Astra, a rocket launch company founded by Astra, has been granted a Federal Aviation Administration key license. This will allow the company to launch its first commercial orbital flight at the end this month.
Astra CEO Chris Kemp tweeted the news on Thursday, adding that the launch operator license through the FAA is valid through 2026. According to a spokesperson for the company, the new license modifies the previous launch license of the company and is applicable to current versions of the rocket.
— Chris Kemp (@Kemp) August 19, 2021
The license, posted on the FAA’s website, authorizes Astra to conduct flights of its Rocket v3 launch vehicle from the company’s launch pad at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. The license expires March 9, 2026. It clears the way for Astra to conduct a demonstration mission for the U.S. Space Force on August 27, as well as a second launch planned for some time later this year.
Astra is having a great year. In addition to conducting its first commercial orbital launch on August 27, the company also starting trading on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “ASTR.” The company made its debut after merging with special purpose acquisition company Holicity at a pro-forma enterprise value of $2.1 billion.
Earlier this summer, Astra also acquired space-propulsion company Apollo Fusion. This acquisition may give a hint as to how Astra plans on future launches. Electric propulsion systems can be used for moving objects between lower and higher orbits.
Publited at Thu, 19 August 2021 16:57.34 +0000