KEY POINTS
  • Rocket builder Astra will try again for an orbital launch as early as July 20, as the venture capital-backed startup looks to crack into the business of launching small satellites.
  • The company has raised about $100 million to date, from investors including Advance, ACME Capital, Airbus Ventures, Canaan Partners and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff.
  • Astra CEO Chris Kemp told CNBC that that he will restart the company's fundraising in the next month as well, which he says is "a function of the market recovering" for now.
An Astra rocket standing on the launchpad in Kodiak, Alaska.

Rocket builder Astra will try again for its first orbital rocket launch in July, as the San Francisco-area startup navigates the coronavirus pandemic environment while trying to begin flying satellites to space regularly.

The company suffered a setback in March when a fire broke out as Astra was getting its Rocket 3.0 ready on the launchpad. But the company diagnosed that issue and will ship a new rocket up to Alaska at the end of this month, for a launch window that opens on July 20. Astra is aiming for orbit with this launch, although CEO Chris Kemp explained to CNBC on Monday that he defines success as a stable flight for the first part of the launch.