Skip to comments.Secretive Astra Space Suborbital Launch Fails
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 ...
How much did that cost us?
Falcon 9 failed booster recovery
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
This is what happens when you use a Yugo rather than a Tesla...
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, [...]
Why launch from Alaska? I thought launching closer to the equator takes advantage of a boost effect from the Earth’s rotation.
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.
What sort of environmental impact statement is required?
To get people to read the article.....A successful flight wouldn't even have made the news.
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.
Astra Space Suborbital
Okay, so suborbital, but this is ridiculous. ;^)
< channeling J effin' K >
Was commenting on Space X Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral .
Dunno how accurate this article may be. ASTRA Space looks like it is headquartered in Colorado.
And rather than building its own rockets it appears to partner with Northrup Grumman subsidiary Orbital ATK that does.
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.