Astraspace’s first attempt to launch the rocket into orbit was disappointing as it bounced off course and to the ground.
A California start-up launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska on Friday night.
A 38-foot-high rocket took off at 7:19 pm local time, flew for about 30 seconds, and then a small wave fell to the ground, causing a violent explosion during landing.
“We succeeded in taking off and flying, but the flight ended during the first phase of combustion. There seems to be plenty of nominal flight time. Future updates!” Astra tweeted.
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Astra Space made its first attempt to launch a rocket into orbit at Kodiak, Alaska on Friday.
The video shows a 38-foot rocket taking off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex at 7:19 pm Pacific time, flying for about 30 seconds, then off course and a small wave blowing.
A rocket landing in the designated crash area caused a violent explosion
Astra is one of many space start-ups working to create small, low-cost rockets that can be put into orbit daily.
The Friday flight was the first of three to take place in the coming months as Astra aims to untwist in hardware and software.
The first failure was not surprising given that other companies had similar problems on their debut flights.
When its competitor SpaceX-founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk-started sending rockets, he experienced similar pain and tried four times to find success.
After hearing about the launch of Astra, Mask provided support on Twitter.
“I’m sorry. I’m sure you can understand it,” he wrote. “Make four launches to get into orbit. Rockets are difficult.”
SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared his support for Astra on Twitter
Rocket Lab’s founder and CEO-the only company that has succeeded in a successful commercial flight-also shared encouragement.
“The data for this game is very difficult. Thanks to the team for pulling the actual flight data from today’s attempt!” Peter Beck tweeted.
Astra had previously said he didn’t expect perfection at first because he wanted to achieve orbit in three flights.
The goal of the first flight was to achieve the nominal first stage of combustion. It didn’t happen, but the company said it gained valuable insight into the second attempt.
“We couldn’t reach all our goals, but we gained valuable experience and even more valuable flight data,” the company’s representative wrote in a blog post.
“With this launch, we are ready to reach orbit within two more flights and are happy with the results.”
Astra said in advance that he didn’t expect perfection at first because he wanted to achieve orbit in three flights.
Astra co-founder and CEO Chris Kemp praised the announcement that the system worked as expected and the engineers provided enough information to plan the next flight.
“Obviously, we didn’t do everything we wanted, but it launched and we got a lot of great data,” Kemp said.
“We have learned that we cannot learn otherwise unless we fly.”
Adam London, the company’s chief technology officer and founder of Astra, said early discoveries indicated a problem with rocket guidance and navigation software.
When the rocket began to go off course, safety officials shut down its engine to ensure it landed in the designated safety zone, the company said.
London has assured that the crash will not cause permanent environmental problems.
“There are no toxic propellants in our rockets,” he said. “It’s very environmentally harmless.”
Adam London, co-founder and chief technology officer of Astra, was convinced that the crash would not cause permanent environmental problems.
Astra aims to build a simpler rocket than any other company in the field, which can be significantly below the price of its competitors.
The current market leader, Rocket Lab, charges about $ 7.5 million per flight, but Astra states that the cost of a rocket will be only $ 1 million per flight.
Astra wanted to go further in the course of the trial, but its timeline was interrupted this year on several occasions, including bad weather and a pandemic.
The second rocket is already waiting for the second round. It doesn’t happen for months because the engineers analyze what was happening when there was a problem with the first launch.