Astra insisted that she did not expect to reach orbit with her first rocket. It estimated three flights before reaching that milestone. The mission still ended sooner than expected, and the company deployed the premature end to collect “valuable experience” and flight data. It remained confident that they could reach the class as planned.
The follow-up Rocket 3.2 vehicle is already complete, and you should see a launch sometime after spending several weeks on Astra’s “Flight Data”.
The Alameda-based firm is effectively a competitor to Rocket Lab, with the common goal of launching the payload into orbit at a lower-than-normal cost. To some extent, it is already successful – Rocket 3.1 flew within a week with a launch system deployed by just six people. While this is not necessarily true of future launches, it shows that you do not always need a wider ground crew.
– Jennifer Coulton (@ColtonJennifer) September 12, 2020