ASTR Stock Alert: Why Is Astra Space Stumbling Today?


The last-minute cancellation of its first trip into Earth’s orbit has shares of Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) trading lower this morning.

The sun cresting over the curvature of the Earth

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ASTR stock is down 3% this morning, following a decline of 4% yesterday after it was forced to scrub its planned rocket launch overnight.

While the company has said that it will try the launch again tonight, investors appear to be in an unforgiving mood. At $9.78 per share, Astra Space stock is now 57% from its 52-week high of $22.47.

What Happened With ASTR Stock

Expectations had been running high for Astra Space’s planned rocket launch as it was the California-based company’s first attempt to go into orbit. Going further, it could potentially pave the way for it to begin carrying payloads of commercial satellites into space. The last-minute cancellation disappointed shareholders and cast doubt on Astra Space’s ability to meet its goals and timelines.

Astra Space was scheduled to send its Launch Vehicle 0007 rocket into orbit from the U.S. Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska’s Kodiak Island at 5 a.m. Eastern. The launch was also a test mission for the U.S. military, which Astra Space has several contracts with. However, the planned liftoff was cancelled for unspecified reasons. Astra Space issued a tweet saying it now plans to reschedule the launch for either 9 p.m. Pacific on Nov. 19.

Why It Matters

The latest cancellation comes after Astra Space experienced a disaster with its previous launch held on Aug. 28 of this year. That August rocket launch was cancelled less than three minutes after it began when the rocket slid off the launch pad and flew in an erratic pattern. Combined, the last two launches throw into doubt Astra Space’s ability to make good on its promise to create reliable, state-of-the-art rockets.

Founded in 2016, Astra Space aims to become a leader in the market for launching small satellites into orbit above Earth. The company distinguishes itself with what it calls “cost-effective, mass-produced and easily transportable rockets.”

Astra Space is backed by a number of prominent, deep-pocketed investors, including Marc Benioff, co-founder of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), and Michael Eisner, former head of Disney (NYSE:DIS).

What’s Next for Astra Space

Astra Space stock is likely to decline further on the disappointing news of its cancelled rocket launch. Should the company succeed in pulling off its planned launch over the weekend, all could be forgiven come Monday morning. But any further setbacks and ASTR stock is sure to be punished more by frustrated and fed-up investors.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole held a long position in DIS. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the Publishing Guidelines.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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