Carrier rocket engineering company Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) is in focus today, and not for the reasons investors want. The hope among ASTR stock holders for today was a sea of green, considering the fact that it is a major week for the company. Yet, things are becoming quite turbulent, and the blame is on the Astra launch failure. The losses punctuate a tumultuous moment for a budding company in the space travel sector.
Astra, founded in 2016, is the work of former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) employee Chris Kemp. In its relatively short existence, the company has fast become one of the hottest players in the aerospace industry. Things have been especially ramping up for the company over the last couple of years, thanks in large part to the big money coming into the space via Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE). This uptick in interest is helping to funnel investors toward ASTR as an alternate play to these rockstar players.
Astra Launch Failure Causes ASTR Stock to Plummet Further
While the space travel asset class has been trending upward, ASTR stock has been seeing some steep downward momentum. The Astra launch failure is catalyzing even greater losses this week. Here’s what to know:
- ASTR stock has been losing for a while now, even with new investors flooding the industry with investments. Since February of 2021, ASTR has shaved $16 off of its share price.
- But, even in the midst of this steady decline, Astra has been making great progress as a business. In August of last year, Astra saw things beginning to seriously heat up as it acquired a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. The contract sees the company collaborating with the agency on a series of multiple commercial launches.
- Atop this news, the company is accumulating contracts with NASA as well. Its newest award from the agency saw Astra win the opportunity to launch NASA satellites into space aboard its rockets.
- These contracts and partnerships have been priming Astra Space for a turnaround. But, things are starting to sour. First, the company had to delay its first launch after the NASA award just minutes before takeoff. The launch, scheduled originally for this past Monday, would’ve seen four of NASA’s satellites launched aboard the Astra rocket. However, the Astra launch failure translated to a 19% loss for ASTR stock.
- The company rescheduled the launch for yesterday, and it did occur.
- Unfortunately, though, Astra’s rocket was unable to reach space before returning to Earth. The launch is a spectacular failure for the company, especially when factoring in the context of the NASA contract and the fact that NASA funded the mission as a customer.
- The second Astra launch failure this week saw an even steeper decline for the stock; in fact, the New York Stock Exchange implemented a halt on ASTR stock trading because of the speed of the losses.
- Now, as the market opens a day later, ASTR is continuing its losses. Indeed, the stock is trending down by over 10% on the continued bearishness.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.