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Astra Rocket-3.3

Astra Rocket-3.3 (STP-27AD1) [Astra]

Astra is a small satellite launch vehicle designed by Astra Space Inc, formerly known as Ventions Inc. Reportedly this is a small orbital launch vehicle capable of delivering about 100 kg to low earth orbit.

This vehicle likely builds on the experience gained by developing the air-launched SALVO launch vehicle, although it did not perform any launches. It is fueled by Kerosene and liquid oxygen (LOX). The first stage of Astra is powered by five Delphin engines of 28 kN thrust each driven by battery-powered pumps, the second stage uses an engine called Aether. It uses a minimum ground infrastructure, which can be set up in short term at different launch sites.

The rocket was spotted on a video in February 2018 apparently doing ground tests at Alameda Naval Air Station.

The company is the customer for a secretive "Rocket 1" suborbital launch at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska (PSCA) on Kodiak Island in 2018. The first suborbital test flight occured on 21 July 2018 with failure shortly after launch.

The second suborbital flight in November 2018 also failed shortly after launch and fell near the launch pad, after all five engines failed.

The first orbital version, Rocket-3.0 is a two stage vehicle. Stage one apparently uses a common bulkhead design, contrary to the two prototypes. It has a diameter of 1.32 m and a height of 11.6 m. Three vehicles are built of this initial version for flight tests, before producing improved versions.

The operational version, Rocket-3.3, is an improved version of the Rocket-3.0 version. Stage one is stretched and stage two has increased thrust.

The launch vehicle does not require a fixed launch infrastructure, as all of these components are transportable by air lift and can be set up at any clean-pad launch site.

Note: Although the manufacturer apparently calls the launch vehicle just "Rocket", it will be referred by the name "Astra Rocket" on this website for practical reasons, as the term "Rocket" would be rather meaningless in the site search.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2
Astra Rocket-3.3 Stage 1 (str.) / 5 × Delphin Stage 2 / Aether
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Astra Rocket-3.3 - - - -
No.TypNo Type                Serial        Date            LS             Payload 

 5   1   Astra Rocket-3.3    LV0006        28.08.2021  F   Kd LP-3B       STP-27AD1
 6   2   Astra Rocket-3.3    LV0007        20.11.2021      Kd LP-3B       STP-27AD2
 7   3   Astra Rocket-3.3    LV0008        10.02.2022  F   CC SLC-46      BAMA 1 / INCA / R5 S1 / QubeSat
 8   4   Astra Rocket-3.3    LV0009        15.03.2022      Kd LP-3B       S4 Crossover / OreSat 0 / SpaceBEE 112, ..., 127 / SpaceBEENZ 11, ..., 14
 9   5   Astra Rocket-3.3    LV0010        12.06.2022  F   CC SLC-46      TROPICS 02 / TROPICS 04 


(3): accident during wet dress rehearsal
 3: flight terminated ~30 seconds after launch due to pogo/thrust oscillations that pushed the rocket off course.
 4: upper stage apparently stopped shortly before reaching orbital velocity

Launch sites:

CC  = Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA USA
Kd  = Pacific Spaceport Complex - Alaska (Kodiak Launch Complex), Kodiak Island, Narrow Cape, Alaska, USA USA
WI  = Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), Wallops Island, Virginia, USA USA

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