Stealth Rocket Company Emerges To Challenge Rocket Lab

A Small Rocket Maker Is Running A Different Kind of Space Race, Bloomberg

"The 42-year-old CEO [Chris Kemp] spent almost five years at NASA, but he's not a rocket scientist by training. He joined NASA in 2007 after running a string of internet startups, eventually becoming the space agency's chief technology officer. Astra has operated in secrecy partly to avoid being pushed to set unrealistic deadlines. Most of its workers have online résumés that list their employer as "Stealth Space Company," and there hasn't been a website. At the former Alameda Naval Air Station, Astra took over a decrepit building used decades ago to test jet engines indoors, which has helped keep its secrecy intact. The facility has two long tunnels that send fire and scorching hot air up through exhaust towers and thick concrete walls capable of absorbing the explosive impacts of tests gone wrong. This setup has allowed Astra to conduct thousands of runs on its rocket engines without its neighbors noticing much of anything. It's also meant Astra can put the engines through their paces on-site and make adjustments to the hardware quickly, instead of going to the Mojave Desert or an open field in Texas where other rocket makers typically run engine trials."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on February 3, 2020 10:02 AM.

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