Astra rocket launch fails to deliver payload to orbit

The Astra rocket launch of the NASA TROPICS-1 mission failed to deliver its satellite payloads on Sunday.The launch window opened at noon, and following a countdown hold for liquid oxygen conditioning, successfully launched the Astra Rocket 3.3 at 1:43 p.m. According to Astra Space, the first stage flight was successful, but an early upper stage shut down led to the rocket’s satellite payload failing to reach orbit.The TROPICS-1 mission was set to deliver two TROPICS 3U CubeSats for NASA and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. These satellites are designed to support weather and storm forecasting.NASA has provided an update regarding the TROPICS-1 mission on their website: “Thanks to the transparency displayed by Astra, NASA has been involved with the investigation on Astra’s previous launch. Additionally, we have been engaged in the discussions about lessons learned and corrective actions. We recognize the risks inherent in a new launch provider and will lend our assistance as needed.”A previous Astra rocket launch failed to deliver it’s payload on Feb. 10. That was the start-up rocket company’s first launch from Florida’s Space Coast. “An issue has been experienced during flight that prevented the delivery of our customer payloads to orbit,” the announcer stated before the livestream was ended. “We are deeply sorry.”NASA said “an in-flight anomaly” prevented delivery of the CubeSat payloads.NASA’s Launch Services Program Mission Manager Hamilton Fernandez released a forgiving message: “Missions like these are critical for developing new launch vehicles in this growing commercial sector. The Astra team demonstrated dedication to supporting NASA’s mission. The lessons learned will benefit them and the agency going forward.”

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

The Astra rocket launch of the NASA TROPICS-1 mission failed to deliver its satellite payloads on Sunday.

The launch window opened at noon, and following a countdown hold for liquid oxygen conditioning, successfully launched the Astra Rocket 3.3 at 1:43 p.m. According to Astra Space, the first stage flight was successful, but an early upper stage shut down led to the rocket’s satellite payload failing to reach orbit.

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We had a nominal first stage flight. The upper stage shut down early and we did not deliver the payloads to orbit. We have shared our regrets with @NASA and the payload team. More information will be provided after we complete a full data review.

— Astra (@Astra) June 12, 2022

The TROPICS-1 mission was set to deliver two TROPICS 3U CubeSats for NASA and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. These satellites are designed to support weather and storm forecasting.

NASA has provided an update regarding the TROPICS-1 mission on their website:

“Thanks to the transparency displayed by Astra, NASA has been involved with the investigation on Astra’s previous launch. Additionally, we have been engaged in the discussions about lessons learned and corrective actions. We recognize the risks inherent in a new launch provider and will lend our assistance as needed.”

A previous Astra rocket launch failed to deliver it’s payload on Feb. 10. That was the start-up rocket company’s first launch from Florida’s Space Coast.

“An issue has been experienced during flight that prevented the delivery of our customer payloads to orbit,” the announcer stated before the livestream was ended. “We are deeply sorry.”

NASA said “an in-flight anomaly” prevented delivery of the CubeSat payloads.

NASA’s Launch Services Program Mission Manager Hamilton Fernandez released a forgiving message: “Missions like these are critical for developing new launch vehicles in this growing commercial sector. The Astra team demonstrated dedication to supporting NASA’s mission. The lessons learned will benefit them and the agency going forward.”

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