansion though. Buildings 163 and 414 are currently occupied by a small solar firm that needs to be relocated before they can expand. Sometime last year, Astra sent them a letter more or less saying "we'll pay you $62,00 if you move out. this amount will decrease every subsequent day" but that didn't lead to anything. The company will probably have to leave when their lease is up at the end of the year unless they are reallocated before then.
An article on the matter:
https://therealdeal.com/sanfrancisco/2022/03/01/rocket-scientists-hit-speed-bump-in-plan-for-alameda-expansion/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/05/2022 10:49 pm
1st quarter financial results.
They are burning through their cash reserves at this rate about year left. Really need significant increase of revenue to slow the burn and give them couple more years.

https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-first-quarter-2022-financial-results

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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 05/06/2022 12:09 am
4MM income
11MM cost of revenue
Assume the income is for 1 launch and cost of revenue is for 2 launch.

85MM loss
Expenditure
R&D 38MM
sales/marketing 4MM
General and administrative 21MM

This easily show why small launch vehicle is not a good business.
Even if you can earn 1MM gross profit per launch.
You will need about 25 launch per quarter to cover sales and admin cost.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 05/07/2022 10:52 pm
Astra will make announcements regarding Rocket 4 on May 12.

https://spacenews.com/astra-prepares-for-tropics-launch-campaign/
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 05/10/2022 02:06 pm
Astra has added SaxaVord UK (https://astra.com/news/saxavord-uk-spaceport/) as a launch site. They join ABL (https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/02/abl-space-tapped-to-launch-the-first-orbital-rocket-from-britain/), Skyrora (https://www.skyrora.com/post/skyrora-agrees-multi-launch-deal-with-shetland-spaceport-for-the-next-decade), HyImpulse (http://parabolicarc.com/2021/02/08/hyimpulse-technologies-plans-to-launch-from-unst-island-in-scotland/), Venture Orbital Systems (https://www.venture-orbital.com/press-release/venture-orbital-systems-accord-saxavord-space-port), and C6 Launch (https://www.c6launch.ca/c6-launch-systems-to-use-shetland-space-centre-as-primary-launch-site/) in expressing interest in this Shetland-based spaceport.

Side-note, there's been discussion here about Astra deserving their own forum section, but surely SaxaVord needs its own forum thread, at least. I don't feel qualified to start one, however.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/12/2022 07:21 pm
Astra update.

New larger 2 engine 300kg ELV. They don't think RLVs are way to go which is strange given high flightrates they are targetting.
The RL thought the same but have change their tune. Discovered building high volumes of ELVs isn't as easy as it seems.

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1524781587568672771?t=hmmcWq3U9NfCDx7AWMU2zw&amp;s=19



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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JayWee on 05/12/2022 08:26 pm
I'm mostly curious where they are going to get payloads for the flight-rate they plan to build for.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: novak on 05/13/2022 03:59 am
Clearly a very bad, low res version of firefly testing their reaver engine on TS-1.  They claim to have a production line, do these guys have any hardware?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 05/13/2022 11:06 am
Clearly a very bad, low res version of firefly testing their reaver engine on TS-1.  They claim to have a production line, do these guys have any hardware?
Which guys? Astra have a production line and hardware (the presentation day literally took place on their factory floor), Firefly have a production line next to their test stand at McGregor.
Nasaspaceflight tour of Astra's factory:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmACuTqFkPY

Tim Dodd's tour of Firefly's factory & test stand:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac-V8mO0lWo
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/13/2022 05:53 pm
Their business model is totally reliant on very flight rates to keep prices down. If these don't materialize they are stuck with very large and expensive factory with low production rate which will bankrupt company in very short time.

If the plan is to pursue reuse then they scale for smaller production rates and initial LVs become more expensive. As we've seen from RL and SpaceX perfecting RLVs takes lot of time. Typical 2 years achieve recovery and another 1-2 years to refine LV design and recovery systems. RL has way to go until their LV and systems are perfected.

Unfortunately for Astra time isn't on their side. There are few 1000-1500kg class LVs coming on line in next year or two. These have similar $kg and compete head on in constellation launch market that Astra are targeting.



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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Blackjax on 05/13/2022 07:32 pm
Unfortunately for Astra time isn't on their side. There are few 1000-1500kg class LVs coming on line in next year or two. These have similar $kg and compete head on in constellation launch market that Astra are targeting.

Is that the whole picture of the market they are targeting though?  My impression is that they, Virgin Orbit, and ABL have a major emphasis on national security/responsive space payloads for governments globally.  While I am sure they would love to do commercial constellations if they can land some of that business, I am not sure that their business model is primarily reliant on that gamble. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 05/13/2022 07:53 pm
Unfortunately for Astra time isn't on their side. There are few 1000-1500kg class LVs coming on line in next year or two. These have similar $kg and compete head on in constellation launch market that Astra are targeting.

Is that the whole picture of the market they are targeting though?  My impression is that they, Virgin Orbit, and ABL have a major emphasis on national security/responsive space payloads for governments globally.  While I am sure they would love to do commercial constellations if they can land some of that business, I am not sure that their business model is primarily reliant on that gamble.

There's definitely a market for quick-response launches for governments that don't depend on fixed ground infrastructure, but I can't imagine that market is very large, either in terms of "number of providers which it can sustain" or "number of launches it will entail." Astra in particular appears to be ill-suited to this market, because a handful of contracts from the military doesn't give them the extremely high flight rates they seem to be depending on for economies of scale. Someone like ABL, which may be better-positioned to capture the commercial market with their much larger launcher (that still allegedly costs the same as Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne) would be my bet to win here.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: novak on 05/14/2022 12:59 am
They have some hardware, they didn't build or test the reaver engine in that video, it would appear. That's a firefly test stand.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/14/2022 01:32 am
Realisation slowly dawning that almost none of the small launch New Space companies’ business cases make sense.

They require improbably high launch rates to justify the significant investments made to get to orbit, let alone support continuing operations thereafter.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 05/14/2022 01:44 am
Realisation slowly dawning that almost none of the small launch New Space companies’ business cases make sense.

They require improbably high launch rates to justify the significant investments made to get to orbit, let alone support continuing operations thereafter.
Those high launch rates were there before the "Raidshare" rides offer by the those folks from Hawthorne suck up most of the smallsat payloads.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/14/2022 03:04 am
Very slim possibility, but I'd be darned if all TROPICS cubesats will be taken by SpaceX as an exclusive rideshare at the last second. Not referring to Transporter since that goes to SSO only.

Or maybe I'm just joking.
6 cubesats isn't much of launch contract.

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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Blackjax on 05/14/2022 03:33 am
Unfortunately for Astra time isn't on their side. There are few 1000-1500kg class LVs coming on line in next year or two. These have similar $kg and compete head on in constellation launch market that Astra are targeting.

Is that the whole picture of the market they are targeting though?  My impression is that they, Virgin Orbit, and ABL have a major emphasis on national security/responsive space payloads for governments globally.  While I am sure they would love to do commercial constellations if they can land some of that business, I am not sure that their business model is primarily reliant on that gamble.

There's definitely a market for quick-response launches for governments that don't depend on fixed ground infrastructure, but I can't imagine that market is very large, either in terms of "number of providers which it can sustain" or "number of launches it will entail." Astra in particular appears to be ill-suited to this market, because a handful of contracts from the military doesn't give them the extremely high flight rates they seem to be depending on for economies of scale. Someone like ABL, which may be better-positioned to capture the commercial market with their much larger launcher (that still allegedly costs the same as Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne) would be my bet to win here.

I have not seen, and probably never will see, any accounting for how many how many top secret national security launches there might be even for the US alone, let alone other governments.  It could be zero or very large, given the lack of public info I won't speculate but perhaps you have access to more than me.

That said, payment for the actual launches would be only one revenue stream.  Some players might pay a retainer fee that would subsidize the ongoing costs of the infrastructure to provide the capability, so it is available on demand.  Consider what ULA was paid for ensuring their ongoing services for example and ask how much of the ongoing costs of a little outfit like Astra that would pay for.  In a world where there are rising tensions with two powers (russia and china) that have antisatellite capabilities, I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that national security planners might be thinking this capability is worth paying for, and they have much deeper pockets than NASA.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 05/14/2022 04:23 am
Realisation slowly dawning that almost none of the small launch New Space companies’ business cases make sense.

They require improbably high launch rates to justify the significant investments made to get to orbit, let alone support continuing operations thereafter.
Those high launch rates were there before the "Raidshare" rides offer by the those folks from Hawthorne suck up most of the smallsat payloads.

So (not directed at you, I’m just wondering) did the small launch start ups in the 2015-2020 period just hope like hell that the Hawthorne crowd would not succeed in rapid reuse? Because cheap rideshare was a logical consequence of low cost access to orbit.

Nothing about the current situation was not easily foreseeable. In fact, many of us did just that. Foresee it that is. And proclaim it to all who would listen.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ringsider on 05/14/2022 10:23 pm
Realisation slowly dawning that almost none of the small launch New Space companies’ business cases make sense.

They require improbably high launch rates to justify the significant investments made to get to orbit, let alone support continuing operations thereafter.
Those high launch rates were there before the "Raidshare" rides offer by the those folks from Hawthorne suck up most of the smallsat payloads.

So (not directed at you, I’m just wondering) did the small launch start ups in the 2015-2020 period just hope like hell that the Hawthorne crowd would not succeed in rapid reuse? Because cheap rideshare was a logical consequence of low cost access to orbit.

Nothing about the current situation was not easily foreseeable. In fact, many of us did just that. Foresee it that is. And proclaim it to all who would listen.
Opinions about lack of demand for dedicated smallsat launches are somewhat disproved by the current data.

