Small satellite launcher Astra identifies cause behind strange sideways rocket launch

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Astra’s 3.2 rocket taking off from Kodiak, Alaska | Image: Astra/John Kraus

Small satellite launcher Astra says it has identified the culprit behind its bizarre launch failure in August, which caused the company’s rocket to hover sideways right after takeoff before briefly climbing into the sky. After implementing some design changes, Astra says it is ready to try again, with another launch attempt called LV0007 set as early as October 27th.

This will be Astra’s fifth attempt to reach orbit with one of its rockets, which primarily take off from Kodiak, Alaska. The company first tried to send its vehicle to orbit for a DARPA launch challenge in March 2020 but failed to get the rocket off the ground in time to meet the competition’s deadline. The vehicle then exploded on its launchpad a few weeks later. After…

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