New rocket company closing in on first Cape Canaveral launch

Astra to launch experimental CubeSats by end of the month

Astra Space prepares for first Cape Canaveral launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – While the Space Coast is familiar with SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, now there’s a new rocket company preparing to blast off at the Cape.

Astra, up to this point, has reached orbit from Alaska.

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By the end of the month, the company, founded in 2016, said it plans to add Florida to its launch locations.

Astra talked about the anticipation of its first Florida launch in a news update Friday.

‘’It’s a very exciting moment for us to support Astra’s mission and launch more customers from Cape Canaveral starting with this mission,’’ Product Management Director Carolina Grossman said.

The mission from launch pad 46, the easternmost pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, should make for great visibility watching from Brevard beaches.

Mary Jo Durbin from Kentucky watched Thursday’s SpaceX launch from the beach.

Next week, Durbin said more family will be visiting and hopes the new company can blast off then.

‘’My husband’s coming in and I will let him know. He really wanted to be here yesterday. They were living through us vicariously,’’ she laughed.

The Astra rocket will carry a half-dozen small, experimental satellites built by NASA and universities.

When Astra delivered a Space Force payload in November, the company said it became the fastest to reach orbit with a privately developed rocket.

To watch the first launch, stay with News 6 and

We will let you know when as soon as Astra confirms the launch window.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.