The company’s LV0007 rocket launches from the Pacific Cosmodrome complex in Kodiak, Alaska on November 20, 2021.
Rocket company Astra rose sharply in trading on Monday after the company entered orbit for the first time over the weekend.
The company’s LV0007 rocket, launched Saturday from the Pacific Cosmodrome complex in Kodiak, Alaska, carries a test payload for the US Space Force.
“Getting to orbit was really difficult. Astra and only a few other companies – I can count them on my fingers – have ever done this, ”Astra CEO Chris Kemp told reporters.
“We are now focused on providing services to our customers, as well as increasing production and launching our system,” Kemp added.
Astra shares jumped 42% from the previous close of $ 9.53 on unusually high volume.
The launch makes Astra the last of a small group of American companies to reach orbit with a privately funded rocket, joining SpaceX, Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit.
The company’s rocket is 43 feet tall and fits into the small rocket segment in the launch market. Kemp noted that his Rocket 3.3 variant could carry about 50 kg of payload into low Earth orbit, and the planned Rocket 4.0 version is expected to increase that capacity. Astra’s goal is to launch one rocket per day by 2025, which will bring its price down by $ 2.5 million.
Astra went public earlier this year following the completion of its merger with SPAC, when the company raised funds to ramp up production of its small rockets, expand production facilities in Alameda, California, and develop its spacecraft and spaceport businesses.
Kemp said the successful launch of LV0007 “suggests there won’t be much attention” to further changes to its Rocket 3.3 release. The company will share a “faster” schedule for its next launch, Kemp said, and the LV0008 is expected to be integrated for the mission shortly.