Astra outlines investigation into failed rocket launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astra Space announced that the FAA has approved its investigation plan into the failed launch of four satellites on Feb. 10.

In a tweet, Astra said it expects a return to launches following the completion of the investigation.

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Read: Astra rocket launch: Payloads were ‘not delivered to orbit’

On Tuesday, officials with Astra said they were conducting a flight data review in addition to a timeline reconstruction “to understand what happened and when.”

Astra said initial findings show an anomaly following the main engine cutoff is the likely cause of the failed launch.

After several delays, Astra officials hoped the third attempt to launch their first rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station would put the fledgling space company on the spaceflight stage with other launch companies.

Read: Astra scrubs rocket launch from the Read: Space Coast for a 2nd time on Monday

The Rocket 3.3, which was carrying a batch of CubeSats, or miniature satellites, never made it to orbit.

Astra’s first launch for NASA was originally scheduled for Feb. 5 but was scrubbed after issues with the launch range radar system.

Read: Astra rocket launch from Florida’s Space Coast delayed until Monday

Then on Feb. 7, Astra was forced to abort its second launch attempt at the last second due to a “minor telemetry issue.”

Astra Space is one of two companies chosen by NASA to launch the miniature satellites as the space agency looks to increase its role in space exploration, research and education.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.