The failure of Astra's launch resulted in the loss of two NASA weather satellites

The failure of Astra’s launch resulted in the loss of two NASA weather satellites

Astra space company’s rocket failed to deliver two NASA weather-tracking satellites to space after its second stage engine shut down prematurely. As a result of the failure, both satellites were lost.

Astra’s Launch Vehicle 0010 (LV0010) lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 1:43PM ET, but failed about 10 minutes later due to an upper stage failure. The launch was part of NASA’s mission to send six TROPICS satellites into space — these small, foot-long CubeSats are designed to help NASA track developing tropical storms. CubeSats are low-cost satellites that are frequently built by college and university researchers.

Astra first collaborated with NASA in February to launch a group of CubeSats into space, marking the company’s first launch from Cape Canaveral. However, the payload was lost when the rocket appeared to spin out of control after launch.

Astra has only had two successful orbital launches out of seven total attempts — the company first reached orbit last November and successfully deployed a customer’s satellites into orbit in March. A variety of issues have hampered Astra’s other launches, ranging from guidance system issues to engine failure.

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