Firefly Space Systems’ ‘First of its Kind’ Rocket Engines Join Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Firefly Space Systems’ ‘First of its Kind’ Rocket Engines Join Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program

Released: September 4, 2014

HAWTHORNE, Calif., August 27, 2014

FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS today announced that it has joined the Autodesk® Cleantech Partner Program, which will allow the company to begin designing and advancing the next-generation of cleaner burning rockets. Firefly’s rockets, which will use highly efficient liquefied natural gas (LNG), will not produce any soot like the kind currently common in kerosene and solid rocket engine combustion. Particulates in the upper atmosphere, like soot, are recognized as a major contributor to atmospheric heating.

Firefly is currently building the world’s lowest-cost, small satellite delivery system. Its rockets will be the first to utilize LNG which is much more environmentally friendly and efficient than the alternatives. This low cost and abundant non-petroleum fuel produces approximately 33% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional rocket engines.

The Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program supports the work of cleantech innovators by providing qualified companies, such as Firefly, with Digital Prototyping software to help them design, visualize, and simulate their groundbreaking ideas. This lets them test multiple concepts and reduce costly errors, getting to market faster.

“Cleantech companies like Firefly Space Systems are addressing some of the most important challenges facing our world today,” said Catherine Doyle, global lead of Autodesk’s Cleantech Initiative. “We are proud to support their growth and success through the Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program.”

In addition, the liquid oxygen and LNG used in Firefly rockets is incapable of spilling, as it spontaneously evaporates when exposed to ambient conditions. Consequently, Firefly rockets pose no environmental threat from propellant spills, unlike other companies’ kerosene fueled vehicles.

Firefly’s mission to deploy reusable rockets also reduces the need to build dedicated new rockets for every flight, thereby reducing the amount of materials required as well as manufacturing waste. The airframe of the vehicle will be made entirely of carbon and organic compounds, unlike current vehicles that are constructed from rare and expensive metals.

Firefly’s rockets will provide low-cost launch for the small satellite market, which is growing vigorously for the purpose of earth observation. This increase in earth observation capability will be key to understanding how and why climate change occurs. It will also facilitate the production of additional data for analytical atmospheric models, used to better understand future trends in climate change.

“Firefly is performing CAD and mechanical design utilizing Autodesk Product Design Suite. The Suite provides a comprehensive set of tools that will enable Firefly to quickly and collaboratively iterate on our rocket design - and ultimately move into production and spaceflight,” added Thomas Markusic, CEO of Firefly. “Autodesk, along with their Platinum Partner reseller KETIV Inc., have been incredibly supportive in getting us up and running quickly.”

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Contact Phone Email

Firefly Space Systems: Maureen Gannon 415.269.7252 maureen@fireflyspace.com

Firefly Space Systems Announces Collaboration with Texas Advanced Computing Center and ANSYS, Inc. in Creating Revolutionary Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Firefly Space Systems Announces Collaboration with Texas Advanced Computing Center and ANSYS, Inc. in Creating Revolutionary Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

Released: August 20, 2014

HAWTHORNE, Calif., August 20, 2014

FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS, ANSYS, Inc. and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin, home to the Stampede supercomputer, team up in the design of next-generation of rockets.

Firefly Space Systems is building the world’s lowest-cost, small satellite delivery system. Announced today, Firefly’s initiative with ANSYS and TACC will enable Firefly to accurately and rapidly progress through its engineering development process as it moves closer to its first launch.

ANSYS, a global leader and innovator of engineering simulation software, will be an integral tool for Firefly. “ANSYS’ software is crucial in assisting Firefly solve our most complex design challenges through fast, accurate and reliable engineering simulation,” said Jared Cuneo, Firefly Director of Structures Analysis.

Meanwhile, TACC’s Stampede supercomputer, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, will provide the backbone on which Firefly runs its ANSYS software analysis. “TACC and UT Austin are both proving to be integral and hugely valuable partners, not only through Stampede, but also via their top-notch engineering talent who are now part of the Firefly team,” added Firefly’s Human Resource Manager Christina Kang.

