Source: Astra’s Instagram
Although it may seem that the teleportation market has been dominated by giants such as NASA or SpaceX, sometimes smaller companies manage to appear in it. A good example of this is Astra, which has been making small and fairly cheap Rocket 3 for several yearsIt can carry up to 50 kg of cargo. Unfortunately, due to the unreliability of its vehicles, the company was forced to suspend flights.
3.2 missile manufactured by Astra. Source: Astra
As mentioned by the portal Ars Technica The company’s problems mainly result from the adopted business model. It consisted of Astra offered the services at a very affordable price, due to the smaller budget for testing and analysis. In contrast, customers accepted the risk of flight failure. As it turned out, Astra overestimated the capabilities of its 3 rocket, due to the launch of 7 missiles, only two reached orbit safely. This affected the company’s financial performance, which in mid-2022 reported a loss of $168 million. What is worth adding is that one of the planned flights did not have time to start, because a fire broke out on the launch pad before launch.
The Rocket 4 model is supposed to have similar parameters to the Falcon 1, which was built by SpaceX in 2009 and considered unprofitable. Source: Unsplash | SpaceX
Due to significant losses, Astra decided to end production of the Rocket 3 missile, and instead developed the Rocket 4 and 5 models with greater payload and reliability. However, this has generated significant controversy, as such changes will bear the price. In addition, Rocket Lab already provides services for transportation of goods with medium tonnage, so it may turn out that Astra simply will not find customers. Looking at this, we can show that while sending a rocket into space is a difficult sentence, it can be even more difficult to make money.
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