Under the contract, which was issued as part of the service branch’s Orbital Services Program-4 vehicle, Astra is responsible for launching Rocket 4 in support of the STP-S29B mission, the Alameda, California-headquartered enterprise said Friday.
“STP-S29B demands a higher level of mission assurance than previous Astra launches and therefore represents a significant increase in Astra’s coordination with the Space Force to perform a launch designed for mission success,” said Thomas Williams, senior director of federal sales at Astra.
He cited the “tremendous work” that the Astra team has conducted to build the “repeatedly reliable” Rocket 4 and the company’s previous triumphs in carrying multi-manifest missions to their desired orbits as what enabled Astra to compete for this award.
A Category 2 Mission Assurance launch, STP-S29B requires strong, collaborative efforts from Astra, the government team and participating independent mission assurance contractors to ensure mission achievement.
Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, chief of the Space Systems Command’s Small Launch and Targets Division, said that the Space Force intentionally designed the OSP-4 contract to harness emerging launch technologies for mission partners, such as the Department of Defense Space Test Program.
“Today’s award reflects the tremendous promise industry is bringing to the table with systems like Rocket 4. We look forward to working with Astra to make this launch a success,” he said.
The federal government is leveraging space technology for a variety of mission areas, one of which is defense. For a deep dive into this topic, the Potomac Officers Club will host its 2023 Industrial Space Defense Summit – an event that will connect numerous experts to discuss the implications of emerging technologies and the importance of government-industry partnerships in space defense – on April 27. To learn more and register to attend, please visit the Potomac Officers Club events page.