Author Topic: Astra Space  (Read 419627 times)

Online xyv

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #360 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.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #361 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.

Offline su27k

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #362 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.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #363 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!
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #364 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.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #365 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...
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline ThePhugoid

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #366 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.


Offline Danderman

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #367 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.

Offline niwax

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #368 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.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #369 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

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #370 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.


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #371 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.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2021 03:37 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online trimeta

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #372 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.

Online xyv

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #373 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.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2021 03:03 am by xyv »

Offline brussell

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #374 on: 02/21/2021 02:00 am »
The former Chief Engineer is stepping down.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2021 02:01 am by brussell »

Offline su27k

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #375 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.

Offline Ragmar

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #376 on: 02/22/2021 06:58 pm »
The former Chief Engineer is stepping down.

Chris Thompson is leaving?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #377 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.

Offline ThePhugoid

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #378 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.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astra Space
« Reply #379 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
« Last Edit: 02/26/2021 09:00 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

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