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Astra just misses reaching orbit on second orbital launch attempt
Posted: Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 5:46 AM ET (1046 GMT)
Astra Rocket 3.2 launch (Astra) Small launch vehicle company Astra just missed reaching orbit on its second launch Tuesday. The company's Rocket 3.2 lifted off from Kodiak Island, Alaska, at 3:55 pm EST (2055 GMT). The vehicle's first stage worked as planned, but the upper stage ran out of fuel about 12-15 seconds early, falling about half a kilometer per second short of the velocity needed to reach orbit. Astra, though, declared the launch a success, saying a change to the fuel mixing ratio on the upper stage should allow it to reach orbit on its next launch. The launch was the second in a series of three it said it would perform to demonstrate it could reach orbit with the rocket. A first launch in September failed shortly after liftoff. The next launch could take place within a few months.
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