Firefly Aerospace Inc. (“Firefly”) is committed to providing economical and convenient access to space for small payloads through the design, manufacture and operation of reliable launch vehicles.
The Firefly team addresses the market’s need for flexible access to space with a “simplest/soonest” approach to technology selection. Firefly launch vehicles embody the insights of a diverse design team and leverage commercial off–the–shelf (COTS) components, manufactured by suppliers across the United States, to reduce risk, maximize reliability and minimize development time. Led by CEO Tom Markusic and a team of space industry veterans, Firefly is majority owned by Noosphere Ventures, the strategic venture arm of Noosphere Global, which has the resources to independently and fully fund Firefly through first launch. Firefly is on track to deliver a US solution for the 1,000 to 4,000 kg payload class to LEO by 2020 for a starting price of $15M.
OUR LAUNCH VEHICLES
Firefly is building launch vehicles to service the small to medium satellite market. Alpha will be capable of delivering 1 metric ton to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the larger Beta launch vehicle will be capable of delivering up to 4 metric tons to LEO and smaller payloads to GTO. Both vehicles utilize systems that draw on well-established rocket technology, such as LOx/RP, pump-fed, regeneratively cooled engines. Modern advances in aerospace composite materials are used to create strong, lightweight primary structures such as propellant tanks. Avionics systems, such as the flight computer and communication system, employ COTS components with established flight heritage. Firefly’s approach supports high reliability and low cost.
Firefly’s Development and Launch Facilities Texas, is home to Firefly’s headquarters, production and test facilities. A 20,000-square foot design campus in Cedar Park, just north of Austin, houses its corporate headquarters, engineering staff, prototyping facilities and manufacturing capabilities, including five-axis CNC machining. The Briggs operations facility, a 200-acre test and production site, only 25 miles from headquarters, is home to propulsion, structures and materials testing. The Briggs facility also houses electroplating, carbon composite tank manufacturing, and filament winding and is expanding to support full-scale component manufacturing and launch vehicle assembly. A horizontal engine test stand, a vertical stage test stand, and high-pressure component stand are available for low-cost rapid development testing.
PROGRESS AND NEXT STEPS
Firefly’s business plan is rooted in technical realism and is based on sound engineering technologies that already exist, such as composite structures and open cycle LOx/RP engines. Recently, Firefly has completed the major milestone of performing integrated testing of the Alpha second stage and has completed the initial phase of securing the license to operate from existing VAFB and CCAFS launch sites. Firefly is committed to doing its part to restore U.S. leadership in the small to medium launch market and is establishing international offices and strategic partnerships to effectively serve the global market. At a price of $15M for 1,000 kg to LEO with high reliability and schedule credibility, Firefly will lead the industry in launch service mission success.
Firefly Aerospace Inc.