Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR) successfully completed their first, commercial, orbital launch for the United States Space Force (USSF) on November 19, 2021, PST. The launch, STP-27AD2, was conducted from Astra’s Kodiak Spaceport, located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska.
Astra’s launch system successfully demonstrated the orbital placement of a test payload to an inclination of 86.0 degrees at an altitude of 500 km. The payload achieved an orbital velocity of 7.61 kilometers per second in 8 minutes and 47 seconds.
The United States Space Force contracted this launch through a Defense Innovation Unit Other Transaction Agreement.
Astra was founded in 2016 to launch a new generation of space services enabled by large constellations of smallsats in LEO. The team set out to design a rocket that could be mass produced like an automobile, and a launch system that could deliver payloads into orbit from spaceports everywhere, inspired by the opportunity to provide daily access to space. In just five years, Astra successfully “learned its way” to orbit, launch by launch, increasing capabilities, decreasing costs and increasing operational efficiencies with each iteration.
“Reaching orbit is a historic milestone for Astra,” said Chris Kemp, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Astra. “We can now focus on delivering for our customers and scaling up rocket production and launch cadence.”
“We owe this success to our incredible team and the culture we’ve built at Astra,” said Adam London, Co-Founder and CTO of Astra. “I’m humbled by their courage and commitment to keep building, launching, learning, and iterating until we succeeded.”
Astra’s mission is to improve life on Earth from space by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Today, Astra offers the lowest cost-per-launch dedicated orbital launch service of any operational launch provider in the world. Astra delivered its first commercial payload into Earth orbit in 2021, making it the fastest company in history to reach this milestone, just five years after it was founded in 2016. Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR) was the first space launch company to be publicly traded on Nasdaq.