Astra expects to receive FAA license for Florida launch by Friday

The company’s rocket LV0008 is on the launch pad ahead of the ELaNa 41 mission for NASA.

Astra | John Kraus

Rocket builder Astra is preparing to launch from Florida for the first time as early as this weekend, and the company expects to soon receive its Federal Aviation Administration license for a NASA mission.

The regulator plans to issue Astra’s license by Friday, the company said in an application on Tuesday, so Astra has scheduled time for the launch on Saturday.

In particular, this will be the first license issued by the FAA under Part 450 – a new space industry framework designed to streamline the regulatory process for companies requesting both launch and spacecraft retentry licenses. Astra said it was three months ago it applied for the license. This latest development will “make it easier for Astra to launch at a higher frequency from multiple launch sites in the United States,” the company said.

Astra’s stock rose as much as 15% in pre-market trading on Tuesday from its previous close of $ 4.78. Shares gave up most of the day’s gains to trade up around 3.5% in the afternoon. The company’s valuation has been halved over the past three months, with Astra hitting alongside other space growth stocks.

The company reached orbit for the first time three months ago with its LV0007 rocket, launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

Astra is now preparing to launch the ELaNa 41 mission, which carries four cube satellites to NASA with its LV0008 rocket, in what would be the company’s first launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral. Last week, the Astra LV0008 rocket successfully tested Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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