Author Topic: Astra Space  (Read 420245 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #340 on: 12/16/2020 09:57 pm »
Best move thread once they are operational and delivering payloads to orbit. Hopefully early next year.

Offline PM3

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #341 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.
"Never, never be afraid of the truth." -- Jim Bridenstine

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #342 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.




Offline ncb1397

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #343 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.
« Last Edit: 12/17/2020 06:31 pm by ncb1397 »

Offline PM3

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #344 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.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2020 10:03 am by PM3 »
"Never, never be afraid of the truth." -- Jim Bridenstine

Offline Kryten

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #345 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."

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #346 on: 02/02/2021 12:37 pm »
Sigh. How does this business model make sense?

Offline jpo234

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #347 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.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Bananas_on_Mars

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #348 on: 02/02/2021 12:56 pm »
Sigh. How does this business model make sense?
Which business model? For the founders, or for Astra?

Offline su27k

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #349 on: 02/02/2021 01:16 pm »
Good, they have hardware and a very competitive pricing, so why not?

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #350 on: 02/02/2021 01:34 pm »
Because in a world with Starship and space tugs all the dedicated smallsat launchers disappear.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #351 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

Offline PM3

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #352 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). So what they are presumably doing now until summer is finalizing Rocket 4 and build up production capacity.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2021 03:45 pm by PM3 »
"Never, never be afraid of the truth." -- Jim Bridenstine

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astra Space
« Reply #353 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
« Last Edit: 02/02/2021 06:17 pm by TrevorMonty »

Offline Davidthefat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #354 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). 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).

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #356 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).

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #357 on: 02/04/2021 06:21 am »
Grabs from the video.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline xyv

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #358 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.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #359 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.

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