Astra reschedules first Florida launch after multiple scrubs

Astra plans to attempt a launch again Thursday at 3 p.m.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Astra has rescheduled its first ever Florida launch attempt for Thursday, space officials announced Tuesday night.

The three-hour launch window for Astra will open at 3 p.m. EST Thursday.

This comes after Astra scrubbed and delayed its latest launch attempt Monday afternoon from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The latest attempt comes after the initial launch was scrubbed Saturday and rescheduled for 1 p.m. Monday.

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Monday’s launch was delayed and aborted before finally being scrubbed during the three-hour launch window due to technical issues, according to space officials.

The initial launch was previously scrubbed due to unfavorable weather conditions.

The Educational Launch of Nanosatellites mission, dubbed ELaNa 41, was scheduled to launch between 2 p.m.-4 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 46. Astra’s Rocket 3.3 — an expendable, 43 foot tall two-stage kerosene rocket that the company said was developed to dramatically lower the cost of space access — will carry four small research satellites to low Earth orbit on behalf of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. Three of the satellites were respectively developed by students from the University of Alabama, New Mexico State and University of California, Berkeley, with the fourth from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

In addition to being Astra’s first launch from Florida, the mission will mark two other milestones for the private space company. The launch will also be Astra’s first time deploying satellites and its first mission with NASA, according to a news release.

The launch was given a 70% chance for favorable weather at the Cape Saturday, according to the 45th Weather Squadron. In the event of a 24-hour delay, those chances were expected to drop to 40%, the report said. However, less-than-ideal weather favorability is something that the mission could potentially deal with.

The Almeda, California-based company was awarded a $3.9M Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract by NASA in December 2020 in order to fund the exploration of these new commercial launch capabilities, the agency said. According to NASA, such launches can tolerate higher risk levels than larger missions due to their inherent role in the development and demonstration of new launch vehicles.


A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that one of the CubeSat satellites mentioned in this article was developed by students at University of Carolina, Berkeley, which has been corrected to University of California, Berkeley. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.