Austin’s Firefly Aerospace had a successful launch of its rocket.
The company announced that it’s Alpha FLTA002 mission successfully reached orbit and deployed customer payloads, lifting off on Oct. 1st at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Standard Time from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
It reached orbit on its second attempt. Firefly’s rocket exploded on its first attempt in September of 2021.
Firefly also now has a rocket ready to take customers to space in the highly desired 1300kg payload lift class.
“With the success of this flight, Firefly has announced to the world there is a new orbital launch vehicle, available today, with a capacity that is pivotal to our commercial and government customers,” Bill Weber, Firefly CEO, said in a news release. “Proving our flight and deployment capabilities on only our second attempt is a testament to the maturity of our technology and the expertise of our team. This is an exciting day at Firefly, and we have many, many more ahead. I could not be more excited for the Firefly team.”
During the mission, Alpha successfully completed all major technical milestones, including a two-burn maneuver, relighting the second stage during its first orbital flight.
“I am so proud of everyone in the company, both past, and present, who have shared my dream of starting a launch company that would further revolutionize the space economy,” Tom Markusic, Firefly Founder and Chief Technology Advisor said in a news release. “The Firefly team set out to develop the best small launch vehicle in the world. Mission accomplished!”
Firefly is completing the Acceptance Testing Protocol for its Alpha 3 vehicle in preparation for its upcoming NASA VCLS Demo 2-FB ELaNa 43 launch.
In addition, Firefly continues the production of multiple rockets at its Texas manufacturing facilities. Firefly is scheduled for six Alpha launches to take customer payloads to space in 2023, and 12 more in 2024.
Firefly is a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners, a private equity firm.