“The hot fire test is the final test of the entire integrated launch system, where we get to test every single component of the rocket. It allows us to make sure all of the upgrades work before we send the rocket into space.”
explained Chris Kemp, Astra’s Founder and CEO.
During this “dress rehearsal for launch,” the fully assembled vehicle is positioned on the ground while engines are fired at full thrust. The static test — or “hot fire test” as it is sometimes known — allows our team to ensure all mechanics and ground support systems are functioning as expected, ready for a successful launch.
The video above shows the hot fire test for Astra Launch Vehicle 0006. There are three main stages to the hot fire testing process that you can see in the video:
- Fire suppression system: Water is sprayed out of the flame deflectors to cool down the vehicle prior to thrust.
- All engines go: Engines are fired at full thrust, for 8-10 seconds. Flames erupt from the rocket’s booster, turning water from the fire suppression system into steam.
- Shutdown: Systems are shut down, measurements are taken and analyzed, and the rocket is prepared for next steps.
Astra’s mission is to Improve Life on Earth from Space™ by creating a healthier and more connected planet.
For almost five years, we’ve been building a space company unlike any other. Thanks to the help of our amazingly talented team of engineers, designers, fabricators and operators, Astra is the fastest privately-funded company in history to reach space. With over 50 launches under contract, we will begin delivering customer payloads into low Earth orbit in summer 2021.
Courtesy of Astra