Photo by Brady Kenniston.
On May 12, 2022, Astra hosted our inaugural Spacetech Day at our headquarters and factory in Alameda, California to outline our mission, vision and strategy. We are especially grateful to Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, the mayor of Alameda, and NASA’s Dr. Will McCarty who made special appearances during the program.
Our mission to improve life on Earth from space™ is what drives us every day at Astra. We see our long-term strategy in three phases:
Phase 1: Scaling Launch Services
- In Phase 1, we’re focused on dramatically increasing access to space by scaling our launch services business as quickly as possible. To get to space more economically, you can either scale up your rocket or scale out your factory to make many smaller rockets—we’ve chosen to scale out our factory and automate as much as we can so we can make more rockets more quickly with less people. As part of this, we unveiled the next phase of our launch services roadmap, Launch System 2.0. The design goals for Launch System 2.0 focus primarily on three areas: cadence capacity, and cost (more on this below).
Phase 2: Productizing Space Technologies
- In Phase 2, Astra plans to develop or license required core space technologies that will be productized and incorporated into newer rockets, satellites another infrastructure, that will be used to deliver space services.
- The acquisition of Apollo Fusion last summer is one example of us acquiring and productizing a core space technology.
Phase 3: Building a Space Services Platform
- In Phase 3 which we expect by 2023, we plan to vertically integrate Astra’s core technologies into an Astra constellation, which will be optimally launched and maintained by the Astra launch system allowing us to power the space economy.
Just over five years ago, Chris Kemp and Adam London founded Astra in a garage in San Francisco with just a few employees. Eighteen months later, we launched our first rocket. Since then, we’ve been continuously learning and iterating. In March 2022 we successfully deployed customer satellites to orbit. Now we are taking the next step in expanding access to space with Launch System 2.0.
Launch System 2.0
Our Launch System 2.0 will focus on improving cadence, capacity, and cost, while increasing automation. Our design point is 300 kilograms of payload to low Earth orbit using a slightly larger rocket with more powerful engines. While we continue to focus on capacity, we are continuing to drive costs down. Our base launch price will be $3.95 million. By continuing to offer what we hope to be the lowest price per launch, we’ll continue to attract customers.
What’s Next: NASA TROPICS
We’re currently preparing for a multi-launch campaign out of Cape Canaveral to deploy the NASA TROPICS constellation, which will observe tropical cyclones so we can forecast storms better, improve disaster preparation, and potentially save lives. The TROPICS mission represents an important step for NASA and a model for future smallsat missions. Our hope is that TROPICS will provide improved data that can help to mitigate the impacts from hurricane seasons for years to come.
Please visit our website here for a replay of the Spacetech Day presentation, and watch our Twitter feed for a future “Ask Me Anything” session.
SAFE HARBOR REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements made in this blog are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “expect”, “estimate”, “plan”, “outlook”, and “project” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. These forward-looking statements reflect the current analysis of existing information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. As a result, caution must be exercised in relying on forward-looking statements. For information about these risks and uncertainties, please review our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.