For example, as of February 2022 Rocket Lab has a $545m backlog:-

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rocket-lab-announces-fourth-quarter-210500598.html

That's 50-70 launches (depending on price) of demand locked in for one small launcher. That's quite a manifest.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 05/15/2022 04:40 am
Realisation slowly dawning that almost none of the small launch New Space companies’ business cases make sense.

They require improbably high launch rates to justify the significant investments made to get to orbit, let alone support continuing operations thereafter.
Those high launch rates were there before the "Raidshare" rides offer by the those folks from Hawthorne suck up most of the smallsat payloads.

So (not directed at you, I’m just wondering) did the small launch start ups in the 2015-2020 period just hope like hell that the Hawthorne crowd would not succeed in rapid reuse? Because cheap rideshare was a logical consequence of low cost access to orbit.

Nothing about the current situation was not easily foreseeable. In fact, many of us did just that. Foresee it that is. And proclaim it to all who would listen.
Opinions about lack of demand for dedicated smallsat launches are somewhat disproved by the current data.

For example, as of February 2022 Rocket Lab has a $545m backlog:-

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/rocket-lab-announces-fourth-quarter-210500598.html

That's 50-70 launches (depending on price) of demand locked in for one small launcher. That's quite a manifest.

That backlog is across all RL businesses with space systems now likely to be more than 50% given recent acquisitions.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/17/2022 08:22 pm
The three TROPICS launches TBD:
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1526607162025328642

Quote
Janet Petro, director of KSC, showed this slide of 2022 key milestones at a Space Transportation Association event.

It shows Artemis 1’s launch no earlier than August.

Astra’s three launches of NASA’s TROPICS CubeSats are TBD as Astra is “working through some issues,” she said.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 05/18/2022 09:07 pm
Very slim possibility, but I'd be darned if all TROPICS cubesats will be taken by SpaceX as an exclusive rideshare at the last second. Not referring to Transporter since that goes to SSO only.

Or maybe I'm just joking.
6 cubesats isn't much of launch contract.

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The significance of the TROPICS mission for Astra lies in Astra competing and winning against SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab (and Momentus) for that launch contract. NASA's conclusions in the "Evaluation of Proposals" part turned out to be pretty accurate. The TROPICS decision document is here: https://govtribe.com/file/government-file/tropics-decision-document-signed-dot-pdf
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: novak on 05/19/2022 05:49 am
The significance of the TROPICS mission for Astra lies in Astra competing and winning against SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab (and Momentus) for that launch contract. NASA's conclusions in the "Evaluation of Proposals" part turned out to be pretty accurate. The TROPICS decision document is here: https://govtribe.com/file/government-file/tropics-decision-document-signed-dot-pdf

Competing and losing $250M/year is debatable for if it's winning.  I do think it's still exciting to see so much general innovation and talent being bred to develop LVs but I question if astra is really competing.  Seems like they've bought a lot of IP and they need to see if they can manufacture cheaply enough and fly often enough to make their low prices real.  An interesting/exciting position for sure, regardless of what you think of them.

Side note, you should have put virgin orbit in quotes since they were the only one not even considered in this decision, apparently due to noncompetitive pricing.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 05/19/2022 09:05 pm
The significance of the TROPICS mission for Astra lies in Astra competing and winning against SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab (and Momentus) for that launch contract. NASA's conclusions in the "Evaluation of Proposals" part turned out to be pretty accurate. The TROPICS decision document is here: https://govtribe.com/file/government-file/tropics-decision-document-signed-dot-pdf

Competing and losing $250M/year is debatable for if it's winning.  I do think it's still exciting to see so much general innovation and talent being bred to develop LVs but I question if astra is really competing.  Seems like they've bought a lot of IP and they need to see if they can manufacture cheaply enough and fly often enough to make their low prices real.  An interesting/exciting position for sure, regardless of what you think of them.

I think that all launcher companies in the whole world including SpaceX are losing money. A better question could be how that money is spent. Astra has spent its money on establishing that its LV can actually deliver satellites to an SSO, its Alameda factory, new talent (a shoutout to Bryson Gentile), Firefly's IP and Apollo Fusion. Space is hard and even if Astra should fail, the powerslide launch and the "fairings won't open" launch will always remain in my memory as the most KSP IRL launches ever :D

Astra bought IP from Firefly and it acquired Apollo Fusion. I am unaware of any further IP bought by Astra, all other Astra's IP seems to be inhouse. Do you have more information on this?

Side note, you should have put virgin orbit in quotes since they were the only one not even considered in this decision, apparently due to noncompetitive pricing.

Momentus was the only competitor which offered to take NASA satellites to space while it had no LV and no plans to develop one. This is the reason why I put Momentus in brackets.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: MGD on 05/26/2022 12:00 pm
The three TROPICS launches TBD:
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1526607162025328642

Quote
Janet Petro, director of KSC, showed this slide of 2022 key milestones at a Space Transportation Association event.

It shows Artemis 1’s launch no earlier than August.

Astra’s three launches of NASA’s TROPICS CubeSats are TBD as Astra is “working through some issues,” she said.

I have found the picture from space (Sentitel) and have found something that looks like as rocket on SLC-46 in Cap Canaveral. I think that it is Astra rocket for TROPICS mission. The date of this pictrue is May 25th, 2022
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 05/30/2022 08:01 pm
LV0010 is on the launchpad 8)
Are we going to create a separate thread for all 3 Astra's TROPICS launches?

https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1531354329554137088?cxt=HHwWgMCl5capu8AqAAAA

EDIT: Someone has already created one:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=56445.0

Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Tywin on 05/30/2022 08:53 pm


Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?

Please yes  8)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/30/2022 09:48 pm


Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?

Please yes  8)
Yes.  Long overdue.  Sixteen different launch vehicles have attempted orbit this year.  Only one of the companies or countries responsible for these 16 (Astra) does not have its own section here.  Astra Rocket 3.3 is one of only seven launch vehicles or LV families that has flown more than once this year!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 06/01/2022 03:49 am
Just as an aside to the static fire video they showed during the investor day presentation. It was mentioned that they built a static fire stand of their own to test the new engine. I was looking around and it looks like they set up shop outside castle airport in Atwater CA. Specifically 2500 Test cell which, based on google maps photos, is identical to the pictures they showed in the presentation. Additionally, In the last image you can see some planes in the background that can also be seen behind the stand on google maps. 

Astra has also done Rocket 3 static fires at castle airport before.

tinyurl.com/mrsp4spd
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: harrystranger on 06/01/2022 06:26 am
Just as an aside to the static fire video they showed during the investor day presentation. It was mentioned that they built a static fire stand of their own to test the new engine. I was looking around and it looks like they set up shop outside castle airport in Atwater CA. Specifically 2500 Test cell which, based on google maps photos, is identical to the pictures they showed in the presentation. Additionally, In the last image you can see some planes in the background that can also be seen behind the stand on google maps. 

Astra has also done Rocket 3 static fires at castle airport before.


Thanks so much for tracking this down!
I've attached an image of the site that was taken just two days ago.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: brussell on 06/01/2022 04:13 pm


Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?

Please yes  8)

Who makes that happen?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/01/2022 06:03 pm
I originay thought Astra's need to built facilities for high volume production is risky if launch  business didn't pan out. Having surplus high tech production facilities means they can just switch to contract manufacturing. Keep their staff, facilities and tap into alternative revenue source .

Same can be said for all startup launch companies.

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Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 06/01/2022 06:26 pm
I originay thought Astra's need to built facilities for high volume production is risky if launch  business didn't pan out. Having surplus high tech production facilities means they can just switch to contract manufacturing. Keep their staff, facilities and tap into alternative revenue source .

Same can be said for all startup launch companies.

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I would think that would depend on how fixed/dedicated their tooling is. For example, they're probably less capable of making general-purpose "stuff" than Relativity.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: voytenkodev on 06/01/2022 06:28 pm
What now wait Astra for launch if they have a license on rocket?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 06/02/2022 06:15 pm
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?

https://twitter.com/CAgovernor/status/1532047412662964224?cxt=HHwWgMCorabA9sIqAAAA
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/05/2022 01:14 pm
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 06/05/2022 02:44 pm
Why Astra?
Did any others invite him?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: arachnitect on 06/06/2022 12:13 am
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.


Maybe the Governor is trying to give a visibility boost and vote of confidence to a young company in his State? A company that needs Federal contracts and shareholder support to survive and grow?

Or maybe it's just because Astra is more conveniently located?

[other company] is doing fine. They don't need Newsom hanging around.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 06/06/2022 04:27 am
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.


Maybe the Governor is trying to give a visibility boost and vote of confidence to a young company in his State? A company that needs Federal contracts and shareholder support to survive and grow?

Or maybe it's just because Astra is more conveniently located?

[other company] is doing fine. They don't need Newsom hanging around.

Forget [other company], of the six most promising small-launch companies, only Firefly Aerospace isn't based out of California. Haven't seen Newsom visiting Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, ABL Space Systems, or Relativity Space either.

Although "they didn't invite him" remains plausible.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: arachnitect on 06/06/2022 11:43 am
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.



Maybe the Governor is trying to give a visibility boost and vote of confidence to a young company in his State? A company that needs Federal contracts and shareholder support to survive and grow?

Or maybe it's just because Astra is more conveniently located?

[other company] is doing fine. They don't need Newsom hanging around.

Forget [other company], of the six most promising small-launch companies, only Firefly Aerospace isn't based out of California. Haven't seen Newsom visiting Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, ABL Space Systems, or Relativity Space either.

Although "they didn't invite him" remains plausible.

All those companies are based in Southern California. Newsom is from San Francisco, and SF is much closer to the capital Sacramento.

