Customers Rally in Support of Firefly Space Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cedar Park, Texas, November 14, 2016 

Letters of Intent valued at over $300M exceed projected launch capacity through 2021

Firefly Space Systems, the Texas-based developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today it has received letters of intent (LOI) in excess of projected launch capacity through 2021.

“The support from established and newspace satellite manufacturers following our recent announcement of financial difficulties has been tremendous. These LOI’s demonstrate the market demand for the small satellite launch product that Firefly is developing,” said Firefly co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.

Firefly received LOI’s for 42 launches through the end of 2021, valued at over $300M. An additional 35 launches valued at over $280M have been requested through 2025. A total of 9 customers have submitted LOI’s to Firefly for future launches.

“Our customers’ needs reflect the increasing market demand for small satellite launch capacity. They have unanimously encouraged Firefly to continue development of the Firefly Alpha vehicle as a critical component in the overall success of the emerging newspace industry,” added Markusic.

“We are in discussions with multiple potential financing partners to fund our ongoing development and will repay the faith our customers have shown by providing the lowest cost, highest frequency launch service in the world.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly is a small satellite launch company located in Cedar Park, TX which was created to provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The Firefly team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at NASA and various New Space companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution leader for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies, earth observation, and constellations.

….

Full Mission Duty Cycle Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Full Mission Duty Cycle Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems

CEDAR PARK, Texas, September 28, 2016

Firefly Space Systems, the Texas-based developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today that it has successfully completed over 50 hot fire tests of its combustor, including multiple full mission duty cycle (“MDC”) tests.

“These tests of our combustor retire critical engine design risk elements and place Firefly among an elite group of newspace companies that have successfully performed an MDC hot fire on a flight weight combustor. We have shown that our regeneratively cooled engine is capable of withstanding the stresses associated with long duration hot fires,” said Firefly Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.

Firefly combustor test on Test Stand 1 Photo by Edwards Media

Firefly is developing one combustor design that will be utilized to power both stages of their small-sat launcher – “Firefly Alpha.” The Alpha upper stage will utilize an engine (FRE-1) with a single combustor, whereas the first stage engine (FRE-2) will use an array of twelve of the same combustors arranged in an annular aerospike configuration.

Firefly rocket engines operate using LOx/RP-1 propellants and the basic combustor design can utilize either methane or RP-1 fuels. The upper stage variant of the engine (FRE-1) will produce 7,000 lbf thrust, and the first stage cluster used in FRE-2 will produce 125,000 lbf thrust.

This combustor test successfully demonstrated Firefly’s regeneratively cooled flight weight engine firing for the full mission duty cycle of 163 seconds required for the first stage of Firefly’s Alpha rocket. The test also served to further validate the complete functionality of Firefly’s test site in preparation for a full 12 combustor aerospike test scheduled for the end of 2016.

Full video of the MDC test can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/-rqWc6QrHzM

“In less than three years, we have built our Texas team to over 160 world-class engineers, constructed state-of-the-art engineering and test facilities, designed a complete rocket (Alpha) to PDR level, and built and tested key vehicle technologies, such as composite tanks, avionics and engines,” added Markusic.

“I’m incredibly proud of our hard-working and innovative Firefly team. They are a testament to the entrepreneurial vision of newspace and the amazing achievements that can be accomplished by a group of intelligent, motivated people in a short period of time.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly is a small satellite launch company located in Cedar Park, TX which was created to provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The Firefly team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at NASA and various New Space companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution leader for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies, earth observation, and constellations.

….

NASA Awards $5.5M Venture Class Launch Services Contract to Firefly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CEDAR PARK, Texas, October 14, 2015

Demonstration CubeSat launch set for early 2018

Firefly Space Systems, Inc., a New Space leader in the development of dedicated small satellite launch vehicles has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct a demonstration CubeSat launch by March 2018. The Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract to Firefly is valued at $5.5M.

Mark Wiese, chief of the Flight Projects Office for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), based at Kennedy Space Center, described VCLS contracts as representing “NASA’s investment in the future of the commercial launch industry for SmallSats.”

Since there hasn’t been a dedicated launcher available, CubeSats have flown into orbit as auxiliary payloads that are released after the booster has achieved the primary mission. They have also been sprung into the orbital void from canisters aboard the International Space Station to conduct research missions. In both cases though, the CubeSats are at the mercy of the primary payload and the orbit it must fly in.

“The CubeSat and small satellite engineers and scientists are coming up with missions that justify flying unique orbits and at altitudes that are not available if we only fly as secondary payloads,” said Garrett Skrobot, lead for the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission for LSP. “These are still experimental satellites, but the technology they are employing is mature enough to use in these new ways.”

That’s where Firefly and its family of launch vehicles comes in. Since its inception, Firefly’s mission has been to dramatically reduce the cost of commercial launch services for small satellites and science missions across the entire sub-1 metric ton payload segment. The company is focusing on the development of low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market. Firefly Alpha, the company’s first rocket, will be capable of lifting 400kg to a 400km equatorial orbit or 200kg to a 500km Sun-synchronous orbit

“Being recognized by NASA with a VCLS contract is a tremendous honor for the Firefly team. We have worked tirelessly during the last 18 months to develop Firefly Alpha, a vehicle that will be different from anything that has come before it. NASA’s vote of confidence in our technology and team is a significant boost to our efforts of ‘Making Space For Everyone’” said Dr. Thomas Markusic, Firefly’s CEO.

