Science

NASA awards Astra a $ 7.95 million satellite launch contract

When it comes to satellite launches, we usually think of SpaceX. It isn’t the only company that puts satellites into space for NASA, other agencies and companies. Alameda-based satellite launch company Astra has announced that it has secured a contract to deliver six cubic satellites to NASA orbit. The launch contract is valued at $ 7.95 million, once completed.

release It will test the capabilities of the Astra missile, and a triple launch mission profile is expected. The launches will take place for a period of up to four months, with the launch targeting sometime between January 8 and July 31 of 2022. The small cubic satellites that the rocket will propel and orbit for NASA are called “Time-resolved observations of the precipitation structure and the intensity of the storm with a constellation SmallSats or Mission TROPICS.

The goal of the mission is to collect data on hurricanes and formations along with temperature, pressure, and humidity readings. Each of the small satellites placed in orbit of the mission will be roughly the size of a shoebox. In late 2020, after it managed to complete its second planned launch to reach orbit. The company said it exceeded its expectations, and the data gathered from that mission allowed it to determine that all it needed to be able to create an orbit are changes to its software.

After this mission, the company said it is ready to begin transporting commercial payloads into orbit. While the last decade is the first for NASA, it is not the first contract launched by the company. She has over 50 assignments on her books from private and government clients totaling over $ 150 million once completed.

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