Following launch, an in-flight anomaly prevented delivery of the CubeSat payloads on NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa 41) mission. Astra’s Rocket 3.3 carrying four small research satellites lifted off at approximately 3 p.m. on Feb. 10 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“Missions like these are critical for developing new launch vehicles in this growing commercial sector,” said Hamilton Fernandez, mission manager with NASA’s Launch Services Program. “The Astra team demonstrated dedication to supporting NASA’s mission. The lessons learned will benefit them and the agency going forward.”
Astra Space Inc., based in Alameda, California, was operating under NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services contract, managed by the agency’s Launch Services Program based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The venture class contracts help encourage commercial development of a new class of small launch vehicles and launch providers.
Astra will work closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to investigate and will provide updated information via Twitter at @Astra.