HomeUSASpace company announces layoffs amid rocket delay

Space company announces layoffs amid rocket delay

Astra CEO Chris Kemp speaks inside the company’s headquarters during the company’s “Spacetech Day” on May 12, 2022.

Brady Kenniston / Astra

Astra announced Tuesday it would lay off about 16% of its employees as the space company faces a pivot in its rocket development program.

“Given the challenging macroeconomic environment, we made the difficult but prudent decision to reduce our operating expenses to support our primary near-term objectives,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp said in a press release alongside the company’s third-quarter results.

Astra, which currently has over 400 employees, said it expects to see savings from the headcount reduction in the first quarter of 2023.

The company pivoted on its rocket system over the summer, ending development and flights of its Rocket 3.3 vehicle, in favor of a larger, upgraded Rocket 4.0 vehicle that Astra hopes to debut in late 2023. Astra is now building out its production facility and conducting testing an development of Rocket 4.0.

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The company reported a third-quarter adjusted EBITDA loss of $41.4 million, a 26% larger loss than the same period a year prior. Astra brought in $2.8 million in revenue for the quarter from sales of its spacecraft engines. It had $150.5 million in cash on hand at the quarter’s end.

Astra stock is down 94% this year as of Tuesday’s close of $0.58 a share. The company received a de-listing warning from the Nasdaq in October after its stock fell below $1 a share. The company has until April to lift the stock price back above the level.



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