The Astra rocket, carrying two small hurricane tracking satellites for NASA, was unable to reach orbit on Sunday (June 12) after a major failure shortly after takeoff.
The Astra rocket, called Launch Rocket 0010 (LV0010), suffered a second-stage failure after taking off from the pad of Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida at 1:43 pm Eastern Standard Time (1743 Greenwich Mean Time). .. Two of the first NASA CubeSats of a six-satellite fleet that tracked a hurricane as part of a $ 30 million mission were lost.
“There was a nominal first stage flight, but the upper engine stopped early and did not get the payload into orbit,” said Amanda Darkfly, senior manager of stage 1 and engine manufacturing. Said in the commentary on the live launch. ..
“We shared regrets with @NASA and the payload team,” Astra officials added. With a Twitter update (Opens in a new tab).. “Details will be provided after a complete data review is complete.” The launch attempted on Sunday was initially targeted at 12:00 EST (1600 GMT), but in the launch zone. Delayed due to boat and refueling issues.
video: See Astra’s LV0010 rocket launch failure on NASA satellite
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Astra’s LV0010 mission was to carry the first satellite of precipitation structure and storm intensity by NASA’s time-resolved observations of the Small Sat constellation (TROPICS). This was the first of three tropical cyclone missions planned by Astra this year to complete the constellations that monitor hurricanes. The TROPICS contract for Astra’s three missions with NASA is worth a total of $ 7.95 million for the company.
“TROPICS provides a very frequent view of tropical cyclones, providing insights into their formation, enhancement, and interaction with the environment, and providing important data for storm monitoring and prediction.” Scott Brown, Maryland, a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, said in a statement. (Opens in a new tab) Before launch.
NASA wanted to monitor hurricanes and tropical storms hourly using three sets of TROPICS satellites, each in a different orbit. It is unclear if the agency can still do that with four satellites, or if the two lost in today’s launch failure will be replaced.
The failed launch on Sunday is the second accident for Astra this year. In February, the California-based company was unable to launch four NASA CubeSats as part of its ELaNa 41 mission. The flight was also staged from the Florida launch pad and was the first attempt by Astra to launch a payload to its customers. The rocket payload fairing issue was due to Astra implementing a fix to avoid a recurrence.
Astra reached orbit with the customer’s payload a month later when the LV0009 rocket took off from the Pacific Paceport Complex pad on Kodiak Island, Alaska, and previously launched four test flights. The company’s first successful orbital launch occurred in November 2021 on one of those test flights.
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