Firefly Names Former Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Air Force Colonel to Lead Firefly Space Transport Services

Jason B. Mello tapped to lead efforts in spaceflight customer acquisition as Firefly continues its momentum into large-scale production

CEDAR PARK, Texas, November 3, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced that Jason B. Mello will join the team as President of Firefly Space Transport Services (STS), formerly known as Firefly Black, located in Washington D.C. Firefly STS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Firefly Aerospace, will serve as the primary business development unit for all of Firefly’s customers – commercial, civil, and military – with initial emphasis on Government customers. A former Air Force Colonel, Mello brings over 23 years of experience leading teams across the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community helping address and solve our Nation’s most difficult science and technology problems.

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Firefly Completes Critical Design Review for Blue Ghost Lunar Lander

Blue Ghost lunar lander (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

Announces it has successfully completed NASA’s Critical Design Review of its Blue Ghost lunar lander and is on schedule for September 2023 lunar mission

CEDAR PARK, Texas, October 25, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced it reached a major milestone with the successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) of their Blue Ghost lunar lander. This CDR paves the way for construction of the Blue Ghost lander, which is scheduled to touch down in the Mare Crisium lunar basin in September of 2023 carrying ten NASA payloads as part of the $93.3-million Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract secured by Firefly earlier this year. The lander will also take several commercial payloads to the lunar surface. The 2023 Blue Ghost mission will be the first of what are expected to be yearly lunar surface missions for Firefly.

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Firefly Alpha Rocket Fails in Maiden Launch Attempt

Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket failed in its maiden launch attempt on Thursday evening, dealing a setback to the Tom Markusic-led company that is seeking to establish itself in the small-satellite launch industry.

Video of the flight showed the two stage rocket tumbling out of control before exploding after liftoff at 6:59 p.m. PDT from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The explosion occurred about 1 minute 45 seconds into the flight.

“Alpha experienced an anomaly during first stage ascent that resulted in the loss of the vehicle. As we gather more information, additional details will be provided,” the Texas-based company tweeted.

The rocket was carrying small satellites from the United States, United Kingdom, Greece and Spain.

Failure on a maiden rocket launch is not unusual. Launch vehicles that suffered catastrophic failures on their first flights have gone on to succeed.

The two-stage, 29 meter (95 foot) tall Alpha booster is capable of delivery one metric ton (2,205 lb) to low Earth orbit and 630 kg (1,389 lb) to a 500 km (311 mile) high sun-synchronous orbit. Firefly is charging $15 million for a dedicated launch.

Firefly Names Former SpaceX and Blue Origin Veteran as Chief Operating Officer

Tom Markusic and Lauren Lyons in front of Firefly Alpha rocket on the pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

Lauren Lyons tapped to lead efforts in scaling production and operations as Firefly moves into commercial production

CEDAR PARK, Texas (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced that Lauren Lyons will join the team as Chief Operating Officer (COO), working out of their corporate headquarters in Cedar Park, Texas. This appointment comes on the heels of Firefly’s recent component business announcement and preparation for its upcoming launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB) in California.

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Firefly to Become the Premier Supplier of Rocket Engines and Spaceflight Components for the Emerging New Space Industry

Reaver engines (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

CEDAR PARK, Texas, August 6, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced the launch of a new line of business dedicated to supplying rocket engines and other spaceflight components to the emerging New Space industry. 

“Our goal with this line of business is to become the Tier 1 supplier of components to the New Space industry,” said Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Our component sales business model has inherent advantages over businesses that focus on a single (e.g., rocket engines) or narrow range (e.g., valves) of components.”

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Firefly Aerospace Awards Contract to SpaceX to Launch Blue Ghost Mission to Moon in 2023

Illustration of Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost lander on the lunar surface. The lander will carry a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023 as part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative. (Credits: Firefly Aerospace)

CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 20, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, announced today that it has awarded a contract to SpaceX to launch its Blue Ghost lunar lander in 2023. Blue Ghost will be carrying 10 payloads for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) task order 19D mission, in addition to separately contracted commercial payloads.

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Firefly Aerospace Completes Oversubscribed $75M Series A and $100M Secondary Transaction

CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 4, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced the successful completion of its Series A financing. The $75 million Series A, which valued the company at greater than $1 billion, was led by DADA Holdings, with participation by Astera Institute, Canon Ball LLC, Reuben Brothers Limited, SMS Capital Investment LLC, Raven One Ventures, The XBTO Ventures and other investors. The Series A capital raise team was led by Darren Ma, Firefly CFO. Investor outreach was led by Eric Salwan, Firefly Co-founder and Director of Commercial Business Development. Jed McCaleb, representing Astera Institute, will join Firefly’s Board of Directors.

