The space company Astra Space was able to successfully launch its light vehicle Astra Rocket 3.3 on its fourth attempt.
During the launch into an orbit with an altitude of 500 kilometers, the second stage of the rocket was propelled with an inseparable payload simulator.
Astra Space was founded in 2016 and is developing its lightweight two-stage Astra launch vehicle
This ship is powered by liquid propellant rocket engines fueled by kerosene-liquid oxygen fuel vapor.
Five engines are installed in the first stage of the rocket, and one in the second stage.
Currently, the company has already created the third version of the rocket and claims that it is capable of delivering a payload weighing up to 500 kilograms into an orbit with an altitude of 500 kilometers.
Test flights of the launch vehicle have been underway since 2020, but the company has not been able to reach low-earth orbit in three launches.
The last time it climbed 50 kilometers, after which the flight was terminated.
The reason for the failure was a malfunction of the system for quickly disconnecting the fuel line, from which the fuel leaked.
The fourth launch of the Astra Rocket 3.3 rocket with serial number LV0007 took place on the morning of November 20, 2021 from the launch pad at the Kodiak space center, in Alaska.
The first stage worked for three minutes, after which it was separated
The engine of the second stage was turned on for 5.5 minutes, which allowed it to enter an orbit with an altitude of almost 500 kilometers.
It delivered an STP-27AD2 inseparable mass and dimensional payload simulator equipped with sensors and launched under a contract with the US Space Force.
The next launch of the Astra rocket is expected to take place later this year.