Stuff that’s hard to do (Astra test launch)

Saturday in Alaska

Unique takeoff
Alas, they terminated it near the end of Stg1 burn

This was just minutes ago,
so I’ll post more as it becomes available

U/D: Better post-mortem (Scott Manley)

Good illustration of when thrust-to-weight ratio is approx 1.0 instead of the designed 1.25

Chris Kemp, co-founder and CEO of Astra, said one of the five engines on the first stage failed within a second of take-off. “We are still trying to find out why this happened,” he said. “The guidance system was able to maintain control and the rocket began to fly horizontally for a few seconds until we had burned enough propellant to resume our takeoff.”

The range, he said, ordered the engine thrust to cease two and a half minutes after the start of the flight because the vehicle was out of its cleared path. The vehicle reached a maximum altitude of about 50 kilometers before crashing into the ocean below Kodiak Island, causing no damage or injury to the public.

Video of the launch showed that the rocket appeared to make contact with the launch pad, at which point it tipped over and moved sideways. “We’re still studying the data and looking for fingerprints of it,” he said, but suggested such contact would have occurred after the engine was shut down.

“We are incredibly impressed with the guidance system,” he added. “Considering that we had an engine that shut down so early in the flight, the fact that the rocket was able to maintain control, continue the flight and resume the course was spectacular.” [story]

Attaboy, attitude-control system!
You done good, kid!
No crater


  1. jlw
    Posted August 29, 2021 at 6:05 am |

    related and possibly of interest to you DougM,

  2. DougM (just entertaining myself here)
    Posted August 29, 2021 at 1:27 pm |

    jlw ^

    The author’s “this guy” is Arthur C friggin’ Clarke (PBUH),
    and ’76 wasn’t all that long ago!
    (What? Oh…)

  3. Nomen Nescio
    Posted August 29, 2021 at 4:04 pm |

    Kinda reminds me of that time I failed a field sobriety test.
    Embarrassing. But I didn’t fall into the ocean.

  4. mech
    Posted August 30, 2021 at 7:48 am |


    Staggeringly impressive!

    Somebody was wearing their lucky face diaiper that day.