Third Consecutive Failed Rocket Launch for Astra

Astra’s Rocket 3.3 seen tipping shortly after engine ignition.
  1. Space Vehicle
  2. Article Summary:
    1. Astra’s Rocket 3.3 (LV0006) launch failed on August 28, marking the third failed rocket launch in less than a year.
    2. One of the five first-stage engines failed, causing the rocket to begin flying horizontally. After 20 seconds of this sideways motion, the rocket was able to ascend. 
    3. After two and a half minutes, they made the call to terminate the launch because the rocket had left its licensed trajectory. The vehicle reached 50 km before dropping into the ocean.
    4. Despite this failure, Astra claims they collected valuable data. They also claim that they demonstrated “orbital launch capability” with their previous failed launch.
    5. The rocket’s guidance system was the most significant technology found in this article. It kept the rocket flying horizontally until it was able to ascend. However, the guidance was the cause of Astra’s first failed launch and caused the rocket to veer off trajectory.
  3. Cybersecurity Implications:
    1. Terror groups might hack the rocket’s guidance systems to control its trajectory and use it as a weapon.
    2. Nation-states might hack the guidance system to use the rocket as a weapon. Or they could have it fall into their territory to steal.
    3. Cybercrime groups might hack the communication signal to steal critical launch data to sell or hold ransom.
    4. Hacktivists might hack the guidance system for notoriety.
  4. The guidance system is the most relevant critical system related to this event. It controls the rocket’s trajectory. It was hugely beneficial in this case but was the cause of the first failed rocket launch. Astra also collected a lot of data about what went wrong in the launch. This critical data is valuable to them planning their next launch.

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