California-based Astra sent a batch of satellites into orbit for Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc. from an Alaska launch pad today, a just a little more than a month after Astra’s launch failure in Florida.
Astra’s LV0009 launch vehicle lifted off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island at 9:22 a.m. PT, and about an hour later, Astra CEO Chris Kemp reported that the mission was a success.
“Our customers are calling us and indicating that the satellites are alive, they’re talking, which means that they’ve been successfully deployed,” he said during a webcast. “The flight was nominal. We were able to precisely deliver to the targeted orbit and inclination at orbital velocity. … It’s been a long journey.”
Astra went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange last July, thanks to a blank-check merger orchestrated by Seattle-area telecom pioneer Craig McCaw. The company’s status as a publicly traded company led to some ups and downs today as investors waited for word about the mission’s success or failure — and despite notching a success, Astra’s share price ended the day slightly down, at $3.49.