Amplify the sound! Orbit launch attempt of Rocket 3.1 pic.twitter.com/nm1bDewdl5September 12, 2020
After the launch of the failed launch site, the space launch Astra 2020 could attempt its second orbital test shot before completion.
California based company Introduced its first orbital test aircraft On Friday night (September 11), a 38-foot (12-meter) rocket launches its 3.1-foot vehicle from the Pacific Spaceport campus on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
Everything went exactly right when we first started. But then Rocket 3.1 certainly began to recede, prompting launch controls to command engine shutdown for safety reasons. The booster came to earth with a bang, an explosion Some spectators know the fireball floor.
Related: History of rockets
Preliminary data analyzes suggest a problem with Rocket 3.1’s guidance system, which “introduced some minor roll oscillations in the aircraft,” Astra co-founder and chief technology officer Adam London said on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 12).
Chris Kemp, co-founder and CEO of Astra, said the fireball was dramatic but not dangerous, stressing that Rocket 3.1’s air-termination system did its job as expected.
The two-level booster is very small and does not require an internal self-destruction system, he explained.
“It simply came to our notice then Rocket Get down safely into the safety zone by ordering the engines to stop, “Kemp said.” This is a very effective technique. The rocket has no explosives and no pyrotechnic vessel, which makes it safe. “
The navigation glitch appears to have been caused by a software issue, London and Kemp said. If confirmed it would be good news, they added that Astra’s trajectory to the missile pad would not be particularly long or rough.
“We learned things that could push us back six months or a year,” Kemp said.
Instead, the necessary changes will “include a software update to our guidance system,” he said. “This is fantastic news. I can not be happy that we will be up to Alaska by the end of the year with Rocket 3.2.”
Rocket 3.2 is almost ready to go. The final assembly and testing of a booster similar to Rocket 3.1 is underway at Astra’s Bay Area headquarters, according to London.
Astra, founded in 2016, is expected to successfully reach orbit within three attempts. The performance of Rocket 3.1 on Friday night was encouraging, with Kemp monitoring the company to achieve that goal, he said.
Thanks, elonmusk. We appreciate that and are encouraged by the progress we have made today on our first three flights on the way around https://t.co/CrH8iBYNpS.September 12, 2020
In the long run, Astra wants to gain a significant share of the small-satellite launch site market. That market currently dominates Rocket Laboratory, Which offers small rides dedicated rides in orbit (as planned by Astra), and SpaceX, Which carries the Phantom spacecraft as “rideshares” on passengers carrying large primary payloads.
Astra aims to carve out its space with an inexpensive, flexible and highly responsive launch system. For example, the full rocket 3.1 launch system was used by only six people in a week more than the test flight on Friday night, Astra representatives said.
“These new generation small-satellite payloads don’t have enough starters to go to enough places on the requested tables,” Kemp said. “We are very excited to join Rocket Lab, SpaceX and other companies that provide these next generation satellites, helping us to better serve the people of the earth with new services that connect and enhance our lives.”
Mike Wall is the author of a book on the quest for alien life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; explained by Carl Tate). Follow him on Twitter michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter pSpacedotcom or Facebook