U.S Company Astra Delays Test Flight of Next-Gen Rocket Amid Mass Layoffs

News on 6th August: According to a report from Bloomberg News yesterday, US-based rocket launch company Astra Space is going to postpone the maiden test flight and launch of its next-generation rocket.

The reason behind this decision is the company’s intention to reduce costs through staff layoffs and focus on other ventures. Astra issued a statement on Friday, revealing that they had let go of approximately 25% of their workforce since the start of the quarter. This includes 70 employees who were laid off on August 4.

However, the company has reassigned 50 engineers and manufacturing staff from its launch services division to a separate division dedicated to building spacecraft engines.

us rocket launch company astra layoffs

Earlier in March, Astra announced that their next-gen rocket would undergo its initial test flight by year’s end. Unfortunately, these recent developments will cause delays to the original timeline.

As a reminder, we previously reported that Astra decided to stop launching the remaining TROPICS satellites for NASA in September 2022. Instead, they opted to continue executing other comparable scientific missions for the agency.

In June 2022, Astra’s inaugural launch of the TROPICS (Small Satellite Constellation for High Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity) satellite ended in failure following a premature shutdown of the second-stage engine, preventing the payload from reaching orbit.

According to Astra’s plans, once they cease providing rockets for NASA, they intend to develop a more powerful launch vehicle codenamed “Rocket 4”.

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U.S Company Astra Delays Test Flight of Next-Gen Rocket Amid Mass Layoffs

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