Astra, the Almeida-based space launch startup, which recently announced its intention to announce the SPAC merger, has won an agreement on behalf of NASA to launch six solid satellites into space. Astra will be paid 7. 95.795 million by the agency to fulfill the contract. This will be a key test of Astra’s responsive rocket capabilities, with the planned three launch mission profile extended to four months, currently targeting between 8 January and 31 July 2022.
The satellites are accompanied by NASA’s Small Sets (TROPICS) mission of rain structures and storm intensity for time-resolved observations, a science mission that will collect data about hurricanes and their formation, including temperature, pressure and humidity readings. As the mission’s extremely long, haunting-for-acronym name suggests, data will be collected using small constellations of satellites, each about the size of a shoebox.
Astra completed the second of three planned launches designed to achieve orbit late last year, surpassing its own expectations by reaching space and achieving orbit. The company said that based on the data it has collected from the mission, the ultimate hurdle in actually creating an orbit through its transformation into its room is all fixed. Based on that, Astra CEO and founder Chris Kempe said he believes he is now ready to start flying commercial payloads.
Kemp was previously CTO of NASA, and he co-founded several tech companies over the years. NASA’s new mission is not its first contractual release – in fact, as the company says it currently has more than 500 total missions on its slate from private and government customers, valued at more than 150. Revenue million.