American startup Astra, after a series of postponements due to weather conditions and other problems, finally held its debut Rocket 3.1 rocket launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska on September 11, on Kodiak Island off the coast of Alaska.
Rocket 3.1 was successfully launched at 11:19 pm EDT (September 12 at 6:19 am Moscow time), but failed to reach its intended orbit.
“Successful takeoff and further movement, but the flight was interrupted during the first stage. It looks like we got a long flight time. There will be more updates!“- said the company on Twitter.
Volume up! Rocket 3.1’s orbital launch attempt pic.twitter.com/nm1bDewdl5
– Astra (@Astra) September 12, 2020
After some time, the company explained the failure: “Preliminary analysis of the data shows that the rocket performed very well. At the start of the flight, our guidance system seems to have added some slight vibrations, causing the craft to deviate from the planned trajectory, and this led to a controlled shutdown of the engines using the flight safety system.“.
The failure was not a shock to the Astra – debut flights rarely go smoothly. The company said before launch that the main goal is to reach orbit in three launches.
“We didn’t achieve all of our goals, but we gained valuable experience and even more valuable flight data.“, – said Astra in her blog.
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