Small launch startup Astra to go public at $2.1 billion valuation

Astra’s 3.2 rocket launching from Alaska | John Kraus/Astra

Astra plans to become the first small rocket maker to go public, the company announced Tuesday, after reaching space for the first time in December. It’ll become the second publicly traded space venture after Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

The Northern California-based rocket firm’s “3.2” launch vehicle blasted to space for the first time in December from its Kodiak, Alaska launch site, a key test mission that “far exceeded our team’s expectations,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp told reporters at the time. The launch demo, though just barely missing orbit, propelled Astra into a small group of firms that have reached space.

The company has 50 customer launches lined up, and over $150 million of contracted launch revenue so far. Now, Astra is…

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