Might be as simple as Astra invited the Mayor, the Mayor invited the Governor, the Governor was in town, Governor shows up.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/06/2022 11:54 am
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.
We are having a primary election  on Tuesday here in California. Because of the way our primaries work, it's basically the actual election. The  visit to Astra happened at exactly the time when Newsom needed to be on TV. Remember that we do a whole lot of early voting here, so going to Astra any later would not have been as effective.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 06/06/2022 02:51 pm
Astra got the California governor and Alameda mayor to endorse their factory on May 24th. I don't remember seeing a video of the governor visiting any other launcher company in California. Why Astra?
.....
Not much of a choice. Either the relatively unknown Astra without much political baggage or the company with the flight proven totem on display that have recent issues with some Democratic political critters. The California governor has to cater to his political base.


Maybe the Governor is trying to give a visibility boost and vote of confidence to a young company in his State? A company that needs Federal contracts and shareholder support to survive and grow?

Or maybe it's just because Astra is more conveniently located?

[other company] is doing fine. They don't need Newsom hanging around.

Forget [other company], of the six most promising small-launch companies, only Firefly Aerospace isn't based out of California. Haven't seen Newsom visiting Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, ABL Space Systems, or Relativity Space either.

Although "they didn't invite him" remains plausible.

Newsom at least met with Virgin.

https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article242360541.html
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: high road on 06/08/2022 07:41 am


Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?

Please yes  8)
Yes.  Long overdue.  Sixteen different launch vehicles have attempted orbit this year.  Only one of the companies or countries responsible for these 16 (Astra) does not have its own section here.  Astra Rocket 3.3 is one of only seven launch vehicles or LV families that has flown more than once this year!

 - Ed Kyle

I'd say 'flown' once, and 'exploded' once  ;) But that'll hopefully change next week.

Did anyone listen to the twitter AMA yesterday? Other than the usual cognitive dissonance I pick up from smallsat launcher PR, Kemp seemed to describe an interesting shift in their business strategy. He said they would emulate Apple and have their production line move on to the next design version (5, 6, 7, ...) by the time they launch a rocket of a certain design. If that is anywhere near the change in capability of rocket 3 to rocket 4, that's a considerable change of the production line. So their strategy has shifted from mass producing to building a handful (at current launch rate) to a few dozen (at their rosiest projected launch rate). Peculiar.

The Apple name drop was one such example of cognitive dissonance, as their production numbers and markets are completely incomparable. There were a few more. Hopefully the significant unreliable salesman vibe I get from Kemp gets eased somewhat as their succesful launch cadence goes up.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 06/08/2022 07:56 am
My impression was the Apple comparison was not production shifting before vehicles launched, but instead development shifting before vehicles got onto the line. i.e. rather than starting building Rocket 4, then having developers iterate on Rocket 4 with each one off the line being an updated version with fixes and upgrades; instead as soon as Rocket 4 is tooled up and production started development is underway on Rocket 5 and all updates and fixed will be rolled into that, with Rocket 4 production untouched until switched over to Rocket 5. Or in other words, once a design enters production it is frozen and the line cranks out identical copies only, with iteration being defined block changes rather than continuous. That makes more sense with the Apple comparison (who do not in fact switch production before product launch).
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: high road on 06/08/2022 08:24 am
With only a limited number of of launches a year, that comes down to the same thing. Apple produces millions of cellphones, that's why that works for them. And I get why Astra now shifts to this approach as well (space is hard and building rockets is a very big learning process, you need more than 4-5 design iterations), but it's still a massive shift from 'cheap production cost by mass production'
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 06/08/2022 08:28 am
With only a limited number of of launches a year, that comes down to the same thing. Apple produces millions of cellphones, that's why that works for them. And I get why Astra now shifts to this approach as well (space is hard and building rockets is a very big learning process, you need more than 4-5 design iterations), but it's still a massive shift from 'cheap production cost by mass production'

Desperation. Their version of the Neutron rethink perhaps?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/08/2022 12:25 pm


Shouldn't Astra get its own subsection in the "COMMERCIAL AND US GOVERNMENT LAUNCH VEHICLES" section?

Please yes  8)
Yes.  Long overdue.  Sixteen different launch vehicles have attempted orbit this year.  Only one of the companies or countries responsible for these 16 (Astra) does not have its own section here.  Astra Rocket 3.3 is one of only seven launch vehicles or LV families that has flown more than once this year!

 - Ed Kyle

I'd say 'flown' once, and 'exploded' once  ;) But that'll hopefully change next week.
Yeah.  I say "flown" because it did for nearly 3 minutes, to 90 km altitude, before suffering the shroud jettison failure and the subsequent spinning second stage.  I can't remember if there was an actual explosion at the end, but in all likelihood there was a fireball at some point.  So a failure, but still a flight.*  And good luck next week.  It would be nice to see more flights from LC 46.

* For me, any launch attempt that attempts to fly (proceeds beyond launch commit, etc.) is a "flight".

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/10/2022 08:50 pm
https://spacenews.com/astra-ready-for-first-of-three-nasa-tropics-launches/  [June 9]
Quote
The company said in a May 5 earnings call that the three TROPICS launches were the next on the manifest and would take place in “a pretty rapid cadence,” according to Kemp. However, he said it was unlikely the company would conduct all three launches in the second quarter.
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Speaking at a meeting of the National Academies’ Space Studies Board June 9, Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, said the launches would take place about two weeks apart. TROPICS requires three launches to place the satellites into separate orbital planes to improve revisit times.
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NASA is embracing the risk associated with the vehicle. Zurbuchen noted at the Space Studies Board meeting that the mission requires only two of the three launches to be successful in order to meet its science goals.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 06/11/2022 08:32 pm
Re-stating the launch cadence mentioned in the immediately previous post:
SFN, Astra to begin three-launch campaign with NASA hurricane research satellites (https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/06/10/astra-poised-to-begin-three-launch-campaign-with-nasa-hurricane-research-satellites/), June 10
Quote
The second and third TROPICS launches — currently planned for late June and mid-July...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/12/2022 06:32 pm
With the failure of the TROPICS flight 1 due to premature shutdown of the Rocket 3.3 upper stage on June 12th. Wonder if NASA will go ahead with TROPICS flight 2 and TROPICS flight 3 on Rocket 3.3?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/13/2022 05:25 am
With the failure of the TROPICS flight 1 due to premature shutdown of the Rocket 3.3 upper stage on June 12th. Wonder if NASA will go ahead with TROPICS flight 2 and TROPICS flight 3 on Rocket 3.3?
They must continue and now Astra is obliged not to fail the other two launches so that the TROPICS constellation can be saved.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 06/13/2022 06:10 am
With the failure of the TROPICS flight 1 due to premature shutdown of the Rocket 3.3 upper stage on June 12th. Wonder if NASA will go ahead with TROPICS flight 2 and TROPICS flight 3 on Rocket 3.3?
They must continue and now Astra is obliged not to fail the other two launches so that the TROPICS constellation can be saved.
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: PM3 on 06/13/2022 07:16 am
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.

Or build more of those satellites if another launch fails? TROPICS needs a dedicated launch because of special orbit. Switching the two remaining launches to an Electron could be more expensive than building two more cubesats if another Astra fails.

And so far nothing went wrong for NASA. The contract with Astra is to bring four satellites to orbit and try to launch another two. The try failed, the two successful launches are still to be fulfilled. Reliability of the rocket should increase over time, so the failure of first Tropics launch was the most probable outcome for the minimum mission requirement case. Don't think NASA has the option to back out of this contract now.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/13/2022 07:23 am
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.

Or build more of those satellites if another launch fails? TROPICS needs a dedicated launch because of special orbit. Switching the two remaining launches to an Electron could be more expensive than building two more cubesats if another Astra fails.

And so far nothing went wrong for NASA. The contract with Astra is to bring four satellites to orbit and try to launch another two. The try failed, the two successful launches are still to be fulfilled. Reliability of the rocked should increase over time, so the failure of first Tropics launch was the most probable outcome for the minimum mission requirement case. Don't think NASA has the option to back out of this contract now.

Indeed - the orbit leaves few alternatives. Originally there were 4 other bidders on this contract:
* Rocket Lab Electron (too expensive)
* Virgin Orbit LauncherOne (much too expensive)
* SpaceX Starship (untested launch vehicle, unsure schedule, still more expensive than Astra)
* Momentus Vigoride (did not meet the specifications)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: lightleviathan on 06/13/2022 12:37 pm
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.

Or build more of those satellites if another launch fails? TROPICS needs a dedicated launch because of special orbit. Switching the two remaining launches to an Electron could be more expensive than building two more cubesats if another Astra fails.

And so far nothing went wrong for NASA. The contract with Astra is to bring four satellites to orbit and try to launch another two. The try failed, the two successful launches are still to be fulfilled. Reliability of the rocked should increase over time, so the failure of first Tropics launch was the most probable outcome for the minimum mission requirement case. Don't think NASA has the option to back out of this contract now.

Indeed - the orbit leaves few alternatives. Originally there were 4 other bidders on this contract:
* Rocket Lab Electron (too expensive)
* Virgin Orbit LauncherOne (much too expensive)
* SpaceX Starship (untested launch vehicle, unsure schedule, still more expensive than Astra)
* Momentus Vigoride (did not meet the specifications)


Didn’t Astra say that the contract was for $8 million? An Electron launch could have costed less, or the same amount with greater reliability. It seems this only done because of NASA’s want to foster new launch companies, and the fact that LC-2 wasn’t ready.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/13/2022 12:53 pm
Didn’t Astra say that the contract was for $8 million? An Electron launch could have costed less, or the same amount with greater reliability. It seems this only done because of NASA’s want to foster new launch companies, and the fact that LC-2 wasn’t ready.
A single Electron would not have put the satellites into 3 orbital planes.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Rondaz on 06/13/2022 02:11 pm
Overview of #Astra's Rocket missions..

https://twitter.com/_rykllan/status/1536235145652588544
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 06/13/2022 04:01 pm
If one of the next two launch failed.
It will be the end of this company.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 06/13/2022 04:51 pm
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.

