Firefly has been a promising startup with a (failed) launch under its belt and hard at work on its Alpha launch vehicle. The time at the company recently has been rather dramatic, as the US Government has been attempting to oust one of the company’s founders, Max Polyakov, citing national security concerns with his Ukrainian origins.
He had previously stepped down from the board to help ease tensions, but things got serious early in December 2021 when Firefly halted plans for the second launch after the US Government asked Polyakov to divest his share in the company (owned through his company Noosphere Venture Partners).
Noosphere Venture Partners said it had retained a firm to handle selling its interest. Now, it appears Polyakov is trying to make it so the company can succeed rather than focusing on financial gain from the sale (though he is clearly unhappy with the position he’s been put in).
Polyakov posted the following message publicly on his Facebook page Wednesday:
I am giving up for 1 usd consideration all my 58% stake in Firefly to my co-founder and partner Tom. Dear CFIUS, Air Force and 23 agencies of USA who betrayed me and judge me in all your actions for past 15 months . I hope now you are happy . History will judge all of you guys. Max love Ukraine and yes I have Ukrainian passport and I am Founder of Firefly !!! Bye my “bird” and at the end of the days I proud what I done for my Land soul and heritage !!!Max Polyakov in a Facebook post
Naming the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the Air Force, and “23 other agencies of USA,” he said “I hope now you are happy,” stating that “History will judge all of you guys.”
Firefly Space Systems had filed for bankruptcy in 2017, and Polyakov and Noosphere Ventures acquired the assets of the company making Firefly Aerospace. Firefly has made massive progress since then, redesigning the rocket, performing a test launch, it has plans for a larger “Beta” vehicle, and more.