NASA MAINTAINS LAUNCH CONTRACT WITH ASTRASEPTEMBER 28, 2022Astra and NASA have agreed to modify the terms of our existing launch services agreement for NASA’s TROPICS mission to allow for the future launch of comparable scientific payloads on version 4.0 of Astra’s rocket. We are delighted to maintain our strong partnership and to have NASA as a launch customer on the next version of Astra’s rocket.
Sep 22, 2022NASA Maintains Contractual Relationship with Astra, Presses Forward with TROPICS MissionRecognizing the urgent science needs, NASA is adjusting its launch services plan to complete the timely launch of a CubeSat constellation designed to improve understanding of tropical cyclones.The agency’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission launch service now will be competed under the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) IDIQ contract targeting the 2023 hurricane season.NASA and Astra also have agreed to modify its existing launch services contract, originally planned for the agency’s TROPICS constellation, for the launch of comparable scientific payloads on Astra’s Rocket 4.0 in the future.NASA selected commercial partner Astra in 2021 to provide launch services for TROPICS across three launches using the company’s Rocket 3.3 launch vehicle. On June 12, 2022, after a nominal first-stage flight, the upper stage of Astra’s Rocket 3.3 shut down early and failed to deliver the first two TROPICS CubeSats to orbit. NASA currently is participating in the launch investigation, led by Astra and the Federal Aviation Administration.Following the first TROPICS launch attempt, Astra and NASA engaged in discussions regarding the remaining launch attempts. Astra then notified NASA of its intent to discontinue its Rocket 3.3 and indicated the company would potentially not resume launches prior to the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The VADR contract allows the 13 companies selected this year to compete for the rebid of the TROPICS launch services, giving the agency and external stakeholders the ability to use TROPICS data sooner.TROPICS is an Earth venture mission – science-driven, competitively selected, low-cost missions that provide opportunity for investment in innovative Earth science to enhance our capability to better understand the current state of the Earth system and to enable continual improvement in the prediction of future changes. NASA is committed to helping grow the U.S. commercial launch market while enabling the agency’s science missions. The VADR contract allows NASA to nurture the emerging commercial market by awarding launch providers more risk-tolerant payloads such as TROPICS.Last Updated: Sep 28, 2022Editor: James Cawley
Following the first TROPICS launch attempt, Astra and NASA engaged in discussions regarding the remaining launch attempts. Astra then notified NASA of its intent to discontinue its Rocket 3.3 and indicated the company would potentially not resume launches prior to the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The VADR contract allows the 13 companies selected this year to compete for the rebid of the TROPICS launch services, giving the agency and external stakeholders the ability to use TROPICS data sooner.Last Updated: Sep 28, 2022Editor: James Cawley
Quote from: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/28/2022 08:53 pmFollowing the first TROPICS launch attempt, Astra and NASA engaged in discussions regarding the remaining launch attempts. Astra then notified NASA of its intent to discontinue its Rocket 3.3 and indicated the company would potentially not resume launches prior to the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. The VADR contract allows the 13 companies selected this year to compete for the rebid of the TROPICS launch services, giving the agency and external stakeholders the ability to use TROPICS data sooner.Last Updated: Sep 28, 2022Editor: James CawleyGiven NASA's need for these to launch in 2023 really needs to be on LV that is currently operational.
So the short list will likely be Electron from RocketLab, Launcher One from Virgin Orbital & Minotaur-C from Northrop Grumman. Possibly the Pegasus XL if Northrop Grumman can come up with the components. Finally there is the option of launching as a rideshare on SpaceX.
If Starship is selected, would there be a larger major payload alongside the remaining four TROPICS cubesats, or would TROPICS be the only payload?
Quote from: ZachS09 on 09/29/2022 12:39 pmIf Starship is selected, would there be a larger major payload alongside the remaining four TROPICS cubesats, or would TROPICS be the only payload?Likely they would be hitching a ride as the only payload on an low inclination test flight.
ASTRA APPOINTS AXEL MARTINEZ AS CFO EFFECTIVE IN NOVEMBER 2022Sep 30, 2022PDF VersionFinance executive with 25 years of experience joins Astra to help drive scale and leverage his capital markets experienceALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 30, 2022-- Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), a provider of space products and launch services to the global space industry, announced the appointment of Axel Martinez to Chief Financial Officer, effective the day after the filing of our quarterly report in November 2022.“Axel is a talented and experienced finance executive that will be an invaluable addition to our management team,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Astra. “We expect his deep knowledge of the technology industry, experience with scaling high-growth companies, and participation in capital markets will be a huge asset to Astra as we enter our next phase.”In his most recent roles, Martinez served as Chief Financial Officer at Virgin Hyperloop One and Veev Group Inc. – two growth technology companies. Axel started his technology career at Google where he spent 10 years in finance roles, including Head of Capital Markets where he managed more than $40 billion of capital. Axel also served as VP & Treasurer of Uber where he helped the Company scale into more than 60 countries. Previously, Axel worked at Merrill Lynch and the Chase Manhattan Bank as an investment banker. Axel holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.Kelyn Brannon will transition her responsibilities and remain CFO through the effective date of Martinez’ appointment.“We are grateful to Kelyn for her stewardship in taking the company public last year and building the foundation of Astra's finance organization,” said Kemp. “I’d like to thank Kelyn on behalf of the Company for her service and contributions.
