News Firefly Aerospace

IronRain

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Firefly Aerospace is a private aerospace firm based in Austin, Texas, that is developing small and medium-sized launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit. They are proponents of NewSpace: a movement in the aerospace industry whose objective is to increase access to space through innovative technical advances resulting in a reduction of launch cost and the lessening of regulations and logistical restrictions associated with dependence on national space institutions.

The company was formed when former Firefly Space Systems assets were acquired by EOS Launcher in March 2017, which was then renamed Firefly Aerospace. Firefly Aerospace is wholly owned by Noospheres Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Noosphere Global. Firefly Aerospace is now working on the Alpha 2.0 launch vehicle which has a significantly larger payload capability than the previous Alpha developed by Firefly Space Systems. It aims to place a 1,000 kilogram payload into a 200 kilometer low Earth orbit. The restructured company has over 100 employees and is hiring.

Firefly Space Systems was formed in January 2014 by Tom Markusic, P.J. King and Michael Blum and a small group of entrepreneurs who self-funded the company. In September 2014, Firefly announced it would move its headquarters from Hawthorne, California to Austin-suburb Cedar Park, Texas. By November it had relocated to Texas It grew to 30 employees by August 2014 and 43 employees by November 2014. Firefly had office and engineering facilities in Cedar Park, Texas and Hawthorne, California and purchased 215 acres (87 ha) of land for an engine test and manufacturing facility in Briggs, Texas, 50 miles (80 km) north of Austin.

Tom Markusic has a background in propulsion engineering, and has worked at other NewSpace companies including SpaceX — where he was manager of the SpaceX Texas Rocket Test Facility — and also held senior posts at Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. The company name came to Markusic while sitting on his back porch watching fireflies and realizing that in the future the sky above Earth might look like that as spacecraft ferried people to Mars.

In 2014, Firefly purchased fiber-winding equipment for manufacturing composite cryotanks that will be built using an out-of-autoclave process. Prototype tanks were tested at Marshall Space Flight Center in mid-2014.

The Firefly Alpha design was revealed in July 2014. As of November 2014 Firefly's objective was to be cash-flow positive by 2018, based on anticipated small-satellite business. Firefly had signed an agreement with Space Florida to launch from the Florida "Space Coast".

Firefly performed their first hot-fire engine test of the "Firefly Rocket Engine Research 1" (FRE-R1) on 10 September 2015. The initial demonstration launch of the Firefly Alpha was planned to be as early as 2016.

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Payload users's guide
 

IronRain

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Firefly’s commercial satellite launcher to use Delta 2 pad at Vandenberg


A commercial rocket under development by Firefly Aerospace will conduct its first orbital test flight in 2019 from a launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California that will become vacant with the retirement of the venerable Delta 2 booster later this year, the company announced Tuesday.

Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle, designed to compete with other light-class boosters to carry small and medium-sized satellites into orbit, will lift off from Space Launch Complex 2-West at Vandenberg, a military base on the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Firefly said Tuesday that the U.S. Air Force has issued a “statement of support” for the company to base its Alpha and Beta launch vehicles at the SLC-2W launch pad overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

More than 70 Thor and Delta rockets have taken off from the SLC-2W launch pad since 1966, including 44 Delta 2 missions since 1995. The last flight of a Delta 2 rocket, now built and managed by United Launch Alliance, is scheduled for Sept. 12 with NASA’s ICESat 2 Earth observation satellite.

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Source:
spaceflightnow.com: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/05/...te-launcher-to-use-delta-2-pad-at-vandenberg/
 

jedidia

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After reading the name, I honestly assumed this was a VSA... :lol:

I'll be very disappointed if one of their rockets won't be named Serenity.
 

n122vu

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After reading the name, I honestly assumed this was a VSA... :lol:

I'll be very disappointed if one of their rockets won't be named Serenity.

Same, on both points.
 

MaverickSawyer

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I'll be disappointed if they don't try to get one named that... but I won't be if they get denied due to legal reasons.
 

IronRain

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Firefly Aerospace is asking academic institutions, startup companies and the public to submit ideas for payloads to launch, free of charge, on the inaugural orbital flight of the company’s Alpha rocket next year from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Texas-based launch company said the initiative to host academic and educational payloads on the first Alpha launch will promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines.

“We’re calling the flight opportunity the Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission, or DREAM payload,” said Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly. “We encourage educational institutions, startup space enterprises, or any other institution that has big space dreams to visit Firefly.com and tell us about your DREAM space payload.”

Groups interested in Firefly’s offer can read the company’s terms in this document.

Source:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/06/...launch-for-research-and-educational-payloads/
 
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