Start-up launch provider Firefly Aerospace might have “fire” in its title, but it did not want that on its rocket engines. On 22 January, it suffered a short engine bay fire during a hot-fire test of its Reaver Engine, which is planned for use in its Alpha rocket. The test of the engine and the Alpha rocket first stage took place at Firefly’s test stand at Briggs, Texas. The cause of the short duration fire has not yet been identified.

While the test stand fire was a small setback for Firefly, it happened a day after it and Innovative Space Logistics BV signed a multi-launch services agreement. The latter is a launch services subsidiary of Netherlands based ISIS – Innovative Solutions in Space BV. Under the agreement, Innovative Space Logistics will offer multiple dedicated and ride-share launch opportunities on Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle on missions beginning this year.

Unintended flames waft upwards from the test stand during the Reaver hot fire test. Courtesy: Firefly Aerospace