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.
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.
This week, SpaceX’s new ships arrived in Florida while Firefly had their first launch that ended in failure. Virgin Galactic has been grounded by the FAA along with more Top stories this week.
Just 3 days after their first launch, Firefly Aerospace provides some insight into what occurred during the first stage boost phase. Along with the statement was a video showcasing some different angles of Firefly’s first Alpha launch and tracking footage.
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)
Just on the edge of their first launch, Firefly finally conducts a static fire on their Alpha rocket out in Vandenberg Space Force Base.
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 is nearing its inaugural flight. Firefly’s first Alpha rocket, which arrived at Vandenberg in November, is now vertical on the launch in preparation for a static fire and launch.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Firefly, one of the newest launch providers in the commercial sector, has its first mission in December. In an interview with Cheddar, CEO Tom Markusic talked about its future plans and its involvement in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services.
Today Firefly announced they will be switching the production of their rocket airframes to an automated fiber placement system. They are retrofitting their facility in Briggs, Texas with two machines from Ingersoll Machine Tools that will begin producing their Alpha rocket frame in May 2021.