Astra Rocket Launch Fails for the Third Time as Launcher Crashes into the Ocean11th Sep 2021
Astra rocket launch fails again on 28th August as Rocket 3.3 shuts down its engine less than three minutes after lift-off. This is Astra’s third launch attempt this year, and even though none of the launches was successful, the company remains optimistic about its odds in the market.
The Third Astra Rocket Launch Failure Details
The latest Astra rocket launch from Kodiak Island had to be delayed for over two hours after the launch window opened at 16:00 ET. Finally, at 18:35 ET, the rocket turned on its five first-stage engines, however apparently experienced an anomaly. Instead of ascending vertically, the launcher toppled sideways and hovered for around 20 seconds before lifting off. Once in the air, the rocket lasted around two and a half minutes before its engines shut down and the launcher tumbled to the ground.
Still, company co-founder and CEO Chris Kemp does not believe the latest Astra rocket launch to be a failure. According to Mr Kemp, Astra collected a ‘tremendous amount of data’ that will be incorporated in further rocket designs. He also added that the rocket reached an altitude of 50 km above the ground and did not cause any injury or damage on its splashdown in the ocean. Right now, Astra is not sure what caused the anomaly, but the team knows for a fact that one of the five first-stage engines shut down.
Previous Astra Launch History
Astra’s previous launch attempts were not successful either. Rocket 3.1 launch in September 2020 failed because the guidance system could navigate to the required trajectory. Rocket 3.2 almost reached orbit, but its upper-stage engine prematurely ran out of fuel and shut down. In contrast to that, the latest Astra rocket launch could be called a partial success because none of the previous problems persisted.