Investing in Space

Astra stock drops after cutting short rocket launch, with next attempt expected in the coming days

In this article

[The livestream has ended. A replay of the webcast is available above.]

Astra Space cut short its first launch attempt since the company went public, with the rocket's engines firing for a moment and then shutting down.

The rocket did not lift off the ground due to the launch abort, and Astra said it will investigate the cause of the issue. The company hopes to make another attempt at launching as soon as Saturday.

Shares of Astra fell more than 10% in after-hours trading from Friday's close at $11.67, before rebounding partially to trade down about 6%.

A screenshot of the company's launch livestream shows the LV0006 rocket engines briefly firing before an abort caused the attempt's postponement.

Astra is launching its rocket LV0006 from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska. The U.S. Space Force is the first paying customer for an Astra launch, with a test payload flying on top of the rocket.

The vehicle stands 43 feet tall and fits in the small rocket segment of the launch market. Astra's goal is to launch as many as 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.

The mission will test a variety of upgrades to Astra's rocket since its last mission in December. While that prior mission made it to space, the rocket came just short of reaching orbit.

LV0006 on the launchpad in Kodiak, Alaska.

The company's window for this launch runs for 16 days until Sept. 11. A delayed rocket launch attempt, known in the industry as a scrub, may occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from bad weather to a technical issue.

Astra partnered with NASASpaceflight — a space industry content organization that is not affiliated with the U.S. agency — to webcast the launch.

Become a smarter investor with CNBC Pro.
Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to CNBC TV. 
Sign up to start a free trial today.