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Astra stock ASTR falls after company’s weekend rocket launch failure


Rocket LV0006 tilts during liftoff.

Astra / NASASpaceflight

Rocket builder Astra‘s stock fell sharply Monday after the company’s launch attempt over the weekend failed following a problem at liftoff.

The company’s LV0006 rocket tilted and slide sideways a moment after getting off the ground in Alaska, which Astra CEO Chris Kemp told CNBC was due to one of its five engines shutting down. The rocket did not crash immediately, recovering from the issue and continuing to accelerate for more than two minutes.

The rocket was off course at that point, however, and the launch safety team shut down the rocket’s remaining engines and terminated the flight. LV0006 reached an altitude of about 164,000 feet (or 50 kilometers), with Astra yet to have a rocket successfully make it to orbit.

Astra is investigating the cause of the issue, with Kemp saying that the company collected “a tremendous amount of data from the flight and [is] in the process of reviewing it.”

Shares of Astra fell 22% in trading from its previous close of $11.67.

Rocket LV0006 climbs after recovering from its tilt at liftoff.

Astra / NASASpaceflight

The LV0006 launch was Astra’s first commercial mission, with the U.S. Space Force contracting the launch to test a payload under its Space Test Program.

The vehicle is 43 feet tall and fits in the small-rocket segment of the launch market. 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 does not yet have a timeline for its next launch attempt, but Kemp said its rocket LV0007 is in production and will incorporate any necessary changes.

The LV0006 launch was Astra’s first since the company went public on July 1 after closing a SPAC deal.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.

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