Shares of Astra Space Inc (NASDAQ: ASTR) tanked nearly 20% on Monday after the American launch vehicle company had to abort and postpone its first rocket flight from Florida.
Astra blames telemetry issues
Astra’s LV0008 rocket was scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on Monday and carry four CubeSats satellites to orbit. The flight, however, had to be aborted after telemetry issues caused engines to catch fire shortly before launch.
This was the second attempt for Astra Space to launch the ELaNa 41 mission for NASA after terminating the first attempt on Saturday owing to a range equipment failure. The news comes three months after its LV0007 launched from Alaska and reached orbit for the first time.
The stock is now down 32% for the year, shrinking the market cap to $1.19 billion.
Astra had the FAA license for today’s launch
Astra had secured the first license that the Federal Aviation Administration issued under Part 450 for today’s launch. The company said:
This latest development will make it easier for Astra to launch at a higher frequency out of more launch sites in the United States.
Ultimately, Astra wants to be launching one rocket per day to further slash its $2.5 million price point. Last month, BofA Securities upgraded ASTR to “neutral” but lowered its price target from $9.0 a share to $7.0 a share.
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