Or build more of those satellites if another launch fails? TROPICS needs a dedicated launch because of special orbit. Switching the two remaining launches to an Electron could be more expensive than building two more cubesats if another Astra fails.

And so far nothing went wrong for NASA. The contract with Astra is to bring four satellites to orbit and try to launch another two. The try failed, the two successful launches are still to be fulfilled. Reliability of the rocket should increase over time, so the failure of first Tropics launch was the most probable outcome for the minimum mission requirement case. Don't think NASA has the option to back out of this contract now.

I wouldn't say nothing has gone wrong for NASA, but paying $15 million or whatever to get two Electron launches doesn't solve their "we'll only have four TROPICS satellites" problem. I'm sure they'd rather pay a similar amount to build two new 3U cubesats and purchase an extra launch from Astra, to restore the full TROPICS constellation. Or pay nothing extra and live with just four satellites (which I've heard is sufficient for the constellation, but surely six would give it greater capabilities).

Of course, that depends on NASA's confidence in Astra...I wouldn't be surprised if Return To Flight takes a bit longer than previously, to do a thorough investigation of Astra's entire process, not just this failure.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/13/2022 05:10 pm
AIUI NASA need 4 working satellites in orbit for the TROPICS constellation to be functional. So NASA will have to make a decision if they want to roll the dice on the next TROPICS flight on Astra Space's Rocket 3.3 or make other launch arrangements.

Or build more of those satellites if another launch fails? TROPICS needs a dedicated launch because of special orbit. Switching the two remaining launches to an Electron could be more expensive than building two more cubesats if another Astra fails.

And so far nothing went wrong for NASA. The contract with Astra is to bring four satellites to orbit and try to launch another two. The try failed, the two successful launches are still to be fulfilled. Reliability of the rocket should increase over time, so the failure of first Tropics launch was the most probable outcome for the minimum mission requirement case. Don't think NASA has the option to back out of this contract now.

I wouldn't say nothing has gone wrong for NASA, but paying $15 million or whatever to get two Electron launches doesn't solve their "we'll only have four TROPICS satellites" problem. I'm sure they'd rather pay a similar amount to build two new 3U cubesats and purchase an extra launch from Astra, to restore the full TROPICS constellation. Or pay nothing extra and live with just four satellites (which I've heard is sufficient for the constellation, but surely six would give it greater capabilities).

Of course, that depends on NASA's confidence in Astra...I wouldn't be surprised if Return To Flight takes a bit longer than previously, to do a thorough investigation of Astra's entire process, not just this failure.
While NASA is up for replacement satellites shouldn't Astra be paying for replacement launch.

Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 06/13/2022 05:54 pm
Astra: Reminding you why people don't start launch companies in car shops all the time.
Although with the number of launcher companies there are now, it does kind of feel that way...

What I'm getting at is that it kind of feels like Astra's machining is very nearly, but not quite up to the aerospace standards it needs to be.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Jim on 06/13/2022 06:15 pm

What I'm getting at is that it kind of feels like Astra's machining is very nearly, but not quite up to the aerospace standards it needs to be.

The problems are not structural or mechanical.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Asteroza on 06/13/2022 10:57 pm

What I'm getting at is that it kind of feels like Astra's machining is very nearly, but not quite up to the aerospace standards it needs to be.

The problems are not structural or mechanical.

Which implies either a software problem, an ops problem, or a design problem (not a manufacturing problem)?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: lightleviathan on 06/14/2022 11:15 am

What I'm getting at is that it kind of feels like Astra's machining is very nearly, but not quite up to the aerospace standards it needs to be.

The problems are not structural or mechanical.

Which implies either a software problem, an ops problem, or a design problem (not a manufacturing problem)?


I think that it’s a design problem, there is no reason for having only 2 successes out of 5 launches of Rocket 3.3, and if you include previous revisions it looks even worse for them. I think Rocket 4 will be better.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 12:24 pm

What I'm getting at is that it kind of feels like Astra's machining is very nearly, but not quite up to the aerospace standards it needs to be.

The problems are not structural or mechanical.

Which implies either a software problem, an ops problem, or a design problem (not a manufacturing problem)?


I think that it’s a design problem, there is no reason for having only 2 successes out of 5 launches of Rocket 3.3, and if you include previous revisions it looks even worse for them. I think Rocket 4 will be better.

It doesn't have to be a hardware design problem

Software can be a design problem and it could be trajectory or control issue.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: southshore26 on 06/14/2022 05:29 pm
If one of the next two launch failed.
It will be the end of this company.

I'm going to make this into a jpeg for when people ask me why I lurk in L2 most of the time.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/15/2022 05:09 am
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/15/2022 10:56 am
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new
Was it government funded?. I doubt private investors  would keep funding at this failure rate.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 06/15/2022 12:11 pm
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new
Was it government funded?. I doubt private investors  would keep funding at this failure rate.

Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk
As Astra received funding via a SPAC merger, they have a half billion dollar cash reserve which investors provided sight-unseen. That's a lot of on-ramp for Astra to pursue a riskier development strategy (rather than more ground testing before flying) without needing to court investors again until they have a system demonstrating reliable operation.

If you mean Scout, it was a NACA programme with LTV as the prime contractor, at least to start with. It became a grab-bag of variants and derivates developed and used by different agencies.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 06/15/2022 01:20 pm
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/15/2022 05:01 pm

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 06/16/2022 04:59 am

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.

Sure but this want a development launch for Astra this was a production customer launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Toast on 06/16/2022 05:36 am

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.

Sure but this want a development launch for Astra this was a production customer launch.
True, but it's worth noting that while this was a launch for a paying customer, that paying customer was NASA and they did so as a part of a low-cost high-risk program intended to support emerging launch providers with the full understanding that there was a substantially higher risk of failure.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 06/19/2022 02:59 am
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new
Was it government funded?. I doubt private investors  would keep funding at this failure rate.

Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk
As Astra received funding via a SPAC merger, they have a half billion dollar cash reserve which investors provided sight-unseen. That's a lot of on-ramp for Astra to pursue a riskier development strategy (rather than more ground testing before flying) without needing to court investors again until they have a system demonstrating reliable operation.

If you mean Scout, it was a NACA programme with LTV as the prime contractor, at least to start with. It became a grab-bag of variants and derivates developed and used by different agencies.

From their most recent financial report.
https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-first-quarter-2022-financial-results
They have 161M cash on hand on 2022 Mar 31st. (Sure, they have other asset can convert to cash, but at which rate is less clear) Their total current asset is 275M and total asset is 439M

And in Q1 2022 they have operation cash flow is -48M and -21M in capital expenditure. (This is from cash flow table, from statement of operation, they loss 85M in Q1)

And their income is almost negligible at 3M per launch.
So if they can not raise more cash either by issue stock or debt by end of 2022 or first half of 2023. They are bankrupt.

And there is no chance they can have a working test launch for Rocket 4 by that time.



Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 06/19/2022 11:42 am
Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new
Was it government funded?. I doubt private investors  would keep funding at this failure rate.

Sent from my SM-A528B using Tapatalk
As Astra received funding via a SPAC merger, they have a half billion dollar cash reserve which investors provided sight-unseen. That's a lot of on-ramp for Astra to pursue a riskier development strategy (rather than more ground testing before flying) without needing to court investors again until they have a system demonstrating reliable operation.

If you mean Scout, it was a NACA programme with LTV as the prime contractor, at least to start with. It became a grab-bag of variants and derivates developed and used by different agencies.

From their most recent financial report.
https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-first-quarter-2022-financial-results
They have 161M cash on hand on 2022 Mar 31st. (Sure, they have other asset can convert to cash, but at which rate is less clear) Their total current asset is 275M and total asset is 439M

And in Q1 2022 they have operation cash flow is -48M and -21M in capital expenditure. (This is from cash flow table, from statement of operation, they loss 85M in Q1)

And their income is almost negligible at 3M per launch.
So if they can not raise more cash either by issue stock or debt by end of 2022 or first half of 2023. They are bankrupt.

And there is no chance they can have a working test launch for Rocket 4 by that time.

Astra had $255.2 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities at the end of March 2022. Marketable securities are financial instruments which, per definition, can be quickly liquidated (cashed in) on public markets. Astra may have around $175 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities by the end of June 2022 if its guidance from the last earning report call is spot on.

https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-first-quarter-2022-financial-results
Quote
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $255.2. Cash and cash equivalents were $161.5 million and marketable securities totaled $93.7 million as of March 31, 2022.
Quote
For the second quarter ending June 30, 2022, we currently expect:
Adjusted EBITDA Loss* between $(58) million and $(64) million.
Depreciation and Amortization between $2.9 million and $3.2 million.
Stock-based compensation between $15 million and $18 million.
Cash taxes of approximately zero.
Basic shares outstanding between 267 million and 270 million.
Capital expenditures between $18 million and $23 million.

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketablesecurities.asp
Quote
Marketable securities are liquid financial instruments that can be quickly converted into cash at a reasonable price. The liquidity of marketable securities comes from the fact that the maturities tend to be less than one year, and that the rates at which they can be bought or sold have little effect on prices.

Brannon, the Astra's chief financial officer, said during the earnings report call on May 5 that their spending will slow down in the third quarter due to the completion of their factory expansion. Astra may be currently financed for 1 year with an upcoming capital raise in early 2023 or sooner in case of favourable market conditions. Its financial situation is not its single greatest current issue because it may be good enough if they can succeed in upcoming missions and launch more payloads in 2022 or it will not matter if Rocket 3.3 will keep failing, customers will keep losing their payloads and faith and an insurance will skyrocket.

I wonder whether Astra will fix current issues in time to launch the next batch of TROPICS satellites and whether some new issues will affect the next launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 06/20/2022 05:43 am

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.

