Space company announces layoffs due to 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 on Tuesday that 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 have made the difficult but prudent decision to reduce our operating expenses to support our key near-term objectives,” Astra CEO Chris Kemp said in a statement. press release accompanying the company’s third quarter results.

Astra, which currently has more than 400 employees, said it expects to see cost savings from downsizing in the first quarter of 2023.

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

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The company posted an adjusted EBITDA loss of $41.4 million in the third quarter, a 26% higher loss than the same period a year earlier. Astra generated $2.8 million in revenue for the quarter from sales of its space engines. He had $150.5 million in cash at the end of the quarter.

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

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