The mission of ASTRA is to enable rapid incremental development of technologies to reduce the cost of access to space. Its strategy is focused on AeroSpace Technology Research Architectures (ASTRA), that is, research platforms which can be adapted to a variety of missions, enabling rapid iteration of technologies, improving their technology readiness levels (TRLs), and making them candidates for integration into complex systems.


Small Zero G Test

ASTRA has developed a concept for enabling developers to test small payloads in zero G conditions for tens of seconds at a time without the high G of sounding rocket launches or expense of operating a jet aircraft on a parabolic trajectory.

Air Launch to Orbit

ASTRA is working on an architecture to reduce the cost of launching small payloads into orbit. The architecture integrates a number of recent innovations in aerospace vehicle design.


ASTRA has partnerships with small technology development firms.

  • WetSpark - Hampton Roads, VA – materials, biological, and aeronautical development
  • Issyroo - Broomfield, CO - sustainable resource and energy technologies
  • American Academy of Aeronautics - Livermore, CA - commercial pilot training, and aeronautical research and development
  • General Autonomy - Palo Alto, CA - aeronautics and autonomous systems