Sure but this want a development launch for Astra this was a production customer launch.
True, but it's worth noting that while this was a launch for a paying customer, that paying customer was NASA and they did so as a part of a low-cost high-risk program intended to support emerging launch providers with the full understanding that there was a substantially higher risk of failure.

No it was not. VCLS is the program for supporting emerging launch providers. Astra blew that one up too. TROPICS is supposed to be a functional science constellation.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 06/20/2022 10:00 am

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.

Sure but this want a development launch for Astra this was a production customer launch.
True, but it's worth noting that while this was a launch for a paying customer, that paying customer was NASA and they did so as a part of a low-cost high-risk program intended to support emerging launch providers with the full understanding that there was a substantially higher risk of failure.

No it was not. VCLS is the program for supporting emerging launch providers. Astra blew that one up too. TROPICS is supposed to be a functional science constellation.
The launch contract for TROPICS was assigned before Astra received it's first VADR award. To add to the confusion, TROPICS is itself a Venture Class mission (https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/tropics/), but that's the mission not the launch contract.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: imprezive on 06/20/2022 05:27 pm

Scout also had a poor early launch record. The first 30 launches had 13 failures and 1 partial failure!

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44689.msg2377201#new

I don’t think anyone would argue that designing rockets was difficult in the 1950s. If your brand new Corolla breaks down no one says it’s fine my ‘57 Chevy broke down all the time too, cars are hard. Expectations can and should change with time and industry maturity.

A lot things would've broken on Corolla prototypes before they went to production.  Even then still get odd recall. Luckily for automotive engineers they didn't need to figure out point of failure from remains of wreck at bottom of 5000ft cliff everytime something went wrong.

Because LVs are so unforgiving need to spend lot effort trying guess every point of failure. Even when design is sound still have to manufacturer to very high standard, no Friday afternoon lemons allowed or could be end of company.

While design and manufacturing tools have improved dramatically since 50s the unforgiving nature of launch hasn't.

Sure but this want a development launch for Astra this was a production customer launch.
True, but it's worth noting that while this was a launch for a paying customer, that paying customer was NASA and they did so as a part of a low-cost high-risk program intended to support emerging launch providers with the full understanding that there was a substantially higher risk of failure.

No it was not. VCLS is the program for supporting emerging launch providers. Astra blew that one up too. TROPICS is supposed to be a functional science constellation.
The launch contract for TROPICS was assigned before Astra received it's first VADR award. To add to the confusion, TROPICS is itself a Venture Class mission (https://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/tropics/), but that's the mission not the launch contract.

Astra hasn’t received any VADR contracts that I’m aware of. I’m talking about the VCLS Demo 2 contract. Yes TROPICS was a venture class mission but the VCLS Demo missions is what I was referring to as those are specifically for supporting emerging launch providers.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-venture-class-launch-services-demonstration-2-contract
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 06/23/2022 06:42 pm
Anyone notice the Mike Krene left Astra in May?

[zubenelgenubi: Un-corrected the autocorrect typo.]
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 06/23/2022 07:06 pm
Anyone notice the Mike Keene left Astra in May?
Who is Mike Keene?


Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: butters on 06/23/2022 07:24 pm
Anyone notice the Mike Keene left Astra in May?
I think you mean Mike Krene. Interesting resume. Rocketdyne, SpaceX, Blue Origin. Astra for one year only. The Firefly deal was made about four months after he joined.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 06/24/2022 02:20 am
Anyone notice the Mike Keene left Astra in May?

I noticed that too. Looks like he left about 2 months ago to work full time at a propulsion company he founded about a year ago called Reach Space tech. They have nothing listed on their website but here's the link regardless: https://reachspace.com/

I also noticed Stratos Davlos (VP of software engineering) also isnt listed on their team page anymore. His linkedin still says he works there but its possible he just hasn't updated it if he did leave. I was keeping an eye on it. 
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Davidthefat on 06/24/2022 03:55 am
Anyone notice the Mike Keene left Astra in May?
I think you mean Mike Krene. Interesting resume. Rocketdyne, SpaceX, Blue Origin. Astra for one year only. The Firefly deal was made about four months after he joined.

Autocorrect on my phone.

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2022 12:40 am
twitter.com/jacktwhitlock/status/1549612034471378944

Quote
@Peter_J_Beck What are your opinions on @Astra’s plans for the future?

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1549665672073867264

Quote
Aspirations are easy to sell, execution is always the absolute measure and there is often a little too much of one and not enough of the other in the industry.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/21/2022 01:14 am
twitter.com/jacktwhitlock/status/1549612034471378944

Quote
@Peter_J_Beck What are your opinions on @Astra’s plans for the future?

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1549665672073867264

Quote
Aspirations are easy to sell, execution is always the absolute measure and there is often a little too much of one and not enough of the other in the industry.
Nothing wrong in what he said but it's not a good look criticizing competition, best leave that to Elon.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 07/21/2022 02:49 am
twitter.com/jacktwhitlock/status/1549612034471378944

Quote
@Peter_J_Beck What are your opinions on @Astra’s plans for the future?

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1549665672073867264

Quote
Aspirations are easy to sell, execution is always the absolute measure and there is often a little too much of one and not enough of the other in the industry.
Nothing wrong in what he said but it's not a good look criticizing competition, best leave that to Elon.

Also a good measure of pot calling the kettle black in that tweet.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/21/2022 10:39 am

twitter.com/jacktwhitlock/status/1549612034471378944

Quote
@Peter_J_Beck What are your opinions on @Astra’s plans for the future?

https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1549665672073867264

Quote
Aspirations are easy to sell, execution is always the absolute measure and there is often a little too much of one and not enough of the other in the industry.
Nothing wrong in what he said but it's not a good look criticizing competition, best leave that to Elon.

Also a good measure of pot calling the kettle black in that tweet.

RL are executing but launch rates are nowhere  levels Beck predicted a few years ago. So yeah a bit of pot calling kettle black. RL's saving grace is their booming space systems which has lot to do with some shrewd acquisitions.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/25/2022 09:56 am
Not great timing …

https://twitter.com/nomadbets/status/1551120384652632065

Quote
Astra Space ($ASTR) held an offering after hours, basically doubling their amount of outstanding shares. Closing price according the filing was $1.49.
Also their financial report date was filed for August 4th.
Choppy seas ahead, I hope they'll pull through.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 07/25/2022 11:33 am
For those of us who aren't fluent in financialese, what does this mean? Raising more money?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 07/25/2022 11:59 am
For those of us who aren't fluent in financialese, what does this mean? Raising more money?

If I have the numbers right, they just sold 50% of the company for some $200 million, which works out to a total valuation of less than $400 million. That's a desperation move if I've ever seen one, basically giving up control of the company for 6-12 months of life at their current cash burn. At the IPO, they were valued at over $2 billion. A similar raise then would have cost them only 10%.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/25/2022 01:29 pm
Good argument for both raising what you can to have a big cash chest when the going is good and reducing burn rate. They already were very aggressive at execution.

Honestly, if their vehicle production costs are anything close to reality, they should consider defense applications.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 07/25/2022 03:32 pm
Honestly, who ARE the suckers who threw away their money to buy Astra shares at this point in time? Do they know nothing about the industry?

Or do they just have an unwanted $200M to play roulette with? Boggles the mind.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/25/2022 04:04 pm
Honestly, who ARE the suckers who threw away their money to buy Astra shares at this point in time? Do they know nothing about the industry?

Or do they just have an unwanted $200M to play roulette with? Boggles the mind.
Theyre less suckers than those who bought near the IPO!

Astra has at least gotten to orbit.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: josephus on 07/25/2022 04:57 pm
Not great timing …

https://twitter.com/nomadbets/status/1551120384652632065

Quote
Astra Space ($ASTR) held an offering after hours, basically doubling their amount of outstanding shares. Closing price according the filing was $1.49.
Also their financial report date was filed for August 4th.
Choppy seas ahead, I hope they'll pull through.

Astra did NO offering in July 2022. In fact, I don't think that Astra did an offering in 2022. That image shows the number of Astra's shares in its primary and secondary offerings at its SPAC IPO back in the summer of 2021.

If you go through Astra's filings with SEC you will find that the same number of shares listed as primary and secondary offerings on all 424B3 form filings: https://sec.report/Ticker/astr (https://sec.report/Ticker/astr)

You got fooled by that random person on Twitter or you are doing this intentionally for some purpose. Either way, you are spreading lies intended to hurt this company. Not cool.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Zed_Noir on 07/29/2022 12:36 pm
Honestly, who ARE the suckers who threw away their money to buy Astra shares at this point in time? Do they know nothing about the industry?

Or do they just have an unwanted $200M to play roulette with? Boggles the mind.
They know exactly what they are investing in. A money losing business for tax write off, IMO. ;)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/29/2022 01:50 pm
I don't know about the money side of things, but Astra is a company with intellectual property that has successfully reached Earth orbit twice (so far).  There are only a few companies on that list. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/29/2022 02:44 pm
I don't know about the money side of things, but Astra is a company with intellectual property that has successfully reached Earth orbit twice (so far).  There are only a few companies on that list. 

 - Ed Kyle
Strong agree. I don’t do retail investing at all, and frankly that whole aspect of the NewSpace craze bores me.

But if we’re just talking technical stuff, reaching orbit is ridiculously hard. They’ve done it. That’s worth quite a bit all by itself.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 07/30/2022 02:47 am
I don't know about the money side of things, but Astra is a company with intellectual property that has successfully reached Earth orbit twice (so far).  There are only a few companies on that list. 

 - Ed Kyle
Strong agree. I don’t do retail investing at all, and frankly that whole aspect of the NewSpace craze bores me.

But if we’re just talking technical stuff, reaching orbit is ridiculously hard. They’ve done it. That’s worth quite a bit all by itself.

