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Missile launch canceled at spaceport complex in Kodiak

April 9, 2018 GMT

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — The launch of a test rocket manufactured by California-based Astra Space Inc. was canceled minutes prior to liftoff at the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak.

Bruce Walter, the spaceport’s facilities director, said the canceled launch was related to Astra’s vehicle but that the specific cause remains unclear, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported .

“It’s very disappointing,” Walter said. “It’s a very technical, intricate piece of equipment.”

Astra was authorized to launch a suborbital vehicle to carry “an inert upper stage on a suborbital trajectory without a payload,” according to Federal Aviation Administration documents filed on March 30.

An inert upper stage module does not travel into space, the Daily Mirror reported.

Walter said the launch would have been Astra’s first. He said no timeline has been established for another launch attempt by the company.

“We’re going to be talking about that in the next few days,” Walter said. “Not anytime soon.”

Astra was incorporated in 2016 and is based out of Alameda, California.

A lease agreement filed with the city of Alameda states that Astra Space — a relatively secretive outfit that lists itself as “Stealth Space” in public job postings — “designs, tests, manufactures and operates” launch equipment for uses including “global communications, Earth observation, precision weather monitoring, navigation and surveillance capabilities.”

The company operates out of a 17,000-square-foot (1,579-square-meter) facility formerly occupied by the U.S. Navy.


Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror,