A failed experience had this Sunday the astra rocketwhich missed launching two US weather satellites to check for tropical storms.
Astra’s launch vehicle 0010 (LV0010) successfully lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Florida at 1:43 PM ET, but suffered an upper stage failure approximately 10 minutes into its flight. The launch was part of NASA’s mission to send six TROPICS satellites into space: these small, foot-long CubeSats are supposed to help NASA better track developing tropical storms. CubeSats are low-cost satellites often built by researchers at colleges and universities.
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 @POT and the payload team. More information will be provided after we complete a full data review.
— Astra (@Astra) June 12, 2022
«We had a nominal first stage flight. The upper stage shut down prematurely and we failed to deliver payloads to orbit. We have shared our regrets with POT and payload equipment. More information will be provided after we complete a full review of the data,” Astra said.
NASA for its part also delivered a part of the failure of the rocket:
After a nominal flight of the first stage, the rocket’s upper stage shut down early and was unable to deliver the TROPICS CubeSats to orbit.
NASA’s Launch Services Program, which managed the mission’s launch service, continues to work with emerging launch providers to deliver low-cost science missions into orbit through contracts that align with commercial practices, using less NASA supervision to achieve lower launch costs.
Small satellites and Class D payloads tolerate relatively high risk and serve as an ideal platform for technical and architectural innovation, contributing to NASA’s scientific research and technological development. The program offers the opportunity for the industry to develop new launch capabilities.