Not disputing the achievement. However, investment is not a reward for doing hard things, but is a bet on the company’s ability to generate a financial return on said investment over time. And that assessment should be conducted in the context of their business case.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/30/2022 03:19 am
I don't know about the money side of things, but Astra is a company with intellectual property that has successfully reached Earth orbit twice (so far).  There are only a few companies on that list. 

 - Ed Kyle
Strong agree. I don’t do retail investing at all, and frankly that whole aspect of the NewSpace craze bores me.

But if we’re just talking technical stuff, reaching orbit is ridiculously hard. They’ve done it. That’s worth quite a bit all by itself.

Not disputing the achievement. However, investment is not a reward for doing hard things, but is a bet on the company’s ability to generate a financial return on said investment over time. And that assessment should be conducted in the context of their business case.
A team capable of getting to orbit is valuable.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/01/2022 01:14 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1554091607015559168

Quote
Astra Founder, Chairman and CEO @Kemp will present at @Jefferies Industrials Conference on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 2.30pm ET / 11.30am PT. A live webcast will be available at https://investor.astra.com/news-and-events/events-and-presentations

From the same link there’s also:

Quote
Upcoming Events
Astra’s Second Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Results Conference Call
Aug 4, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT

Will be interesting to see if there’s any new information about the investigation into the last flight’s failure.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 08/02/2022 09:42 pm
https://twitter.com/SpaceInvestor_/status/1554579808440516609

Some PE fund promised to buy up to $100M Astra stock issued in next 24month.
And this operation will not exceed 19.99% of all Astra shares.


Did not mention issue price so I assume it will floating with market price with some discount.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JayWee on 08/04/2022 08:19 pm
No more Rocket 3.0 launches!

Astra Earnings Statement - https://investor.astra.com/news-releases/news-release-details/astra-announces-second-quarter-2022-financial-results

Quote from: Astra
Astra announces that after two of its four Rocket 3.3 flights were successful, the Company will transition to the next version of its launch system and is working with customers to re-manifest all payloads onto the new launch system, designed for higher capacity, reliability, and production rate.

Quote from: Astra
-Updated, streamlined plan to invest in delivering higher reliability, higher capacity 600kg Launch System 2.0 to market.

-Commenced customer deliveries of the Astra Spacecraft EngineTM, with total committed orders since July 1, 2021, up 69% over Q1 2022. This includes committed orders for 14 units acquired with the Apollo Fusion acquisition.

-Began investing in new production facility to support increased demand for the Astra Spacecraft EngineTM.

-Held first inaugural Spacetech Day for investors and analysts.
Quote from: Astra
For the three months ended June 30, 2022:
GAAP Gross Loss was $14.8 million.
Adjusted Gross Loss* was $2.4 million.
GAAP Net Loss was $82.3 million.
Adjusted Net Loss* was $53.0 million.
Adjusted EBITDA Loss* of $48.4 million.
Capital expenditures during the quarter totaled $12.9 million.
Cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $200.7 million.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/04/2022 08:30 pm
PDF version of Q2 2022 results is attached

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555286241997836289

Quote
Astra has doubled the planned payload capacity for Rocket 4.0. Launch price also increases as a result.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/04/2022 08:46 pm
Wow

twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1555287020326494214

Quote
Astra's presentation for the Q2 conference call says that the TROPICS-1 mission failure investigation is still ongoing. $ASTR

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1555293159109922818

Quote
$ASTR CEO Chris Kemp: "We will not have any additional flights in 2022."

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1555292835259338755

Quote
Astra CEO Chris Kemp said it's not certain that the company will resume commercial launches in 2023. It will depend on how development and testing goes with the next generation launch system. May be later.

twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1555293237652475904

Quote
NASA is an unreal customer. Told Astra it's willing to wait for "launch system 2.0" for the Tropics mission.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1555294068497960960

Quote
Astra presently has about $200 million in cash and marketable securities on hand. Obviously the current burn rate is not sustainable. Perhaps they'll get enough revenue from their in-space thruster business (Astra Spacecraft Engine). I don't know. Finances look pretty tough.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 08/04/2022 10:03 pm
Astra mentioned rocket 4.0 as higher liability launch system.
Probably confirming designed with 95% reliability is not a good idea afterall.

Revenue of $2.7M. Cost of revenue $17M, presumably including failed Rocket 3.3 launch.
Unlike RL, Astra's satellite components business is very small and probably do not have serious impact in company operation.


R&D $41M
Sale & Marketing $5M
Admin $20M
Total operating cost at $67M

Net loss $82M

Cash &equivalent $104M, (Q1 $161M)
Marketable security $96M (Q1 $93M)

Operating cash flow -$44M (Q1 -$48M)
Capex -$11M (Q1 -$20M)
Free cash flow -$55M (Q1 -$69M)

Cash run rate better than Q1 majorly from reduced capex.
On operating side, they loss $45M is steady.
$20M admin cost is way too high for company of this size.

 Let's say $40M R&D/quarter for 3 year until reliable Rocket 4.0 launch.
That is about $500M cost.

Which they do not have thatch money in hand (200M+100M from stock purchase agreement  signed a few days ago) And later is not money in hand yet.

And how can they earn this back with $5M Rocket 4.0 service?
Assuming they earn $1M gross profit each launch. They need 20 launch a quarter just for their admin cost.


Seem like the management are producing more vaporware instead of working product so they can move more investment money into their own wallet.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 08/04/2022 10:12 pm
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555312797084291072

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555313166581567489

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555313816098877441

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1555312986528661505
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/04/2022 10:20 pm
Astra mentioned rocket 4.0 as higher liability launch system.
Probably confirming designed with 95% reliability is not a good idea afterall.

I think you meant "rocket 4.0 as higher reliability launch system." Although this may have been a Freudian slip...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 08/04/2022 11:20 pm
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555312797084291072

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555313166581567489

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1555313816098877441

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1555312986528661505

Blindingly obvious. It is exasperating that supposedly knowledgeable people ignored this for so many years, duping investors out of billions of cumulative dollars in the process.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/04/2022 11:49 pm
A 600kg LV is to big for single smallsat dedicated launch and to small to compete against 1000kg class LVs of which there are 3  due to launch in 2022.
I very much doubt Astra will be profitable enough at $5M a launch when 1000kg LVs are in $10-15m range.

This changing directions without completing existing product especially one that is nearly operational is not good look.
If Rocket 3.0 was profitable they should see it through to regular and reliable launch. The cashflow even if not enough to keep wolves from doors should buy them time. Lessons learnt will also be valuable when building larger LV.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: butters on 08/05/2022 12:01 am
A 600kg LV is to big for single smallsat dedicated launch and to small to compete against 1000kg class LVs of which there are 3  due to launch in 2022.
I very much doubt Astra will be profitable enough at $5M a launch when 1000kg LVs are in $10-15m range.

This changing directions without completely existing product especially one that is nearly operational is not good look.
If Rocket 3.0 was profitable they should see it through to regular and reliable launch. The cashflow even if not enough to keep wolves from doors should buy them time. Lessons learnt will also be valuable when building larger LV.
At $5M, they'd still be the cheapest orbital rocket per launch, so unless somebody else wants to dive into the shallow end, the precious few dedicated smallsat customers will still have no more cost-effective options than Astra. They'd be a bit less expensive than Electron with a bit less than twice the payload capacity. On a cost basis, that's a slam dunk. Any doubts would be about reliability and schedule.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 08/05/2022 12:04 am
A 600kg LV is to big for single smallsat dedicated launch and to small to compete against 1000kg class LVs of which there are 3  due to launch in 2022.
I very much doubt Astra will be profitable enough at $5M a launch when 1000kg LVs are in $10-15m range.

This changing directions without completely existing product especially one that is nearly operational is not good look.
If Rocket 3.0 was profitable they should see it through to regular and reliable launch. The cashflow even if not enough to keep wolves from doors should buy them time. Lessons learnt will also be valuable when building larger LV.
At $5M, they'd still be the cheapest orbital rocket per launch, so unless somebody else wants to dive into the shallow end, the precious few dedicated smallsat customers will still have no more cost-effective options than Astra. They'd be a bit less expensive than Electron with a bit less than twice the payload capacity. On a cost basis, that's a slam dunk. Any doubts would be about reliability and schedule.

No point if the market isn’t there to generate sufficient revenue, even if you are the cheapest. A dozen $5M launches per year won’t keep them afloat.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Michel Van on 08/05/2022 07:39 am
i read that announcement

i my humble opinion: it's suicidal move for the Company
why ?
They drop almost working rocket for development of new bigger not tested rocket !
Mean they start all over again and need a lot money and testing that rocket.
if shareholders walk away here, its game over for Astra

For my part, i would replace the pressure fed second stage of 3.3 rocket by one that use a turbo pump fed engine.
it's cheaper and faster way to return launching...
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/05/2022 07:53 am
i read that announcement

i my humble opinion: it's suicidal move for the Company
why ?
They drop almost working rocket for development of new bigger not tested rocket !
Mean they start all over again and need a lot money and testing that rocket.
if shareholders walk away here, its game over for Astra

For my part, i would replace the pressure fed second stage of 3.3 rocket by one that use a turbo pump fed engine.
it's cheaper and faster way to return launching...
A high performance electric turbopump engine would be ideal for upper stage and it's technology they know.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/05/2022 08:03 am
A 600kg LV is to big for single smallsat dedicated launch and to small to compete against 1000kg class LVs of which there are 3  due to launch in 2022.
I very much doubt Astra will be profitable enough at $5M a launch when 1000kg LVs are in $10-15m range.

