Astra Loses $36M Last Quarter, Sets Target For First Rocket 4 Launch

Written By: Zac Aubert

Published: Fri, Mar 31, 2023 10:49 PM

Latest Update: Fri, Mar 31, 2023 10:50 PM

Astra announced during their quarterly call on March 30, that they are planning to conduct the first launch of Rocket 4 by the end of the year.

The company has been working steadily on the new vehicle since it retired the smaller Rocket 3.3 vehicle after its latest failure in August 2022.

According to Astra CEO Chris Kemp, Rocket 4 is significantly larger than Rocket 3.3 and has a planned payload capacity of up to 600 kilograms to mid-inclination orbits. He said the vehicle incorporates lessons learned from Rocket 3.3, which failed to reach orbit in three out of five launches, including its final launch in June 2022.

Astra acknowledged the risks inherent with the first launches of new rockets, but shared plans for two test flights, called Alpha and Bravo for there new Rocket 4, prior to beginning customer launches.

Astra is also scaling up production of its Astra Spacecraft Engine electric thruster, and recently opened a new production facility dedicated to those thrusters. The company has 278 Astra Spacecraft Engine orders to date, with a total contracted value of $77 million.

Despite the company's progress, Astra reported an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) loss of $36.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, and a full-year adjusted EBITDA loss of $173.9 million. The company projected an adjusted EBITDA loss of $37 million to $41 million for the first quarter of 2023.

The company ended the year with $102.8 million in cash reserves, which would be exhausted later this year given its current rate of quarterly losses. Axel Martinez, chief financial officer of Astra, said the company continues to evaluate various sources of capital as it carefully manages its financial runway.

Astra expects to hear back from NASDAQ by about April 5 on its request for a 180-day extension to avoid delisting from the exchange because of a share price that remains below $1. Shares in Astra closed at 48.5 cents on March 30.

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