Astra’s first commercial launch fails to reach orbit

Astra, now a public company, ran into a problem during its first commercial launch (the mission carried a test payload contracted by the U.S. Space Force as part of its Space Test Program) that meant the rocket never made it to orbit. On Saturday, the rocket ignited all its engines at liftoff time on the pad in Alaska, but one of the five engines failed immediately after, which resulted in a rather remarkable hover and drift before but managed to get enough lift to ascend skyward.

Amazingly, despite the initial wobble and sideways list, the rocket did manage to climb to a max altitude of around 50KM (or around

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