Astra ready to launch from Kodiak Islands for $12m Launch Challenge prize

Small rocket startup, Astra, have announced their plans to launch their 40 foot rocket from a launchpad on Kodiak Island in Alaska.

The company have been operating in stealth mode until recently and are reported to have been unsuccessful in the two live tests they performed.

Astra are in quite a unique position as this launch is actually part of a competition run by the US Military. The challenge was to get a company to carry out two launches from two different locations with different payloads and within weeks of each other. Astra were one of three finalists. However, the other two are no longer taking part.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit were one of the other finalists and they have now pulled out of the competition. The third finalist was a company called Vector that has now filed for bankruptcy.

As the only finalist left, Astra has the $12m prize well within their sights.

Hopefully the problems that have dogged the Kodiak launch site previously do not repeat during Astra’s launch later this month.

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