Astra is getting ready to launch one of its small spacecrafts despite the looming court case filed by another company concerning company names’ similarity.
Astra revealed on August 26 that it would be deploying its latest Rocket version from its Pacific Spaceport Complex four days later. The launch will be ready by 10 p.m and have a grace period of days within which the rocket should have launched. This move by Astra comes amidst the impending closure of space launch facilities and sanctions.
Astra tried to deploy a rocket earlier in the previous launch period beginning on August 2 through Kodiak’s launch facility. This launch was uneventful after the weather going sour, technical challenges, and other prospects resulting in the mission’s postponement.
The upcoming Astra launch is part of a test to determine the space vehicle’s performance in its orbit.
A previous model of the rocket tried to venture space from Kodiak to compete for the DARPA Launch Challenge to display the launch capacity. However, this launch came to a halt after its technicians identified malfunctions in signal processing and transfer.
Initially, Astra was going by the name Stealth Space Company in company listings even though it called itself Astra Space in its applications. Astra was using Astra Space to apply for authorization to operate from the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The shift in name from Stealth Space Company to Astra Space triggered a court case using the same name. Bloomberg reported that ASTRA, Atmospheric, and Space Technology Research Associates had filed a complaint with the US District Court of California saying that Astra Space is unfairly using this name curtailing its efforts to compete favorably.
ASTRA took this name from its initials after inaugurating the business 15 years ago. Fourteen years after taking this name, the company applied for federal licensing of the name for use in its launch operations and trademark labeling. ASTRA is well-known after its winning study contracts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
ASTRA is unhappy that Astra Space may be exploiting its trademark name, resulting in unnecessary conflicts. For instance, ASTRA reported that it has come into contact with invoices meant for Astra Space.
The CEO of ASTRA, Geoffrey Crowley, also had a conflict of interest after taking a call from his friend. From the software engineering company, the friend was keen to understand why Crowley had not notified him of a visit by his colleagues to the engineering firm. The visit is a mixup in which Astra Space employees were the intended target and not ASTRA.
Finally, ASTRA is unhappy with the flow of events hoping that the lawsuit can help clarify the bone of contention between the two firms. ASTRA wants Astra Space to drop the name and pay a fine for the mix up following their names’ change as soon as possible. The law only allows firms to use similar names if they are in fields that do not correlate.