“Explosive Astra Rocket Mishap: Rare 2020 Footage of Failed Prelaunch Testing”

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Footage obtained by TechCrunch shows the catastrophic ending that Astra’s Rocket 3.0 suffered during prelaunch testing in March 2020. “I can confirm we had an anomaly on the launch pad,” Alaska Aerospace CEO Mark Lester told local reporters at the time. At the time, Astra was taking such failures in stride. The deal is expected to close sometime this quarter, at which time Astra will cease trading on the Nasdaq. Astra did not return a request for comment on the 2020 launch failure.

“2024’s Inaugural SPAC Failure in the Space Industry: Astra Takes the Title”

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Astra Space, the launch company that went public in 2021 at a $2.1 billion valuation, is going private again after months of burning cash and failing to secure alternate investment. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024, at which time Astra will cease trading on the Nasdaq. In an investor presentation from February 2021, Astra touted a “mass produced portable launch system” that could launch from anywhere in the world. At the time Astra completed its SPAC merger it also acquired Apollo Fusion, an electric propulsion developer for spacecraft, with the aim of integrating those systems into an Astra satellite constellation. That constellation never came to fruition, however, and while the company did succeed in selling many Apollo Fusion propulsion systems it has struggled to turn that backlog into revenue.