Astra’s first rocket launch failed. The vehicle slid sideways and failed to reach orbit this Saturday (28), at the Pacific spaceport complex in Kodiak, Alaska. This was the company’s first rocket takeoff attempt since it went public.
It so happened that the first engine failed to fire the second during launch, causing the Astra to hover sideways in the air before reaching orbit. The flight’s safety crew purposely stopped the engines after just 2 minutes and 28 seconds into the flight, after a piece of the rocket appeared to break.
Before returning to Earth, the rocket reached an altitude of almost 50,000 meters, halfway to the Kármán line, considered the limit between the atmosphere and outer space. It should have even been launched the day before, but the event was postponed when the rocket’s guidance system requested an abort, because of an engine configuration problem.
In an interview with the channel CNBCChris Kemp, CEO of Astra, played down the problems and expressed optimism. “Obviously, there was no success in putting anything into orbit, but it was a flight where we learned a lot,” said Kemp. The rocket in question is called Launch Vehicle 0006 (or LV0006).
On his Twitter account, the company’s CEO posted a video of the moment the rocket moves sideways. For him, the attempt contributed to a “huge amount of data” that will be reviewed. Kemp added that Astra plans to use what it has learned and apply it to the LV0007 rocket, currently in production.
In the publication, he highlighted that two things were clear. First, the engine shutdown right after launch. “Everything that happened next made me incredibly proud of our team. Space can be tricky, but like this rocket, we’re not going to give up,” added Chris Kemp.
Check out the Astra rocket video:
Via: The Verge
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