NASA mission suffers shock failure! Astra rocket crash, 2 satellites lost

A NASA mission led by Astra failed after its rocket failed to reach orbit. The rocket carried two TROPICS cubesats to study hurricanes

On Sunday June 12, an Astra rocket that was carrying NASA satellites suffered a major malfunction and failed to reach Earth orbit. Astra is a California-based aerospace company that was undertaking a payload mission to deliver satellites to NASA. The satellites for the mission were two cubesats (miniature cube-shaped satellites) called Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Pattern and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Small Satellites (TROPICS). This is the second time Astra has failed a NASA mission this year, with the previous one coming as early as mid-February.

The rocket, Launch Vehicle 0010 (LV0010) launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 11:13 p.m. IST. But soon after, he suffered a dysfunction in his second stage. “We completed a nominal first flight; however, the upper stage engine shut down early and we did not deliver our payloads to orbit,” said Amanda Durk Frye, senior production manager for the first. stage and engines at Astra.

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NASA mission fails after Astra rocket suffers major malfunction

Formerly known as Stealth Space Company, Astra was founded five years ago, in 2016, by Chris Kemp and Adam London. Kemp then apologized in a Tweeter saying: “We regret that we cannot deliver the first two TROPICS satellites. Nothing is more important to our team than the trust of our customers and the successful delivery of the remaining TROPICS satellites. We’ll share more when we’ve fully reviewed the data.”

Astra was on a NASA-funded mission to deliver the two TROPICS cubesats that would have been used to track and study hurricanes. The satellites, which were part of a $30 million mission, were reportedly lost. The launch would have been the first of three TROPICS missions planned for this year. After the third launch, the constellation of hurricane-watching satellites would have been complete, giving the US space agency a chance to monitor hurricanes and tropical storms hourly. It remains to be seen whether NASA can succeed with just four satellites.

“TROPICS will give us very frequent views of tropical cyclones, giving insight into their formation, intensification and interactions with their environment and providing critical data for storm monitoring and forecasting,” said Scott Braun, meteorologist. researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said before launch.

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