Astra rocket aborts orbital test launch for US military at last second

Astra aimed to reach orbit for the first time ever today (Aug. 27), but the company’s Rocket 3.3 aborted the liftoff at the last second. 

The 43-foot-tall (13 meters) Rocket 3.3, also known as Launch Vehicle 006, was poised to lift off from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island today at 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT) on a milestone orbital test flight. And that very nearly happened: The countdown clock reached zero and the rocket’s first-stage engines ignited, but they shut down almost immediately.

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