Governor Newsom Visits Astra, Highlights California’s Investments in Innovation

Astra Space, Inc.--California Governor Gavin Newsom took a photo with workers at Astra Space, Inc. after touring their facility at Alameda Point.

Governor Newsom Visits Astra, Highlights California’s Investments in Innovation

California Governor Gavin Newsom visited Astra Space, Inc.’s headquarters in Alameda last month to tour the company’s facility. Newsom praised Astra’s economic and technological advancements in a press release and said companies like Astra signify the type of partnerships the state of California is making with space companies.

“Companies like Astra demonstrate the best of California — driving towards ambitious, innovative goals and leaning into the rich talent that is so abundant in our state,” said Newsom. “California has always been, and will continue to be, the home of companies on the cutting edge, and we are excited to support and partner with the next stars of the space industry.”

Astra founder and CEO Chris Kemp echoed the governor’s statement on California’s support of technologically innovative companies.

“California is home to some of the best software, manufacturing, and engineering talent in the world. It is also home to many of our customers,” said Kemp. “Astra is proud to be based in California, a state that has incubated many of America’s most innovative companies.”

The state is working on several initiatives to support the commercial space industry in California, including:
• Partnering with the Air Force Research Lab at Edwards Airforce Base for private space companies to share and utilize legacy testing infrastructure.
• Supporting the development of additional sites for commercial space launch.
• Devising workforce training partnerships and funding with California community colleges through multiple employer contracts for the industry under the Employment Training Panel.
• Supporting regional economic development initiatives across the state that are community-led and with a focus on space.
• Identifying supply chain solutions that align with federal goals, such as building out a critical mineral supply chain in California for technologies for commercial space.

Astra specializes in building small rockets for low-Earth travel that are cost-efficient and can fit in a shipping container. Astra has several contracts with space information companies, like NASA, to deploy small satellites into orbit. These satellites are used to collect data and Earth imaging.

On May 30, Astra transported launch vehicle, LV0010, to Space Launch Complex 46 (SLC-46) in Cape Canaveral, Fla. for a rocket launch mission with NASA. The mission is called the Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS). The plan is for Astra to deploy two small satellites, or CubeSats, into low-Earth orbit. According to the mission overview, NASA will use these satellites to observe tropical cyclones to improve the scientific community’s understanding of these weather events. An exact launch day for the mission has yet to be announced.

This is the first of three launch missions Astra is contracted to conduct with NASA this summer. Astra also has contracts for launch missions with other companies as well.

This would be Astra’s second satellite deployment launch if successful. In March, Astra successfully launched its Rocket 3.3 from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Kodiak, Alaska (“Astra Launches Rocket and Payload into Space,” March 31). In this launch, Astra was able to release three different CubeSats from three different companies into orbit.

Astra launch missions have not always been successful. In February, Astra was able to launch Rocket 3.3, but a malfunction prevented the CubeSats from deploying into orbit (“Astra Rocket Unable to Complete NASA Mission,” Feb. 11).

Astra Space Inc. is headquartered at 1900 Skyhawk St. at Alameda Point. To learn more about the TROPICs mission, visit