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Secretive Astra Space Suborbital Launch Fails



 Astra Space Suborbital Launch Fails

Launch facilities at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island.

Credit: Alaska Aerospace Corp.

WASHINGTON – A test flight in Alaska of a small launch vehicle by a stealthy startup company ended in failure in late November, the Federal Aviation Administration has revealed.

In a speech Dec. 6 at a. Chamber of Commerce space conference discussing the agency's approach to commercial spaceflight safety, FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell said a recent, but previously unreported, accident involving a launch taking place from Alaska one week ago.

"The recent launch is mishap is an I'm confident we're on the right track, "he said. But because of our approach to licensing and the precautionary operators take, no one in the public has ever hurt. "

" We saw that in Alaska a week ago today, "he continued.

Elwell did not provide any further details about the event, and left the conference without taking questions , However, according to the FAA on its website of licensed launches, there is a launch Nov. 29 by Astra of its "Astra Rocket 2" from Alaska.

A launch license the A FA Space Inc. on Oct. Launched at Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, the commercial launch site on Kodiak Island, Alaska, operated by Alaska Aerospace Corp., is available on the FAA website, authorized the company to perform a suborbital flight of its "Rocket 2" vehicle

The launch featured a first stage but an "upper stage mass simulator" in place of an active upper stage.

As the name suggests, the launch does not disclose the planned altitude or downlink distance for the mission.

what the second for Astra Space. The launch of the launch took place in foggy conditions and the outcome was shrouded in secrecy: the FAA said that it was unsubscribed at "mishap" but Alaska Aerospace Corp. said the customer for that launch, which it declined to disclose, citing a nondisclosure agreement, which is "very pleased with the outcome of the launch."

Alaska Aerospace Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment 6 about the Nov. 29 launch accident. Speaking of background, FAA source said that

Astra Space has not commented on the launch failure. The company, based in Alameda, California, has been working on a small launch vehicle capable of placing 1

00 kilograms into low Earth orbit, according to a contract with the city of Alameda for a building the company uses.

This story was provided by SpaceNews.


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