Home / Tech News / Astra completes Rocket 3.1 static test fire ahead of launch attempt

Astra completes Rocket 3.1 static test fire ahead of launch attempt


Astra completes Rocket 3.1 static test fire ahead of launch attempt – TechCrunch

Another small rocket launcher is readying to demonstrate their ability to launch a vehicle to space, after a few setbacks exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Astra has just completed a second static test fire of its Rocket 3.1 orbital launch vehicle, and that means it’s now ready for a trip to Alaska where it’ll hopefully make its first trip to orbit from a spaceport in Kodiak.

Astra originally started out as a company with the specific goal of answering the DARPA launch challenge, which asked companies to create a launch vehicle that could tech orbit within a few weeks of each other (originally from separate launch sites, but then later only from separate pads at the same spaceport). The challenge expired without Astra claiming the price, after the 3.0 version of their Rocket failed to reach orbit.

The company has developed, tested and flown three successive generations of Rocket, mostly without much in the way of public fanfare or information sharing. The startup builds its small rockets, which measure roughly 40-feet tall, in Alameda, California at their own factory. In an interview with TechCrunch ahead of their DARPA challenge attempt, Astra CEO and founder Chris Kemp explained that their approach is focused on rapid, at-scale manufacturing and potential failure margins that might be higher than the existing launch companies tolerate.

A kind of mass-market delivery system approach definitely has advantages, and Astra has focused on a launch system that’s much more portable than others for deployment almost anywhere in the world. The company is also focused on small payloads, which it can deliver responsively, so a loss of such a spacecraft wouldn’t be nearly as expensive as, say, a rocket failing and losing a large geosynchronous GPS satellite.

Rocket 3.1 sounds like a relatively minor iteration on Rocket 3.0, vs the large full point updates of prior generations. Astra says it’s currently headed to Kodiak, and that the company is now working to finalize a launch window, with a date to be confirmed for that next big test early next week.

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The ongoing pandemic has drastically shaped how we maintain existing relationships but it’s also transformed how we get those relationships started, pushing more first encounters online and adding social distance into the dating process. It’s been uncharted waters for the dating app market to weather, as well. For Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, the massive […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:89192944,”featured_media”:2017031,”comment_status”:”open”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”carmot_uuid”:”df1359cd-9a1b-340b-ba27-eb586b1ac4e7″,”categories”:[17396],”tags”:[751831,576771694,576601548],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[576703170],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Whitney-Wolfe-Herd.jpg”,”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/3fDC6WS”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:false,”subtitle”:””,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:””,”seoDescription”:””,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[“slug”:”bumble”,”cb_name”:”Bumble”,”cb_slug”:”bumble-organization”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/organization/bumble”,”slug”:”whitney-wolfe-herd”,”cb_name”:”Whitney Wolfe Herd”,”cb_slug”:”whitney-wolfe-person”,”cb_link”:”https://crunchbase.com/person/whitney-wolfe”],”associatedEvent”:”ad”:”display”:true,”title”:”Experience a whole new digital Disrupt with the Digital Pro Pass”,”override_link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2020/tickets?utm_medium=articlepromo&utm_campaign=disruptsf2020&utm_content=&utm_source=tc&promo=articlepromo&display=”,”date”:1600041600,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-2020/”,”status”:”pre”,”title”:”Disrupt 2020″,”termID”:576703170,”event”:1888488,”authors”:[89192944],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2014454″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=2014454″],”version-history”:[“count”:7,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2014454/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:2017836,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/2014454/revisions/2017836″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/89192944″],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:””],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/89192944″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/2017031″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=2014454″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=2014454″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=2014454″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=2014454″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=2014454″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=2014454″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:89192944,”name”:”Lucas Matney”,”url”:””,”description”:””,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/lucas-matney/”,”slug”:”lucas-matney”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104f8?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104f8?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ac0471089769c31246f411dc339104f8?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/lucasmtny”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucasmatney/”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/lucas-matney”,”position”:”Writer”,”cbDescription”:”

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to do remote work right, from the teams that know it best”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

What are the most important things to get right about remote work? What needs to be prioritized?n

With more and more teams being thrown headfirst into remote work, I spent a few weeks talking with some of the people who know the topic better than just about anyone: the founders and execs who’ve put countless hours into making remote work u2026 work.n

Some of these companies u2014 like GitLab, Doist, Zapier, Mattermost, FlexJobs and YouNeedABudget u2014 have been working fully remote since their earliest days. Others, like Twilio, had been partly remote for years but found themselves shifting gears to expand remote work to a team of nearly three thousand people.n

Looking for the highlights? I’ve pulled out some of their tips and collated them below for easy reading. Want the full interviews? You can find those here:n



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