Author Topic: Astra Space  (Read 263061 times)

Offline harrystranger

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #720 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.
« Last Edit: 06/01/2022 01:59 pm by gongora »
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Offline brussell

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #721 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?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #722 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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Offline trimeta

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #723 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.

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #724 on: 06/01/2022 06:28 pm »
What now wait Astra for launch if they have a license on rocket?

Offline josephus

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #725 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
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #726 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.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #727 on: 06/05/2022 02:44 pm »
Why Astra?
Did any others invite him?

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #728 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.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2022 12:14 am by arachnitect »

Offline trimeta

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #729 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.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #730 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.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2022 11:44 am by arachnitect »

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #731 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.

Online imprezive

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #732 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

Offline high road

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #733 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.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #734 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).

Offline high road

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #735 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'

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #736 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?

Online edkyle99

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #737 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
« Last Edit: 06/08/2022 12:31 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #738 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.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2022 08:35 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #739 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, June 10
Quote
The second and third TROPICS launches — currently planned for late June and mid-July...
« Last Edit: 06/11/2022 08:37 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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