Astra, a California-based aerospace company, successfully launched their Rocket 3.2 into orbit from the Pacific Spaceport Complex near Pasagshak Tuesday afternoon.
According to Astra Head of Communications Alexis Georgeson, their goal was not primarily to reach orbit.
But the rocket’s successful launch may indicate that the changes made from the failed launches of previous rockets earlier this year were successful.
The rocket launched today (Tuesday) carried no payload, but the ultimate purpose of Astra’s rockets is to carry small payloads, namely small satellites to low orbit.
Rocket 3.2 is a relatively small rocket, only 40-feet tall, which makes it more portable. Astra says that its rapid manufacturing and focus on small payloads, what they call a “mass-market delivery system”, makes their launch system more cost-effective than other aerospace operations.
Today’s launch comes on the heels of more good news for Astra, which won a multi-million dollar contract from NASA last week to launch miniature satellites. These satellites, called SmallSats, will help NASA conduct research at a lower cost.