This changing directions without completely existing product especially one that is nearly operational is not good look.
If Rocket 3.0 was profitable they should see it through to regular and reliable launch. The cashflow even if not enough to keep wolves from doors should buy them time. Lessons learnt will also be valuable when building larger LV.
At $5M, they'd still be the cheapest orbital rocket per launch, so unless somebody else wants to dive into the shallow end, the precious few dedicated smallsat customers will still have no more cost-effective options than Astra. They'd be a bit less expensive than Electron with a bit less than twice the payload capacity. On a cost basis, that's a slam dunk. Any doubts would be about reliability and schedule.
Without direct competition RL haven't needed to lower Electrons price. If Astra can build 600kg LV for $5M using engines which they pay royalities on then RL should be able to match or better it.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: M.E.T. on 08/05/2022 09:05 am
A 600kg LV is to big for single smallsat dedicated launch and to small to compete against 1000kg class LVs of which there are 3  due to launch in 2022.
I very much doubt Astra will be profitable enough at $5M a launch when 1000kg LVs are in $10-15m range.

This changing directions without completely existing product especially one that is nearly operational is not good look.
If Rocket 3.0 was profitable they should see it through to regular and reliable launch. The cashflow even if not enough to keep wolves from doors should buy them time. Lessons learnt will also be valuable when building larger LV.
At $5M, they'd still be the cheapest orbital rocket per launch, so unless somebody else wants to dive into the shallow end, the precious few dedicated smallsat customers will still have no more cost-effective options than Astra. They'd be a bit less expensive than Electron with a bit less than twice the payload capacity. On a cost basis, that's a slam dunk. Any doubts would be about reliability and schedule.
Without direct competition RL haven't needed to lower Electrons price. If Astra can build 600kg LV for $5M using engines which they pay royalities on then RL should be able to match or better it.


RL isn’t making money from Electron. That’s why they’re moving on to Neutron. Astra is chasing a non-viable market.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Michel Van on 08/05/2022 09:59 am
RL isn’t making money from Electron. That’s why they’re moving on to Neutron. Astra is chasing a non-viable market.

Next to that RL goes into Satellite construction and offers Photon upper stage as a Satellite
with success, two Photons will used as ESCAPADE Mars orbiter, launch by Falcon 9 rocket

but there is another issue ASTRA has to face: Ready to launch competition.

Firefly Aerospace is testing there Alpha rocket with 745 kg into SSO
Relativ Space has it Terran 1 prototype on launch pad with 900 kg into SSO
and there is Virgin Orbit with LauncherOne with 300 kg into SSO (if increase there number of launches)

Once ASTRA new Rocket 4.0 is ready to test flight with 600 kg into ? ? ?
Alpha and Terran 1 proven them self by series of launches
like wise Virgin Orbit with LauncherOne who gain part of launch market until then.
(do there market model we launch from everywhere, if you let us)
means uphill battle for ASTRA to get customer

Let face it, if you want to launch your Satellite you want it get into orbit, safe...
and take the most reliable launch provider, for moment sadly ASTRA is that not!
what let for customers those options: SpaceX, RocketLab (and Virgin Orbit )
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: J-B on 08/05/2022 11:08 am
RL isn’t making money from Electron. That’s why they’re moving on to Neutron. Astra is chasing a non-viable market.

Next to that RL goes into Satellite construction and offers Photon upper stage as a Satellite
with success, two Photons will used as ESCAPADE Mars orbiter, launch by Falcon 9 rocket

but there is another issue ASTRA has to face: Ready to launch competition.

Firefly Aerospace is testing there Alpha rocket with 745 kg into SSO
Relativ Space has it Terran 1 prototype on launch pad with 900 kg into SSO
and there is Virgin Orbit with LauncherOne with 300 kg into SSO (if increase there number of launches)

Once ASTRA new Rocket 4.0 is ready to test flight with 600 kg into ? ? ?
Alpha and Terran 1 proven them self by series of launches
like wise Virgin Orbit with LauncherOne who gain part of launch market until then.
(do there market model we launch from everywhere, if you let us)
means uphill battle for ASTRA to get customer

Let face it, if you want to launch your Satellite you want it get into orbit, safe...
and take the most reliable launch provider, for moment sadly ASTRA is that not!
what let for customers those options: SpaceX, RocketLab (and Virgin Orbit )

Abl space systems with RS-1 is also a big competitor on this market, they will launch in beginning of september if everything goes well.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: niwax on 08/05/2022 11:46 am
Let face it, if you want to launch your Satellite you want it get into orbit, safe...
and take the most reliable launch provider, for moment sadly ASTRA is that not!
what let for customers those options: SpaceX, RocketLab (and Virgin Orbit )

And that's where the low price falls down. If your overall costs are just $10 million, then the insurance difference alone would easily be a million. When Proton got a bit wobbly it was at 12% compared to the more usual 4% and Astra is nowhere near Proton even at its worst.

And let's face it, if someone is booking a dedicated 500+kg class launch, they are not launching a $500k uninsured cubesat. TROPICS costs about $11 million a launch and that is with just $2.5 million for the rocket and a nudge from NASA to support dedicated launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/05/2022 06:27 pm
Let face it, if you want to launch your Satellite you want it get into orbit, safe...
and take the most reliable launch provider, for moment sadly ASTRA is that not!
what let for customers those options: SpaceX, RocketLab (and Virgin Orbit )

And that's where the low price falls down. If your overall costs are just $10 million, then the insurance difference alone would easily be a million. When Proton got a bit wobbly it was at 12% compared to the more usual 4% and Astra is nowhere near Proton even at its worst.

And let's face it, if someone is booking a dedicated 500+kg class launch, they are not launching a $500k uninsured cubesat. TROPICS costs about $11 million a launch and that is with just $2.5 million for the rocket and a nudge from NASA to support dedicated launch.
That is why it's important to persistent with Rocket 3.0 and sort the bugs out. Having that flying reliably would give customers confidence in next LV.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Redclaws on 08/05/2022 06:39 pm
I really though Astra might have a cost model (try not doing crazy QA) and market with DoD responsive launch, despite the general non-viability of the small launch market.  This … does not look good for them.  They’re abandoning what made them different.  Doesn’t mean it’s not a better choice than pressing on, but perhaps the best choice of all would be to fold.  They had some ideas and they didn’t work out.  Can they really pivot to a whole new thing and be better than others already doing it?

Even aside from serious questions about the new idea also.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Dmitry_V_home on 08/05/2022 06:40 pm
i read that announcement

i my humble opinion: it's suicidal move for the Company
why ?
They drop almost working rocket for development of new bigger not tested rocket !
Mean they start all over again and need a lot money and testing that rocket.
if shareholders walk away here, its game over for Astra

For my part, i would replace the pressure fed second stage of 3.3 rocket by one that use a turbo pump fed engine.
it's cheaper and faster way to return launching...
A high performance electric turbopump engine would be ideal for upper stage and it's technology they know.

There's a problem here. Rocket 3 parameters are optimized for direct insert into a solar-synchronous orbit. The consequence of this is the long-term operation of the second stage engine. The use of electric pumps will lead to a significant increase in the mass of batteries (if the concept of continuous direct insert is transferred to 4.0).
The duration of continuous operation can become critical in the case of using turbo pumps.
The solution to the problem can be the transition to the concept of re-inclusion of the second stage. But this path has its own barriers.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/05/2022 07:05 pm

i read that announcement

i my humble opinion: it's suicidal move for the Company
why ?
They drop almost working rocket for development of new bigger not tested rocket !
Mean they start all over again and need a lot money and testing that rocket.
if shareholders walk away here, its game over for Astra

For my part, i would replace the pressure fed second stage of 3.3 rocket by one that use a turbo pump fed engine.
it's cheaper and faster way to return launching...
A high performance electric turbopump engine would be ideal for upper stage and it's technology they know.

There's a problem here. Rocket 3 parameters are optimized for direct insert into a solar-synchronous orbit. The consequence of this is the long-term operation of the second stage engine. The use of electric pumps will lead to a significant increase in the mass of batteries (if the concept of continuous direct insert is transferred to 4.0).
The duration of continuous operation can become critical in the case of using turbo pumps.
The solution to the problem can be the transition to the concept of re-inclusion of the second stage. But this path has its own barriers.

So the engine does long slow burn at lower throttle setting for transfer from initial orbit to SSO.
For this to significantly reduce pump efficiency on electric pump feed engine it would be very low throttle setting.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: GWH on 08/05/2022 08:34 pm
I really though Astra might have a cost model (try not doing crazy QA) and market with DoD responsive launch, despite the general non-viability of the small launch market.  This … does not look good for them.  They’re abandoning what made them different.  Doesn’t mean it’s not a better choice than pressing on, but perhaps the best choice of all would be to fold.  They had some ideas and they didn’t work out.  Can they really pivot to a whole new thing and be better than others already doing it?

Even aside from serious questions about the new idea also.

I always thought this model would have been their downfall. The idea that they can just "build it cheaper" to the tune of $2.5M and be successful just didn't seem viable. Far too many things to go wrong, and too much initial investment to pay it back.

There seems to be a price threshold of what can be an operationally successful rocket and its probably not much less than half the price of a Falcon 9.
Anything smaller/cheaper is going to need a launch frequency that no new company can hit until years after a successful test.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Michel Van on 08/06/2022 02:26 am
This is not good news..

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1555598647437545475
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: sdsds on 08/06/2022 02:40 am
The knives are out. Regarding ASTR a reliable source says, "This security is currently hard-to-borrow. Short sale orders for HTB securities may not be accepted...."
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: ZuluLima on 08/06/2022 07:07 am
I really though Astra might have a cost model ...  They’re abandoning what made them different...  They had some ideas and they didn’t work out.  Can they really pivot to a whole new thing and be better than others already doing it?

