Astra’s first attempt to reach orbit ends early after rocket fails mid-flight

The first orbital mission for rocket launch startup Astra ended without its Rocket 3.1 reaching orbit. The rocket successfully lifted off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska at about 11:19PM ET Friday, but the company said its guidance system “introduced some slight oscillation into the flight,” which caused the rocket to drift from its planned trajectory. The flight safety system shut down the engines, and the rocket fell back to the ground. It wasn’t carrying any payloads.

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