Interest in the Series A round far exceeded the $75 million equity being offered. In an effort to satisfy the overwhelming demand in the Series A round, Firefly’s seed investor, Noosphere Ventures, sold approximately $100 million of its holdings of Firefly equity to certain Series A participants and other investors through secondary transactions. Following the forthcoming launch of its flagship Alpha small launch vehicle, Firefly intends to raise an additional $300 million later in 2021 to fund its ambitious growth plans through 2025.

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General Atomics Awards Contract to Firefly Aerospace to Launch NASA’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols Mission

Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite carrying NASA’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) instrument. (Credit: General Atomics)

SAN DIEGO, February 18, 2021 (GA-EMS PR) — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has awarded a contract to Firefly Aerospace Inc. to launch a GA-EMS developed Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite carrying NASA’s Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) instrument. The launch vehicle delivering the satellite to space will be Firefly’s Alpha rocket and is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2022.

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NASA Awards Firefly Aerospace $93.3M to Deliver Suite of Payloads to the Moon in 2023

Blue Ghost lander on the moon. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

CEDAR PARK, Texas, February 4, 2021 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, announced that NASA has awarded Firefly $93.3 million to deliver a suite of ten NASA-sponsored science and technology demonstration payloads to Mare Crisium in the Moon’s Crisium basin. Firefly’s ‘Blue Ghost’ lunar lander will deliver the payloads to the lunar surface in 2023 in fulfillment of Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) task order 19D, managed by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

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Firefly Aerospace Announces New Board of Directors and Corporate Expansion Plans

Deborah Lee James and Robert Cardillo. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

CEDAR PARK, TEXAS, February 3, 2021 (Firefly PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, announced the appointment of Deborah Lee James and Robert Cardillo to its Board of Directors. Firefly’s new three-person board, including Firefly CEO, Dr. Tom Markusic, will be led by Ms. James, serving as Chairman of the Board.

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Firefly Aerospace and Adaptive Launch Solutions Sign Multi-Launch Agreement

CEDAR PARK, Texas, December 23, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, and Adaptive Launch Solutions (ALS), a designer of multi-manifest hardware, avionics and sequencers, and an integrator of single and multiple satellites, today announced they have signed a multi-year Launch Services Agreement (LSA) which includes four Alpha launches beginning in 2021.

“Small launch provides small satellite owners right sized, right priced access to space meeting their program and business goals,” said Phil Smith, CEO of ALS. “Our agreement with Firefly Aerospace will provide the flexibility and responsiveness demanded by government operators and commercial owners. Under the agreement, ALS is the launch service provider for Alpha Flights 2 and 3, planned for launch in 2021. These two missions offer our customers the earliest commercial launch opportunities on Firefly Alpha. ALS brings to our Firefly partnership decades of launch integration experience, most recently utilized on the United States Space Force (USSF) Launch Manifest Systems Integrator (LMSI) program. The LMSI program team delivers capabilities and integration approaches that establish U.S. government enterprise-wide capability for small satellite delivery to space.”

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Firefly Aerospace to Automate Composite Rocket Production with Ingersoll Machine Tools

CEDAR PARK, Texas  (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced a substantial commitment to increase its manufacturing capacity by transitioning large parts manufacturing to Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) Mongoose Hybrid systems from Ingersoll Machine Tools beginning next year. Once fully operational, Firefly’s AFP capabilities will enable it to produce its all-composite Alpha rocket airframe in as little as fourteen days.

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Original Firefly Shareholders Sue Firefly’s Markusic, Polyakov Alleging Fraud

Tom Markusic

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

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.

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Firefly Aerospace Expands Advisory Board With Lightfoot, Nield & Others

CEDAR PARK, Texas, July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today the formation of an all-star advisory board. Members of the board act as ambassadors and advocates of Firefly and support the executive and management teams through consultation and strategic analysis. Initial appointments to the Firefly board are Jeff Bingham, Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr., George Nield, and William F. Readdy.

Jeff Bingham brings nearly 40 years of governmental experience to Firefly. Instrumental in shaping space station policy, he served most recently as the senior advisor on space for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He was previously the associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Jeff played a key role in ensuring continued congressional support for the ISS as the legislative coordinator for the International Space Station program.
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Firefly Aerospace Receives USAF Statement of Support for Use of Vandenberg Launch Complex

Space Launch Complex 2 West with Delta II booster. (Credit: NASA)

CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 1, 2018 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today that the United States Air Force (USAF) has issued a “Statement of Support for the Firefly Aerospace Program, Alpha and Beta Launch Vehicles” to utilize Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) Space Launch Complex 2 West (SLC-2W) for future launches of the Firefly Alpha and Beta launch vehicles.

“Firefly Aerospace is greatly appreciative that NASA and the USAF support the transition of SLC-2W to a commercial launch site dedicated to the launch of Firefly vehicles,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “SLC-2W has been an incredible asset for US space missions for over 50 years. We are humbled and honored that Firefly Alpha and Beta launch vehicles will be adding many successful missions to the already storied history of SLC-2W.”

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