NASA already lost 2 SC on one launch, do you really think they'll risk the remaining SC on an early starship test flight?
Nasdaq gives Astra $ASTR a delisting warning:Due to being under $1, the company disclosed in a securities filing that Nasdaq said Astra has until April 2023 to get the stock back above that mark for 10 consecutive business days.More via @saracsalinas: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/07/rocket-builder-astra-space-gets-delisting-warning-from-nasdaq.html
ASTRA ANNOUNCES SPACECRAFT ENGINE CONTRACT WITH MAXAR TECHNOLOGIESOCTOBER 11, 2022Astra propulsion systems to be used in Maxar’s PLEO spacecraft platformsALAMEDA, CA – October 11, 2022. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) announced that it has reached an agreement with Maxar Technologies (“Maxar”) (TSX:MAXR) to supply Astra Spacecraft Engines™. The propulsion systems will be used in Maxar’s proliferated low Earth orbit (LEO) spacecrafts, which support a wide variety of global coverage missions, including Earth observation, communications and national security. Astra expects to begin delivery of its spacecraft engines in 2023.“The Astra Spacecraft Engine’s™ flight heritage, high performance and high reliability were critical in our decision-making process as we prepare to deliver our spacecraft platforms to customers for their critical missions,” said Joe Foust, Maxar Vice President of proliferated LEO Programs.“We are pleased to support Maxar on their mission-critical spacecraft platform,” said Martin Attiq, Astra’s Chief Business Officer. “This agreement demonstrates continued momentum in our Space Products business and validates our Spacecraft Engine as a core technology supporting new constellations.”
ASTRA ANNOUNCES SPACECRAFT ENGINE CONTRACT WITH ASTROSCALEOCTOBER 13, 2022Astra propulsion systems to be used in Astroscale’s space sustainability spacecraft platformALAMEDA, CA – October 13, 2022. Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) today announced that it has reached an agreement with Astroscale Holdings Inc (“Astroscale”), the market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital sustainability across all orbits, to provide Astra Spacecraft Engines™ for its space sustainability spacecraft platform, ELSA-M, that can safely and responsibly capture and retire multiple client satellites in a single mission.The ELSA-M satellite servicer will be designed and optimized to remove multiple pieces of debris from LEO in a single orbital mission. The development of the ELSA-M commercial service is supported by the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency as part of the ESA Sunrise program.“The Astra Spacecraft Engine’s flight heritage, reliability, and scalability were critical factors in selecting Astra as we prepare our ELSA-M platform for important customer missions, and we look forward to continue building a strong relationship with Mike and his team.” said Ian Vanoorschot, Astroscale’s Global Head of Procurement.“Astra and Astroscale share common values in making space sustainable,” said Mike Cassidy, Vice President of Product Management. “This agreement expands our customer base to Europe, where we see growing demand in Spacecraft Engine capability.”
Some interview with Chris Kemp Really funny when he said failure is not an option now. https://twitter.com/payloadspace/status/1577318556059975681
SpaceX scrapped Falcon 1 when operational. Falcon 5 before it was operational. Falcon 9 v1.0 after it was operational. (F9 v1.1 was essentially a new launch vehicle.)
Quote from: Robotbeat on 10/16/2022 03:31 pmSpaceX scrapped Falcon 1 when operational. Falcon 5 before it was operational. Falcon 9 v1.0 after it was operational. (F9 v1.1 was essentially a new launch vehicle.)Importantly, they scrapped them when they had contracts and money. The entirety of Astra is currently valued at $140m, burning $60m per quarter with $200m in the bank as of June 30th. In their last income statement, they highlighted an agreement to sell up to $100m in stock, but at most 20%, to fund the next year of development. At current prices, that's less than a third of what they expected and won't even see them through half a quarter.They are also sitting on another interesting timebomb in that acquisition agreement for Apollo has a performance clause that awards another $75 million to the previous owners and $10 million to employees if they hit their targets by the end of 2023, both in cash.The cynic in me says that those partners are pushing to announce engine contracts to be first in line to pick up Apollo at fire sale prices.
CELEBRATING COMMITTED ORDERS FOR OVER 200 ASTRA SPACECRAFT ENGINES™!OCTOBER 18, 2022Astra also completes second full program deliveryAstra celebrates cumulative committed orders for more than 200 engines and two full programs of Astra Spacecraft Engines™ already delivered.“I’m thrilled that Astra has achieved both milestones: over 200 engines ordered and delivery of two full programs,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Astra, “Thank you to our customers for their confidence in our team and products, and congratulations to the team for the tremendous amount of work put in to achieve this milestone.”Astra is preparing for a move-in this quarter into our new 60,000 square foot production facility in Sunnyvale, California, where the team is expected to ramp production early next year to meet planned customer deliveries.“We have more than doubled our backlog since June 30th of this year in Astra Spacecraft Engines™ where we continue to see sustained demand,” said Margo de Naray, VP of Mission Management and Customer Operations, “Reliable, on-time deliveries and exceptional customer focus are key to this positive momentum.”Number of cumulative committed orders is measured from July 1, 2021, when Astra acquired Apollo Fusion, Inc. by merger, and includes 14 units in Apollo Fusion’s backlog on July 1, 2021.