While its fortunes waned for a while, Firefly Aerospace has returned with a bang. Following its financial rescue, not only has it ditched the technically risky aerospike engines that it planned to use, but by going “conventional” it has managed to restore its credibility to the point of actively signing launch orders. Airbus DS subsidiary Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) took out launches for six Firefly Alpha rocket flights to take place between 2020 and 2022.
The first SSTL satellite to be flown on Firefly will be CARBONITE-4 in early 2020.
Dr. Max Polyakov, Firefly Co-founder, noted that: The Firefly Alpha program is on schedule for our first launch in the third quarter of 2019. Our mass production processes will enable eight Alpha flights in 2020 and eighteen flights in 2021
Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles. The first two designs, known as Firefly Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the Moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.