Astra celebrates successful rocket launch from Kodiak

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 3:13 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska provided the backdrop for Astra Space to reach orbit as it successfully launched its first commercial rocket from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak.

In an announcement shortly after the launch last week, Astra said they learned their way to orbit over the past five years, which included numerous failed launches.

“Reaching orbit is a historic milestone for Astra,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp said in an announcement from the company. “We can now focus on delivering for our customers and scaling up rocket production and launch cadence.”

Last week’s launch took a test load to space as the company seeks to eventually take small satellites into low earth orbit regularly. Astra started in 2016 and is part of a growing number of companies working to send satellites to space as they hope to build a rocket that can be mass-produced.

Astra partnered with state-run Alaska Aerospace for the launch and favored Alaska because of its reach to the polar orbits. Alaska Aerospace helps launch government and commercial rockets that have satellites onboard into space and have eight launch partners.

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