New in space: Astra’s private company

As space becomes an increasingly commercial affair, more and more space companies have emerged alongside SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. One of these is Astra, an American aerospace company that was successfully in orbit for the first time before yesterday.


Chris Kemp and Adam London drive the Astra, but in total about 100 people work there. It is even listed on the stock exchange, while it was launched only five years ago in 2016. At first it was called Stealth Space Company, but now we know it only as Astra Space. The company has always been able to count on the support of other big companies, with its investors including BlackRock, ACME, Airbus, Salesforce, and even former Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

Initially, Astra was a company called Ventions that researched space. She spent ten years working with NASA in space technology before deciding to pursue her space ambitions. With success, because he has now succeeded in making a trip to orbit the Earth for the first time. Not without a fight: It made two test flights from the Pacific Spaceport complex in Alaska in 2018, but both were unsuccessful. At least, that’s what the FAA has ruled. Astra thought they were both successful, although one was a little shorter than planned.


In 2019, it created the Astra Rocket 3.0, a launcher that was supposed to be a huge success for the company. Unfortunately, she did not succeed in the DARPA launch challenge, a competition that involved launching two payloads of small satellites into space. Astra tried, but still had to withdraw due to incorrect sensor data. As a result, the $12 million prize money from the DARPA launch challenge was never claimed, as two other companies withdrew. However, it was not all in vain, because in the end Astra is still using its first rocket for the DARPA launch challenge. Unfortunately, a fire broke out in the launch pad, destroying the missile.

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On September 11, 2020, Astra made another attempt to enter space, but the 3.1 rocket fell and returned to Earth, causing a huge explosion. Four days later, the Rocket 3.2 rocket was deployed, but it just failed to touch Earth’s orbit. Unfortunately, the Rocket 33 had the same problem on August 28, 2021, albeit due to a misplaced launch from the platform. Eventually he hit the ocean.

mission accomplished

So despite a large investor base and many launch opportunities, Astra was not so lucky. So far: On November 20, the 3.3 rocket has successfully reached Earth orbit. This makes it one of the few companies to have succeeded in this that provides good hope for the future of the Astra.

Laura Jenny

When she’s not tapping, she’s floating somewhere in the great world of entertainment or on a plane to a great place in the real world. Mario…

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