NASA loses satellites after another failed Astra rocket launch

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Last Sunday (12), the start Astra failed to launch a supposed rocket put NASA weather satellites in low Earth orbit. Minutes after liftoff, the rocket’s upper stage shut down prematurely and the payload, which was attached to the second stage, fell without thrust. This was the company’s second failed launch attempt.

The space agency confirmed that it had lost two of the six weather monitoring satellites it intended to launch. Called TROPICS, the small satellites were designed to study storms.


In a note released shortly after the failure, Astra confirmed the failure of the operation and said more details about the issue are expected to be released soon. “We had a nominal first leg flight. The upper stage shut down early and we did not deliver the payloads to orbit,” the company said.

“We have shared our regrets with NASA and the payload team. More information will be provided after we complete a thorough review of the data.

weather satellites

There is no confirmation as to what happened to the lost satellites. However, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said the cargo must have fallen into the Atlantic Ocean after the troll. “Vehicles and cargo must have fallen into the Atlantic a few minutes later,” he explained.

“I am confident that in the future we will succeed in using this valuable launch capability to explore the unknown and give others the same opportunity to inspire the world through discovery,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Scientist at NASA, in a company statement. .

Another Astra launch error

The launch took place in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was the second failed attempt from Astra on site. The first time, in February, the startup undertook a mission to try to deliver cargo to space for Spaceflight Inc. customers. At the time, the first stage also flew without problems with the fall that occurred. in the second.

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the star to promise cheap launches (by space standards) from anywhere in the world. The company focuses on launches of smaller equipment, such as NASA’s small weather-monitoring satellites.

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