US firm's rocket fails to reach orbit due to technical issues

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Washington [US], December 16 (ANI/Sputnik): A spacecraft launched by the US firm Astra has failed to reach orbit because of an upper stage failure, the website reported.

Astra's Rocket 3.2 lifted off on Tuesday at 20:55 GMT from the Alaskan Pacific Spaceport Complex.

According to Astra's founder and CEO, Chris Kemp, cited by the news outlet, the upper stage stopped working 12-15 seconds earlier than planned as it ran out of fuel. The launch vehicle managed to reach an altitude of about 242 miles but fell short of reaching the orbital velocity.

This is the second of the company's three lunches in 2020. The first mission in September ended during the first-stage burn and crashed near the launch site. The third one is scheduled to take place in several months.

Astra was set up in 2016 and since then has developed a two-stage rocket for spacecraft launches. In 2018, the rocket made two sub-orbital flights both of which had flight issues. (ANI/Sputnik)