Added Maureen Gannon, Firefly’s Vice President of Business Development: “We are greatly encouraged knowing that NASA shares our industry’s vision for low-cost boosters to enable ever more exciting missions in exploration, science and education.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly, the leading small satellite launch company located in Cedar Park, TX was created to provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The Firefly team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at NASA and various New Space companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution leader for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies, earth observation, and constellation customers.

….

Firefly Names Rocket Launch and Test Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Firefly Names Rocket Launch and Test Director

Cedar Park, Texas, September 17, 2015

Firefly Space Systems, Inc., a New Space developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today that aerospace veteran Anne Chinnery has joined its growing team as the company’s first Launch and Test Director. She will report to and work directly with Firefly Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.

Ms. Chinnery brings almost three decades of active experience working at leading aerospace industry organizations both in the public and private sectors. She served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where she managed test and launch activities at Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB) and most recently served in

similar senior roles at leading New Space companies. Ms. Chinnery holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Air Force Academy and Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, with specialties in rocket propulsion and attitude dynamics.

“I’ve had the good fortune to work with Anne in the past. Our team is incredibly encouraged to have her join our efforts and lead the development of Firefly’s launch and test capability,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic. “Anne will immediately put her skills to work in an impactful way by leading activation of the new site and testing our first rocket engines. She will also work to finalize our launch site selection and build a world class rocket launch team.”

The timing of Ms. Chinnery’ s hiring coincides with the company’s completion earlier this month of its new, state-of-the-art rocket test site facility located innearby Briggs, TX. The site was constructed by Test Site Manager Joel Waldrum’s team in just eight months.

The Briggs site is one of several candidates to house Firefly’s primary manufacturing facility, where the Company plans to build up to 50 “Alpha” vehicles per year and create up to 200 additional jobs with an annual payroll of approximately $15 million by 2019. The last months have been a period of strong growth on the personnel front, which has seen the Firefly team expand to over 60 members.

“I’m obviously thrilled to join the team here at Firefly,” said Ms. Chinnery. “The future is in space. Young, innovative and revolutionary companies like ours are going to be the ones to get us there. I’m looking forward to being a part of shaping our next steps into space,” she added.

“Bottom line is that Anne is a proven leader in test and launch environments and embodies the smart, no-nonsense, “let’s just get it done” attitude that is highly valued at Firefly,” Markusic added.

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly is a small satellite launch company located in Cedar Park, TX which was created to provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The Firefly team includeshighly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at NASA and various New Space companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution leader for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies, earth observation, and constellation customers.

….

First Rocket Engine Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Rocket Engine Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems

CEDAR PARK, Texas, September 10, 2015 

Firefly Space Systems, the Texas-based developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today that it has successfully tested its first rocket engine, Firefly Rocket Engine Research 1 (“FRE-R1”).

“The successful testing of our first engine represents a quantum step in the technical maturation of our company. We have demonstrated that our core engine design can reliably start, stop and operate at a steady state without combustion instabilities,” said Firefly Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.

Firefly FRE-R1 engine test on Test Stand 1

Firefly is developing one combustor design that will be utilized to power both stages of their small-sat launcher – “Firefly Alpha.” The Alpha upper stage will utilize an engine (FRE-1) with a single combustor, whereas the first stage engine (FRE-2) will use an array of twelve of the same combustors arranged in an annular aerospike configuration.

FRE-R1 is a propulsion pathfinder for both stages of Alpha. It operates using LOx/RP-1 propellants, but the basic combustor design can utilize either methane or RP-1 fuels. The upper stage variant of the engine (FRE-1) will produce 7,000 lbf thrust, and the first stage cluster used in FRE-2 will produce 125,000 lbf thrust.

The first test series successfully demonstrated startup, shutdown, and steady state combustion. The test also served to prove the complete functionality of Firefly’s new test site. Upcoming engine tests will emphasize performance tuning and longer duration “mission duty cycle” runs. The first hot-fire tests of the FRE-2 aerospike engine are expected to take place in early 2016.

“In only fifteen months, we have built our Texas team, constructed state-of-the-art engineering and test facilities, designed a complete rocket (Alpha) to PDR level, and built and tested key vehicle technologies, such as the FRE-R1 engine,” added Markusic.

“I’m incredibly proud of the innovative and hard-driving spirit of the Firefly team. They are smart, hard-working and building momentum in hardware development, which will carry Firefly to space in short order.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly is a small satellite launch company located in Cedar Park, TX which was created to provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The Firefly team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at NASA and various New Space companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.

Simplified and optimized for least cost, and utilizing innovations such as a rethought engine design, Firefly has positioned itself to be the technological and cost effective solution leader for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies, earth observation, and constellation

 

….