Shares of Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) stock experienced a volatile day today, closing down by about half a percent. The satellite-launch services company has lost about half its market capitalization since 2022 kicked off, factoring in an unsuccessful launch in February. However, today Astra reported that its LV0009 rocket had achieved a successful flight.
The volatile price action of ASTR stock today may be best explained by a lag in communication. So, let’s dive into the details of Astra’s latest space development.
Here’s what investors should know about ASTR stock moving forward.
Why Is ASTR Stock in the Spotlight Today?
Today, Astra’s LV0009 rocket successfully took off from its launchpad in Alaska. The LV0009 measures about 43 feet tall and is considered a “small rocket in the broader market.” Furthermore, the rocket was carrying satellite payloads from three different customers. However, after the rocket reached orbit, Astra was “unable to immediately confirm a successful deployment of the satellites.”
As a result, shares of ASTR stock dropped as much as 9% before CEO Chris Kemp was able to confirm the mission’s success. In fact, shares were halted momentarily during the day. Kemp confirmed the following via a webcast:
“The payloads have started to communicate with ground stations. Our customers are calling us and indicating that satellites are alive – they’re talking, which means they’ve been successfully deployed.”
This successful launch draws off of the failures of the LV0008 rocket last month. An internal investigation concluded that the LV0008 experienced an electrical issue which stopped its payload from deploying. The LV0008 also experienced a software issue that “caused the rocket’s upper stage, the section responsible for delivering satellites to orbit, to tumble.”
What’s Next for Astra Space?
Right now, Astra remains unprofitable but has high hopes for the future. It has a goal to launch 165 rockets in 2024 and 300 rockets in 2025. That estimate may seem far off, seeing as today’s launch is only Astra’s second success out of eight attempts. For context, SpaceX conducted an impressive 31 orbital launches last year.
All in all, though, Astra’s launch today is undoubtedly a positive development for ASTR stock. Still, the company has a long road ahead if it plans on meeting its ambitious 2024 and 2025 targets. Further, as an unprofitable company, Astra’s future cash flows may be threatened by an inevitable interest rate hike.
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On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (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.