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Astra Space Shares Soar as Space Race Takes Off Running

'With over 50 launches under contract, we will begin delivering customer payloads into low Earth orbit in summer 2021,' Astra said on its website.
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Astra Space  (ASTR)  shares soared Friday in the launch vehicle company’s second day of trading, after Thursday’s SPAC merger with Holicity.

“With over 50 launches under contract, we will begin delivering customer payloads into low Earth orbit in summer 2021,” Astra said on its website.

“We will begin monthly launches this year as we scale to daily launches by 2025,” the Alameda, Calif., company said.

Space stocks are all the rage now, with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic  (SPCE) , Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin lighting up the sky.

Astra stock traded at $15.92, up 23% at last check. Virgin traded at $44.20, up 2%, and has taken off 91% over the past six months.

Meanwhile, in the race to see which billionaire gets to space first, it appears Virgin Galactic founder Branson will have the upper hand, leaving Earth's atmosphere 11 days before Amazon  (AMZN)  founder Bezos.

Branson will be one of six people on board the VSS Unity spacecraft, the company said in a statement. It also will carry three Virgin Galactic employees and two pilots.

Branson will be beating Jeff Bezos into space by nine days. Bezos will fly from West Texas on July 20. He will be accompanied by his brother, a female aerospace pioneer and the winner of a $28 million charity auction.

As for Tesla  (TSLA)  founder Musk, he won a coveted NASA contract in April to build a spacecraft to transport NASA astronauts to and from the surface of the moon as part of the SpaceX's Artemis program.

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