Launch company Astra abandons its latest attempt to reach orbit.

Launch company Astra abandons its latest attempt to reach orbit.

Astra Space Inc. has canceled. Emerging in California on Monday planned the launch of its first working satellite, a NASA mission, citing a technical problem that surfaced at the last second.

The countdown stopped at minus T, moments before the two-stage kerosene-fueled launch vehicle 0008, also known as Rocket 3.3, lifted off from Space Station Launch Complex 46. Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Astra’s director of product management, Carolina Grossman, told a live broadcast of the event that the launch team soon decided to cancel the flight for the day and try again at a later date. Not specified later.

The next launch window available for a NASA mission wasn’t immediately clear. NASA and Astra said the launch was suspended due to a minor telemetry issue that requires further investigation.

Shares of Astra, listed on the Nasdaq in July, fell 14% in late trading on Monday after pulling out of the mission for the day.

Headquartered in Alameda, California, Astra is one of a burgeoning group of new companies building small payload launch systems to take advantage of the exponential growth of compact satellites that need to be transported into orbit.

The pioneers in this category of commercial space ventures are Firefly Aerospace, owned by entrepreneur Max Polyakov, US-New Zealand startup Rocket Lab and British billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit.

This boom is fueled in part by investment capital and technological developments that have reduced the size of satellites and increased their capabilities in everything from communications to national security to climate studies.

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Astra is proud to become the first rocket company to reach orbit in less than five years with the 0007 launch vehicle flight, which demonstrated the orbital position of a test payload in November 2021.

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