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Astra’s NASA mission suffers failure, loss of weather satellites -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: NASA’s logo can be seen in Cape Canaveral Florida on April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe skipper/File photo

Joey Roulette

WASHINGTON (Reuters] -Astra Space, a rocket firm, failed to send small satellites carrying storm monitoring and navigation data to orbit Sunday. A second stage booster engine broke down in space early.

It occurred approximately 10 minutes following the successful launch of Astra’s Rocket 3.3 at 1.43 pm. ET (1743 GMT) was launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

We had only a one-stage flight. Amanda Durk Frye, Astra’s livestream commentator, said that the engine on the upper stage did shut down early so we didn’t deliver our payloads into orbit.

Two small satellites, designed by Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NYSE:), were carried aboard the rocket. They are used to monitor moisture levels and precipitation during tropical storms. These were the first six satellites in a constellation of six that NASA managed. Astra plans to launch the remaining ones later.

Astra failed its second mission on Sunday. It was the latest attempt by the company to launch Rocket 3.3. Rocket 3.3 is an exemptible two-stage vehicle that can carry 330 lb (150 kg), of satellites from low-Earth orbit.

Astra has only succeeded in two of its seven attempts at orbital travel, the other being the November and March missions. These were both test missions that carried no revenue-generating payloads.

NASA teams up with rocket companies in order to launch science payloads at a low cost to stimulate growth.

“Although today’s launch with @Astra did not go as planned, the mission offered a great opportunity for new science and launch capabilities,” Thomas Zurbuchen, the head of NASA’s science unit that oversaw the mission, wrote on Twitter (NYSE:).

“Even though our disappointment is real, we recognize that taking chances in the overall NASA Science portfolio is a good idea. We need innovation to continue leading.”