On April 12th, Firefly Aerospace shared photos of their first Alpha rocket going vertical on the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force base, and today they shared a timelapse of the lift.
Firefly Aerospace has a number of contracts slated for their Alpha rocket. Firefly Aerospace has a $9.3 million contract with NASA to deliver small satellites into sun-synchronous orbit. Firefly Aerospace will also play an important role in the Artemis program, with a $93.3 million contract to deliver science experiments and technology demonstrations to the moon in 2023.
The Austin, TX based company has a number of projects in the works with the goal to “restore U.S. leadership in the small to medium launch market…” With Alpha, they will be competitively priced just below Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. Alpha will deliver 1,000kg to LEO at a price of $15 million per launch while Rocket Lab can deliver 300kg to LEO at about $7.5 million per Electron launch. This competition between launch providers will help bring down the cost of dedicated launches to a more accessible level to smaller businesses and even Universities.
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