Saturday at 1:16 a.m. EST, the Alameda-based rocket startup’s 43-foot-tall Launch Vehicle 0007 (LV0007) lifted off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island carrying an imitation payload on a test flight for the U.S. military.
The Astra’s ‘LV0007’ mission follows up the mission from back in August when the rocket had a tough start with a small hover and sidelong strafe movement, just after liftoff, due to weather.
After 9 minutes, LV0007’s upper stage shifted into orbit approximately 310 miles above Earth.
This is a huge milestone for Astra, as this new launch marks its first successful flight to orbit in less than a year after its Rocket 3.2 test launch. Saturday morning’s launch was Astra’s fourth orbital test flight.
“We are absolutely bursting with pride at LV0007 — lucky number seven. This represents a huge, huge step in our mission to improve life on Earth from space.” Carolina Grossman, Astra’s director of product management, stated during a webcast of the launch.
Astra was founded in 2016 and its goal is to acquire a great part of the small-satellite launch market with its line of low-cost, revolutionary rockets.