Shares of Astra Space Inc (NASDAQ: ASTR) opened about 40% up on Monday after its rocket LV0007 reached orbit for the first time on Saturday.
Astra is now among the rare few to have hit this milestone
The milestone over the weekend puts Astra Space in a handful of privately-funded companies to have successfully reached orbit. Others on the list include Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The LV0007 launched with a test payload for the U.S. military from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska and hit an altitude of roughly 500 kilometres in about nine minutes. On the webcast, CEO Chris Kemp said:
This is an incredibly hard thing to do. The team’s worked so hard on this for so many years and seeing iteration after iteration, failure after failure lead to success; everyone is just incredibly passionate.
Astra wants to be launching one rocket a day by 2025
In December 2020, Astra achieved its first milestone of reaching space. Ever since, it had been trying to hit its next target of reaching orbit, with three failed attempts this year. The fourth time on Saturday, however, turned out to be a charm for the California-based company.
By 2025, Astra wants to be launching one rocket a day and slash the price point further from the current $2.5 million.
The news comes only months after Astra opted for a SPAC merger to list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Proceeds from the IPO were partially used for the production of its small rockets. On the webcast in collaboration with NASA Spaceflight, CEO Kemp added:
Continuing to do it is incredibly hard – we have rocket serial numbers 8,9, 10 in production, so we’re just getting started.
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