Rocket builder Astra reaches orbit for the first time

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US-based rocket startup Astra on Saturday successfully launched its rocket LV0007 to the orbit for the first time ever, joining a small group of privately-funded companies that have achieved the feat. The 43-foot rocket, which was carrying a test payload for US Space Force, launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

After getting off the ground cleanly, the rocket passed through each stage of the launch before reaching its target orbit about nine minutes later at an altitude of about 500 kilometers.  Astra’s goal is to eventually launch as many of its small rockets as it can, aiming to launch one rocket a day by 2025 and drop its $2.5 million price point even further.

Astra partnered with NASASpaceflight — a space industry content organization that is not affiliated with the U.S. agency — to webcast Saturday’s launch.

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