Astra Space announces more powerful rocket

On May 12, Astra Space announced its intention to build a new launch vehicle. It will have a higher payload capacity and will be able to make more frequent flights.

Rocket 4.0 (concept). Source: Astra Space

The new rocket received the designation Rocket 4.0. Its length will be 19.4 meters, height — 1.8 meters. It will be able to carry up to 300 kg of cargo into low Earth orbit (LEO) and up to 200 kg into sun-synchronous orbits (SSO). For comparison, the current Rocket 3.3 carrier has the ability to take up to 50 kg of cargo to the SSO. 

Astra intends to achieve an increase in load capacity by redesigning the first stage. Rocket 4.0 will receive two new engines, whose total thrust will be twice the thrust of the five Delphin engines installed on the first stage of Rocket 3.3. So far, the company has not disclosed details of the technical device of the power units. But Astra has already published a video of their fire tests.

According to the company’s statements, the new rocket will require fewer maintenance personnel and will be able to be launched once a week. The launch price will be USD 3.95 million. The first mission is currently scheduled for the end of 2022.

It should be noted that unlike many aerospace startups working on systems for the return of the first stages, the management of Astra made a fundamental decision not to go in this direction. Instead, the company has relied on a combination of a high rate of launches and a low price, which, in its opinion, will win in efficiency.

Recall that recently Astra announced its intention to launch rockets from the territory of the UK.

According to

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