They aren't abandoning their low cost philosophy or pivoting to anything.  Rocket 3 was always planned as a stepping stone to Rocket 4.  Since they no longer have any confidence in the small one, they are simply moving ahead with the big one in order to conserve resources and put all of their effort into what might actually pay off.  Looks bad that they couldn't deliver with Rocket 3, but even if they had, it would be flying at a loss.  With continued investment much harder to come by now, they are smart to cut the dead wood.  Other companies might persist and go bankrupt; at least Astra sees the problem and is being proactive.  If they don't make it, it won't be because they stopped throwing good money after bad.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: trimeta on 08/06/2022 08:34 am
I really though Astra might have a cost model ...  They’re abandoning what made them different...  They had some ideas and they didn’t work out.  Can they really pivot to a whole new thing and be better than others already doing it?

They aren't abandoning their low cost philosophy or pivoting to anything.  Rocket 3 was always planned as a stepping stone to Rocket 4.  Since they no longer have any confidence in the small one, they are simply moving ahead with the big one in order to conserve resources and put all of their effort into what might actually pay off.  Looks bad that they couldn't deliver with Rocket 3, but even if they had, it would be flying at a loss.  With continued investment much harder to come by now, they are smart to cut the dead wood.  Other companies might persist and go bankrupt; at least Astra sees the problem and is being proactive.  If they don't make it, it won't be because they stopped throwing good money after bad.

That said, something is changing about the design of Rocket 4. As noted over in Ars Technica's thread on this topic (https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/08/as-losses-mount-astra-announces-a-radical-pivot-to-a-larger-launch-vehicle/?comments=1&post=41130809), using the mass ratios from Rocket 3, it's hard to imagine how just two Reaver-1 engines are enough to put 600kg into space. Not that two Reavers aren't enough in principle, but Rocket 3 was particularly inefficient due to the "cheap is better than good" design philosophy. So if Rocket 4 is to achieve its stated performance goals, it needs to actually be designed to have high quality -- which then raises the question of how it'll cost just $5 million per launch.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: XRZ.YZ on 08/12/2022 02:31 pm
For Q2 2022
Rocket Lab's Admin cost+sells cost =$18.9M
Astra's Admin cost+sells cost =$25.2M

Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/29/2022 01:06 pm
https://astra.com/news/astra-announces-airbus-oneweb-satellites/

Quote
ASTRA ANNOUNCES SPACECRAFT ENGINE CONTRACT WITH AIRBUS ONEWEB SATELLITES
AUGUST 29, 2022


ALAMEDA, CA — August 29, 2022. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), a provider of space products and launch services to the global space industry, today announced that it has been selected by Airbus OneWeb Satellites, LLC (“AOS”) to supply the Astra Spacecraft Engine™ for integration into the portfolio of Arrow commercial small satellites manufactured by AOS.

Airbus OneWeb Satellites LLC is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb. AOS manufactures satellites for the OneWeb commercial constellation and Airbus customers in Merritt Island, Florida. AOS is producing satellites for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., in support of U.S. government programs.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/29/2022 08:24 pm
https://astra.com/news/astra-announces-airbus-oneweb-satellites/

Quote
ASTRA ANNOUNCES SPACECRAFT ENGINE CONTRACT WITH AIRBUS ONEWEB SATELLITES
AUGUST 29, 2022


ALAMEDA, CA — August 29, 2022. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), a provider of space products and launch services to the global space industry, today announced that it has been selected by Airbus OneWeb Satellites, LLC (“AOS”) to supply the Astra Spacecraft Engine for integration into the portfolio of Arrow commercial small satellites manufactured by AOS.

Airbus OneWeb Satellites LLC is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb. AOS manufactures satellites for the OneWeb commercial constellation and Airbus customers in Merritt Island, Florida. AOS is producing satellites for Airbus U.S. Space &amp; Defense, Inc., in support of U.S. government programs.
Thats good news but I don't think revenue is enough to support outgoings on LV development.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/01/2022 04:31 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1565376265141440517

Quote
Testing engines for our new launch system. #AdAstra
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 09/01/2022 06:00 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1565376265141440517

Quote
Testing engines for our new launch system. #AdAstra
Well that's funny. That sure does look like a Reaver (as expected), but that does not appear to be any of the stands at Firefly's Briggs test site. I also can't find any stands at Stennis with that distinctive stepped barrier.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: lrk on 09/01/2022 07:26 pm
Clearly not in their existing indoor test facility, but could they have set up a new test stand by the runway at the old Alameda naval base?  They test fired complete Rocket 3 stages there, and a single Rocket 4 engine would be a comparable level of thrust.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 09/01/2022 10:34 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1565376265141440517

Quote
Testing engines for our new launch system. #AdAstra
Well that's funny. That sure does look like a Reaver (as expected), but that does not appear to be any of the stands at Firefly's Briggs test site. I also can't find any stands at Stennis with that distinctive stepped barrier.

Just as an aside to the static fire video they showed during the investor day presentation. It was mentioned that they built a static fire stand of their own to test the new engine. I was looking around and it looks like they set up shop outside castle airport in Atwater CA. Specifically 2500 Test cell which, based on google maps photos, is identical to the pictures they showed in the presentation. Additionally, In the last image you can see some planes in the background that can also be seen behind the stand on google maps. 

Astra has also done Rocket 3 static fires at castle airport before.

tinyurl.com/mrsp4spd
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/02/2022 01:52 am
Bing maps continues their trend of having more recent pictures than Google maps
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/02/2022 10:35 am
Looked a bit engine rich at the end of the burn.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/02/2022 04:06 pm
Not bad, though, and just during shutdown.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: sentinelnorth on 09/02/2022 10:07 pm
That looks to me like TEA-TEB burnoff at shutdown. You can see the green flash at ignition as well. This makes sense given that it looks to be a close derivative of Firefly's Reaver, which also uses TEA-TEB.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/02/2022 10:11 pm
That looks to me like TEA-TEB burnoff at shutdown. You can see the green flash at ignition as well. This makes sense given that it looks to be a close derivative of Firefly's Reaver, which also uses TEA-TEB.
Makes perfect sense at the beginning but not at all at the end.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: sentinelnorth on 09/02/2022 11:26 pm
That looks to me like TEA-TEB burnoff at shutdown. You can see the green flash at ignition as well. This makes sense given that it looks to be a close derivative of Firefly's Reaver, which also uses TEA-TEB.
Makes perfect sense at the beginning but not at all at the end.

TEA-TEB flashes can happen at the end of burn for a variety of reasons. See, for example, this F9 landing. There's two green flashes post-landing; note the one right as Merlin shuts down.

https://youtu.be/LHqLz9ni0Bo (https://youtu.be/LHqLz9ni0Bo)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: JEF_300 on 09/02/2022 11:26 pm
That looks to me like TEA-TEB burnoff at shutdown. You can see the green flash at ignition as well. This makes sense given that it looks to be a close derivative of Firefly's Reaver, which also uses TEA-TEB.
Makes perfect sense at the beginning but not at all at the end.

Perhaps they want to burn off the rest of the highly toxic TEA-TEB rather than have personnel handle it again, but don't want to effect their test results much, so they burn it off at the end?
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/02/2022 11:35 pm
That looks to me like TEA-TEB burnoff at shutdown. You can see the green flash at ignition as well. This makes sense given that it looks to be a close derivative of Firefly's Reaver, which also uses TEA-TEB.
Makes perfect sense at the beginning but not at all at the end.
Firefly's tests have green at the end too. TEA TEB tends to linger, so purging everything out at shutdown makes sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJou3a7NNiU
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/03/2022 05:33 am
TEA-TEB flashes can happen at the end of burn for a variety of reasons. See, for example, this F9 landing. There's two green flashes post-landing; note the one right as Merlin shuts down.

Only the centre engine is used for landing. We see green from either side of the centre engine, indicating a TEA-TEB dump from most likely the two outer engines used for the re-entry burn. Not sure why Firely would want to dump TEA-TEB at the end of the burn.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 09/03/2022 10:33 pm
They posted the test with a second camera angle on their Instagram.
https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ch-IlMgpXGD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link (https://www.instagram.com/reel/Ch-IlMgpXGD/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link)
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/04/2022 10:36 am

Astra trading at <$1.00 a share and what it means for company.
They have about year before being delisted from stock exchange. This video explains process and their options. Of cause their business could turn around and price pick up.

https://youtu.be/GqpvITtYeb0

This is explanation of Reverse Split.
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/reversesplit.asp

Basically 2×$1.00 shares become 1x$2.00 share. Doesn't mean the new share's price won't drop below $1.00.






Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 09/14/2022 12:42 am
Astra hired Doug Kunzman as the head of Test and Launch Engineering and Operations (a mouthful of a title) . Doug has a long history working for the Navy serving as the commanding officer of Lake Erie and later Regional Support for the Northwest. He also did a quick 2 year stint as the Director of New Shepard Operations and Maintenance as Blue. Bad timing to hire someone from the New Shepard program lol. Either way, aerospace and military connections are never a bad thing.
https://twitter.com/Astra/status/1569747234031542272
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: Celeste_El on 09/14/2022 12:58 am
In less happy news. It looks like 3 people have been removed from their team page since Jun. Will Drewery (VP of supply chain), Hemant Chaurasia (VP of product), and Ryan Carrithers (VP of Finance). Will and Hemant left and are working at different companies based on their LinkedIn. Ryans LinkedIn still says he works there but its possible he left recently and hasn't updated his account.

This would make 5 executives since January have left the company or stepped down from a leadership role in some capacity. Not great news.
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/16/2022 09:46 pm
https://twitter.com/astra/status/1570891015892144128

Quote
A birds-eye view of our Skyhawk factory here in Alameda, California. #factoryfriday
Title: Re: Astra Space
Post by: edzieba on 09/17/2022 08:12 am
Neat production optimisation: the hoop tank reinforcement elements are not individual hoops, but a perforated and stamped sheet curled into a tube. That would save a whole lot of part tracking & handling and alignment work!