Astra Rocket Crashes to Ground after Brief Kodiak Island Launch on Friday

 

Astra rocket explosion at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island Friday. Image-Twitter screenshot

Astra rocket explosion at Narrow Cape on Kodiak Island Friday. Image-Twitter screenshot

An Astra rocket launch from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak island ended sooner than expected on Friday night when the vehicle suffered oscillations and safety systems shut down the engines and it crashed back to the ground in a spectacular explosion.

The launch at 11:19 pm was a test of the company’s first stage rocket and was not scheduled to accomplish orbit. It did not complete its burn, but plummeted back to earth ahead of schedule. The launch and its subsequent crash was caught on video by Twitter user Matt@booster Buddies and posted to that site.



Astra says that they gathered valuable data from the launch that had no payload on board and say they are planning another launch of its Rocket 3.2 in the coming months.