Astra lays off 25% of workforce, reallocates engineers, in an effort to struggle dwindling money reserves

Astra has laid off 25% of its workforce because the starting of the quarter and is reallocating at the very least 50 engineers and manufacturing employees away from its launch enterprise to deal with spacecraft manufacturing, the corporate mentioned Friday.

The reallocation and layoffs are anticipated to delay testing of the under-development Rocket 4 and Launch System 2.0, Astra mentioned. The affected workers labored within the firm’s launch, gross sales and administration and “shared companies” departments. Workforce reductions are anticipated to save lots of the corporate over $4 million per quarter starting within the fourth quarter of this 12 months.

Astra, which is dealing with dwindling money reserves, is little question searching for a technique to additional scale back working bills whereas additionally bolstering its spacecraft engine enterprise, the one enterprise unit that presently has a near-term likelihood of producing income. The spacecraft engine know-how is sourced from Astra’s acquisition of propulsion developer Apollo Fusion, which closed the day Astra went public in July 2021.

Certainly, Astra mentioned that it had closed 278 dedicated orders of the Astra Spacecraft Engine product by the tip of March, which totals round $77 million in contracts as soon as the engines are delivered. A “substantial majority” of those orders might be delivered by the tip of 2024, the corporate mentioned.

“We’re intensely targeted on delivering on our commitments to our clients, which incorporates making certain we’ve got enough sources and an ample monetary runway to execute on our near-term alternatives,” Chris Kemp, CEO and founder, mentioned in a press release.

Astra additionally mentioned that it had engaged funding financial institution PJT Companions as a monetary advisor because it appears to be like for extra capital to proceed operations. That features “potential strategic investments within the Astra Spacecraft Engine enterprise to strengthen Astra’s steadiness sheet,” the corporate mentioned. Individually, Astra mentioned it had raised $10.8 million in a debt sale to funding group Excessive Path Capital.

In line with preliminary second quarter monetary outcomes, Astra is predicted to have revenues between $0.5-$1 million, whereas having simply $26-$26.5 million in money readily available.

This isn’t the primary time main layoffs have hit the area firm. Final November, Astra introduced it had let go of 16% of its workers, additionally to deal with launch and spacecraft engines.

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