Astra stock drops 26% after NASA mission fails mid-launch

Shares of rocket maker Astra fell sharply on Thursday after the company’s latest mission failed to reach orbit.

Astra’s stock fell 26% to close at $3.91 per share.

The company confirmed there was an in-flight issue that prevented the rocket from delivering a set of four cube satellites into orbit on a NASA-funded mission.

Cameras onboard the company’s LV0008 rocket show the upper stage separating and igniting, before appearing to lose control mid-flight.

Astra / NASASpaceflight

“I am deeply sorry that we were unable to deliver our customers’ payloads. I am with the team reviewing the data, and we will provide more information as soon as possible,” said Astra’s CEO. , Chris Kemp, in a tweet.

The Nasdaq halted the stock down 5% at 3:05 p.m. ET as the rocket’s upper stage appeared to spiral out of control during the company’s launch webcast.

Shares briefly reopened to trading and fell 32% before being halted again at 3:37 p.m. ET, then reopened for a second time – recovering slightly.

The NASA mission marked Astra’s first launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The company first reached orbit three months ago with its LV0007 rocket, launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

Astra’s vehicle is 43 feet tall and fits into the small rocket segment of the launch market. Astra’s goal is to launch as many small rockets as possible, aiming to reach a rate of one rocket per day by 2025 and lower its price even further by $2.5 million.

The company went public earlier this year after completing a SPAC merger, with the company raising funds to expand production of its small rockets, expand its facilities in Alameda, California, and expand its spacecraft and spaceport businesses. .

But Astra’s valuation has been reduced over the past three months as the shares battered alongside other space growth stocks.

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that Astra is listed on Nasdaq.

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