Just before the Christmas weekend Firefly launched its fourth Alpha rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. While the booster and first burn of the second stage perform normally, the second burn failed to place Lockheed Martin‘s tech demonstrator into its intended orbit.Expand Expanding Close
After an abnormal lull in SpaceX launches last week due to weather and technical delays, that could change this week with a handful of Falcon 9 missions before the Christmas weekend. Firefly is back with another launch of its Alpha rocket this week, following the success of its VICTUS NOX mission in September.Expand Expanding Close
This week Seth and Jared go over the top stories from the last week but for the main topic they piggy back off of @smartereveryday‘s video about Apollo versus Artemis. A mandatory watch for everyone.
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Last week Firefly completed a test fire of its Miranda engine that will be used on its Medium Launch Vehicle and Northrop Grumman‘s Antares 330 rocket. This was a first for the company and a quick one as the company only signed the contract from Northrop just over one year ago.Expand Expanding Close
Firefly Aerospace and Millennium Space Systems have come together to showcase a demonstration mission called Victus Nox with the aim of setting a new industry standard for rapid satellite deployment. Last year, the two companies were chosen to conduct this mission, designed to demonstrate a 24-hour rapid-response capability for launching satellites into low Earth orbit for the U.S. Space Force.Expand Expanding Close
We’re coming up on one year since we’ve last seen Firefly launch its Alpha rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base. That wait will soon be over as the company announced it’s currently waiting on word from the US Space Force for its third launch, sometime within the next six months.Expand Expanding Close
During Tuesday’s Q1 earnings call, Rocket Lab announced it was getting another NASA launch contract, taking it from another SmallSat launcher due to long delays. That mission is NASA’s first satellite swarm and will test technology for a future constellation.Expand Expanding Close
This week Seth and Jared dive into Astra Space receiving a delisting warning from the NASDAQ and what that means if you own shares of the company. Also, they catch you up on all the rockets that launched last (eight in seven days!!!), Elon Musk’s peace idea for Ukraine and Taiwan, oh and what’s the deal with that Crew-5 Meatball?
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This week Seth and Jared discuss the Artemis I mission as it nears closer and closer to launching. The two also talk about other current events in the space industry and look at the newest images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
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Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, we have been following how it will affect Northrop Grumman’s capability to launch its Antares rocket. Northrop Grumman has finally announced its solution to unavailable components in a partnership with Firefly Aerospace to supply engines and a new first stage to the Antares 330 rocket.Expand Expanding Close
Firefly Aerospace has released an update video after a prolonged period of silence. Both the first and second stages for their Flight 2 vehicle have passed acceptance testing. There is no launch date currently.Expand Expanding Close
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.Expand Expanding Close
Firefly is working towards the first launch of their Alpha rocket, as well as the company’s first launch at all. While this is a test flight FireFly will have real payloads on board this rocket. The smallsats come from a variety of education and research programs that competed for a free spot on the maiden flight. The goal of this mission is to validate the design of the Alpha rocket and its subsystems.
Date: Thursday, September 2nd, 9:59 p.m. (Window closes September 3rd at 12:00 a.m. EDT)Expand Expanding Close
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.Expand Expanding Close
NASA tapped Astra, Firefly, and Relativity Space for its Venture Class Launch Services Demo 2 program, giving each company a contract to launch a group of smallsats into orbit to demonstrate the capabilities of their new vehicles. NASA didn’t share their reasoning for the selections or who else submitted proposals in that announcement. This information is found in a source selection statement published later in the month that addresses each company’s strengths and weaknesses.Expand Expanding Close
While we didn’t see much from Firefly during 2020 in terms of launches, we did see them in the news plenty for making deals for launches and testing their new Alpha launcher which plans to debut early next year. Firefly says they already have an almost full launch manifest for 2021 with two launches going to Adaptive Launch Solutions.Expand Expanding Close
As part of its Launch Services Program (LSP), NASA has awarded Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 (VCLS Demo 2) contracts to three different companies. Those three companies and the fixed-price of their contracts are as follows:Expand Expanding Close
Firefly is among the many rocket companies currently fighting to gain a small share of the fast-growing satellite launch market. The Texas-based company is now one substantial step closer to getting its piece of the pie with the arrival of its first flight-ready launch vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.Expand Expanding Close