Why is Astra Space Inc (ASTR) Likely Falling?
The first two NASA TROPICS cubesats to study hurricanes were lost June 12th after suffering a second-stage failure. These are the first of a constellation of satellites that will be launched this year. Astra's three-mission TROPICS deal with NASA is worth a total of $7.95 million for the company.
Why Does this Launch Failure Indicate ASTR will Fall?
Because simply, the last time Astra Space failed a rocket launch in February, their stock tumbled. Even if a bull rally occurs next week in the general market, expect investors to be heavily spooked comes Monday morning.
Is Astra Space Inc. still a Long Term Buy?
As I laid out in my long term analysis of ASTR, the company has a lot of opportunity. They are setting themselves up to be the key holders to space for businesses around the world. I recently wrote another analysis after SpaceTech Day showcasing how mission launch was now the critical path to success. If they cannot eliminate failed launches, investors will either be holding a failed business or diluted shares.
The executive team and NASA did plan on failures, with Astra's CEO noting that 66% success will be good. I am pleased that the company is willing to learn fast as they attempt to rapidly drive down cost. These satellites were the size of a bread box so the loss is not too extravagant. But if you hear about this problem again and again, well, then its probably time to sell:
"We had a nominal first stage flight; however, the upper-stage engine did shut down early and we did not deliver our payloads to orbit," said Astra's Amanda Durk Frye, senior manager for first stage and engine production.
Though future problems can be expected, if ASTR is to be a successful company they hopefully will not repeat this problem again.
Cover image from NASA.org
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