Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Secretive Astra Space Suborbital Launch Fails
space,com ^ | 12/07/2018 | Jeff Foust

Posted on 12/08/2018 5:16:56 AM PST by BenLurkin

A test flight in Alaska of a small launch vehicle by a stealthy startup company ended in failure in late November, the Federal Aviation Administration has revealed.

In a speech Dec. 6 at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce space conference here discussing the agency's approach to commercial spaceflight safety, FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell mentioned a recent, but previously unreported, accident involving a launch taking place from Alaska one week ago.

A launch license the FAA issued to Astra Space Inc. on Oct. 15, also available on the FAA website, authorized the company to perform a suborbital flight of its "Rocket 2" vehicle from Launch Pad 2 at Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, the commercial launch site on Kodiak Island, Alaska, operated by Alaska Aerospace Corp.

The launch featured a first stage but an "upper stage mass simulator" in place of an active upper stage. The rocket was intended to fly on an azimuth of 195 degrees, or slightly west of due south, from the spaceport, but the license did not disclose the planned altitude or downrange distance for the mission.

Astra Space has also not commented on the launch failure. The company, based in Alameda, California, has been working on a small launch vehicle capable of placing 100 kilograms into low Earth orbit, according to documents included with its lease agreement with the city of Alameda for a building the company uses. The company has maintained a low profile, identifying itself as "Stealth Space Company" in some job listings.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: Alabama; US: Alaska; US: California
KEYWORDS: alabama; alameda; alaska; astra; astraspace; california; elonmusk; falcon9; falconheavy; launch; spacex
Woo hoo!! Closing in on the GREEN!! We need everyone to get your final 4th quarter donations in as soon as you can to help us wrap this baby up. Thank you all very much. We can do this.

Or by mail to: Free Republic, LLC - PO Box 9771 - Fresno, CA 93794


1 posted on 12/08/2018 5:16:56 AM PST by BenLurkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Why secrecy?


2 posted on 12/08/2018 5:25:44 AM PST by Raycpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

How much did that cost us?


3 posted on 12/08/2018 5:33:07 AM PST by DickBrannigan ("And the fact that I haven't put a gun in my mouth, you pudding of a woman, makes me a winner!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Falcon 9 failed booster recovery

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAOcdDrV2cg

Hydraulic pump failure caused grid fins to not fully deploy

As per protocol dumped it in drink rather than risk crash on land

Booster landed intact and may be salvageable


4 posted on 12/08/2018 5:50:15 AM PST by njslim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
The launch featured a first stage but an "upper stage mass simulator" in place of an active upper stage.

This is what happens when you use a Yugo rather than a Tesla...

5 posted on 12/08/2018 6:12:06 AM PST by null and void (Socialist Worker's Party. If they ever get elected, you'll work and they'll party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: njslim
As per protocol dumped it in drink rather than risk crash on land [...]

Very little chance of the rocket crashing on land, seeing as how it was launched from Kodiak Island:

[...] authorized the company to perform a suborbital flight of its "Rocket 2" vehicle from Launch Pad 2 at Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, the commercial launch site on Kodiak Island, Alaska, [...]

Regards,

6 posted on 12/08/2018 6:12:10 AM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

Why launch from Alaska? I thought launching closer to the equator takes advantage of a boost effect from the Earth’s rotation.

http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/navigation/2-why-launch-from-equator.html


7 posted on 12/08/2018 6:14:34 AM PST by Flick Lives
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa

“Why secrecy?”

If your company was in the San Francisco Bay Area and it made rockets that could have applications to help the US military, you’d keep quiet too.


8 posted on 12/08/2018 6:30:04 AM PST by BobL (I eat at McDonald's and shop at Walmart - I just don't tell anyone.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DickBrannigan

What sort of environmental impact statement is required?


9 posted on 12/08/2018 6:41:01 AM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Raycpa
Why secrecy?

To get people to read the article.....A successful flight wouldn't even have made the news.

10 posted on 12/08/2018 6:47:16 AM PST by Hot Tabasco
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Flick Lives
Why launch from Alaska? I thought launching closer to the equator takes advantage of a boost effect from the Earth’s rotation.

This is why:

The rocket was intended to fly on an azimuth of 195 degrees, or slightly west of due south.

Polar orbits are best launched from extreme latitudes.

11 posted on 12/08/2018 6:58:27 AM PST by IndispensableDestiny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Flick Lives

Polar orbit


12 posted on 12/08/2018 7:36:08 AM PST by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Astra Space Suborbital
Okay, so suborbital, but this is ridiculous. ;^)

13 posted on 12/08/2018 8:38:11 AM PST by SunkenCiv (and btw -- https://www.gofundme.com/for-rotator-cuff-repair-surgery)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
where can i get me a launch permit?

< channeling J effin' K >

14 posted on 12/08/2018 8:59:35 AM PST by TheRightGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: alexander_busek

Was commenting on Space X Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral …….


15 posted on 12/08/2018 12:57:54 PM PST by njslim
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: BobL

Dunno how accurate this article may be. ASTRA Space looks like it is headquartered in Colorado.

https://www.astraspace.net/

And rather than building its own rockets it appears to partner with Northrup Grumman subsidiary Orbital ATK that does.


16 posted on 12/08/2018 4:25:30 PM PST by Pelham (Secure Voter ID. Mexico has it, because unlike us they take voting seriously)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson