Firefly Aerospace has applied for a permit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a launch of its Alpha booster on Sept. 6-7 from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
“Once the launch vehicle reaches the mission altitude of 300 km, it will deploy commercial payloads into orbit. “The second stage will complete one full orbit while it downlinks data to VAFB and KSAT ground station locations in Hawaii, Mauritius, and South Africa,” the company said in its application.
Firefly has not yet launched the Alpha booster, which is designed to orbit small satellites.
Important quality milestone reached as Firefly transitions from developmental phase to first launch of the Firefly Alpha rocket
CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 6, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced it has secured AS9100 quality certification as it advances from developmental to production phase ahead of the inaugural flight of its Alpha launch vehicle later this year.
CEDAR PARK, Texas/SEATTLE, April 22, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, and Spaceflight Inc., the leading launch services and mission management provider, today announced they have signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA). The agreement confirms that Spaceflight will secure the majority of the payload mass aboard a Firefly Alpha launch, scheduled for lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2021.
to being the anchor customer, Spaceflight will sign, manage,
integrate, and deploy multiple payloads on the flight, enabling
Firefly to maximize its full 630 kilogram launch capacity on the
commercial Alpha mission to Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Also,
according to the LSA, Spaceflight will help maximize payload capacity
aboard future Firefly Alpha launches.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, Feb. 4, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc.(Firefly), a provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft and in-space services, announced today the execution of a Launch Services Agreement with SATLANTIS, a provider of high-performance payload technologies for Earth observation and remote sensing.
Beginning in 2022, SATLANTIS will utilize the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle to deploy a constellation of satellites with breakthrough high-resolution multispectral cameras with four bands of 80 cm native resolution.
UPDATE: Firefly Aerospace Issued an updated statement today:
Firefly Aerospace maintains a 200-acre manufacturing and test facility in Briggs, Texas, 27 miles north of its headquarters.
On January 22, 2020, test engineers were conducting a planned test of the first stage of the company’s “Alpha” launch vehicle. The test was to be the first in a series of propulsion tests to verify design and operation of the stage, and involved a short, 5-second firing of the stage’s four engines.
At 6:23 pm local time, the stage’s engines were fired, and a fire broke out in the engine bay at the base of the rocket’s stage. The 5-second test was immediately aborted and the test facility’s fire suppression system extinguished the fire. The cause of the anomaly is under investigation. Firefly engineers are reviewing test data from the stage to identify potential causes for the test failure, and Firefly will share results of that investigation once it is complete.
Firefly is committed to workplace safety, and at no time during the test were Firefly operations personnel or the public in danger. Firefly is coordinating closely with local authorities and emergency response personnel as it investigates the anomaly and refines its contingency procedures.
Firefly Aerospace has said a fuel leak on the test stand caused a fire on Wednesday. The company was preparing for a static fire of the company’s Alpha small-satellite booster.
During testing this evening we experienced a test anomaly resulting in a small fire on our test stand. The fire was quickly extinguished by our fire suppression systems on the stand and the local community emergency response team quickly responded. Both the test stand and our rocket are intact. At no time was there any risk to individuals on site or the community.
In a series of tweets, local authorities said they ordered an evacuation of residents living within 1 mile (.6 km) of the Texas test site “out of an abundance of caution.” They also temporarily closed nearby roads.
Firefly is preparing for a maiden launch of the Alpha rocket this spring.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, January 21, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc.(Firefly), a provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft and in-space services, announced today the execution of a Launch Services Agreement with Innovative Space Logistics BV (ISILAUNCH), a launch services subsidiary of Netherlands based ISIS – Innovative Solutions in Space B.V. (ISISPACE). Under the agreement, ISILAUNCH will offer to its customers multiple dedicated and rideshare launch opportunities on the Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle, on missions beginning in 2020.
A group of original shareholders in the defunct Firefly Space Systems have accused co-founder and CEO Tom Markusic of fraudulently conspiring with Ukrainian billionaire Maxym Polyakov to force the rocket company into bankruptcy in 2017 and reconstitute it under a nearly identical name without giving them any stake in the new venture.
Markusic “betrayed the trust of his original co-founders and investors and committed fraud to cut them out of his aerospace company. Instead of managing the operations of the Original Firefly, a revolutionary rocket company with endless potential, Markusic schemed with…Maxym Polyakov…to rob Plaintiffs of their investments and form a new company called Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (the ‘New Firefly’),” the plaintiffs said in a lawsuit.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, Nov. 19, 2019 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace (Firefly) announced this past summer the Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission (DREAM), a global competition to host academic and educational payloads as rideshare participants on the inaugural flight of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle. Today we are happy to announce the payloads selected to fly on Alpha’s maiden flight to support and stimulate STEM on a global basis. There are 26 DREAM payloads representing 7 different countries.
The payloads are broken down into two categories, nontechnical and technical. Nontechnical payloads include children’s artwork, messages from children in pediatric hospitals and photographs of previous space missions. Technical payloads range from 3U to 27U satellites supplied by prominent universities and nonprofits from around the globe.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2019 (Aerojet Rocketdyne/Firefly Aerospace PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne and Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly) are pleased to announce a cooperative agreement that combines the capabilities of both companies to provide flexible, sustainable and highly competitive space access solutions.
Aerojet Rocketdyne and Firefly will serve the growing government and commercial market by providing dedicated small and medium launch capabilities to low Earth orbit (LEO), geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and the Moon. This collaboration will leverage Firefly’s new family of launch vehicles and in-space services with Aerojet Rocketdyne’s experience in propulsion development, additive manufacturing and mission assurance for commercial, national security and exploration missions.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., Hawthorne, Calif.;
United Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colo.;
VOX Space LLC., El Segundo, Calif.;
Xbow Launch Systems Inc., Auburn, Calif.;
“The contract seeks to capitalize on the emerging small launch providers while providing dedicated and primary launch services to the Department of Defense and other government agencies,” the U.S. Air Force said in announcing the selections.
“The program allows for the rapid acquisition of launch services to meet mission requirements for payloads greater than 400 pounds, enabling launch to any orbit within 12-24 months from task order award,” the announcement added.
The eight companies will be competitive for indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contracts under OSP-4.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, July 9, 2019 (Firefly Aerospace/IAI Industries PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft and in-space services, announced today that it has signed an Intellectual Property and Engineering Support Agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for technology based on its Beresheet Lunar Lander. Firefly Aerospace is one of the nine companies selected by NASA to participate in the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to deliver science payloads to the surface of the Moon.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, June 17, 2019 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — The quest for space travel inspires STEM interest like no other endeavor. Firefly has promoted that interest by opening its doors to youth though Firefly Academy, the Base 11 Space Challenge, and the Firefly International Rocket Event (FIRE). Today Firefly is taking their STEM commitment literally to the next level by announcing a global competition to host academic and educational payloads, free of charge, on the inaugural flight of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle. (more…)
CEDAR PARK, Texas, March 19, 2019 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft and in-space services, announced today the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus) to develop new space launch solutions for Airbus customers.
“Firefly is pleased to enter into an MOU with Airbus to formulate an integrated market offering that will provide Airbus customers rapid deployment of Airbus manufactured satellites,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “We are very impressed by the versatility and low cost of the Airbus ARROW platform and Airbus’s investment in leading edge satellite mass production capabilities. We look forward to working closely with Airbus to bring economical launch solutions to their customers. This initial MOU covering several launches is the first step of a long-term relationship which will provide Airbus customers the highest level of flexibility for their small satellite launches.”