Astra aces return-to-flight mission, deploys satellites for 1st time

Astra bounced back from last month’s launch failure with a groundbreaking success, deploying satellites in Earth orbit for the first time ever.

The California company’s two-stage Launch Vehicle 0009 (LV0009) lifted off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island today (March 15) at 12:22 pm EDT (1622 GMT; 8:22 am local time on Kodiak). Just less than nine minutes later, the 43-foot-tall (13 meters) rocket deployed its payloads into their designated orbit, 326 miles (525 kilometers) above Earth.

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