By combining ANSYS with Stampede, a complex simulation of a rocket subsystem that would normally require a considerable amount of time on a typical workstation will now be accurately achieved in just mere seconds. This combination of resources will ultimately lead to a significant reduction of costs and time on the overall development of Firefly launch vehicles.

“The bottom line here is what used to cost hundreds of millions of dollars is rapidly becoming available in the single digit millions,” said Firefly CEO Thomas Markusic. “We are offering small satellite customers the launch they need, for a fraction of what it has cost historically, at around $8 or 9 million – the lowest cost in the world. It’s far cheaper than the alternatives, without the headaches of a multi manifest launch. This new partnership is an important milestone for us as we move forward to our first launch.”

About Firefly Space Systems:

Firefly is a satellite launch company based in Hawthorne, CA. The team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers who have spent the better part of the past decade working at New Space companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Firefly was created for one simple reason: 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 technologies employed in our state-of-the-art rockets provide a clear pathway for future incremental improvements in vehicle capability. Later vehicles will also have reusable elements and employ air-breathing propulsion.

- Learn more at: http://www.fireflyspace.com

About the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC):

The Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading advanced computing centers in the United States. The center’s mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies. To fulfill this mission, TACC identifies, evaluates, deploys and supports powerful computing, visualization and storage systems and software. TACC helps researchers and educators use these technologies effectively, and conduct research and development to make these technologies more powerful, more reliable and easier to use. TACC also encourages, educates and trains the next generation of researchers, empowering them to make discoveries that change the world.

- Learn more: http://www.tacc.utexas.edu

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Contact Phone Email

Firefly Space Systems: Maureen Gannon 415.269.7252 maureen@fireflyspace.com

Texas Advanced Computing Center: Faith Singer-Villalobos 512.232.5771 faith@tacc.utexas.edu

Firefly Space Systems retains strategic partner General Astronautics, LLC (GenAstro)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Firefly Space Systems retains strategic partner

General Astronautics, LLC

AUSTIN, Texas: Aug 5, 2014 – Firefly Space Systems, Inc., developers of dedicated light satellite launch vehicles for the small satellite market, is announcing the addition of General Astronautics, LLC (GenAstro) to its strategic team.

Based in Washington D.C., GenAstro will assist Firefly’s senior management team in strategic planning, capturing new opportunities, and engagement with the federal government and industry.

“GenAstro is proud to join the Firefly team as they advance the goal of making affordable, dedicated small satellite launch a reality,” said GenAstro Principal and Founder Paul E. Damphousse. “Tom Markusic and his management team have assembled a world-class team of ‘NewSpace Veterans’ with experience at such companies as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin. GenAstro is excited about our shared path ahead – we feel Firefly has the right mix of vision, talent, and resources to become the leader in the emerging small satellite launch market and to advance our common goal of low-cost, reliable, consistent access to space.”

Firefly’s Vice President of Business Development, Maureen Gannon added: “Firefly is delighted to have Paul Damphousse as a strategic partner on our team. His experience in both governmental and commercial space will be invaluable to us in the roll out of Firefly Alpha.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS:Firefly is a small satellite launch company with locations in Austin, TX and Hawthorne, CA. Our team consists of seasoned aerospace engineers that have spent the past decade working at various New Space companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic

ABOUT GENERAL ASTRONAUTICS, LLC:GenAstro is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) based in Washington, D.C that provides clients with a unique blend of strategy development, operations and safety planning, and policy navigation within the commercial, civil, international, and national security space sectors. GenAstro focuses on the development of space architectures and infrastructure, from spaceport and suborbital operations, to high-speed point-to-point transport, to low-earth orbit, to cis-lunar space and the lunar surface.

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Contact Phone Email

Maureen Gannon 415.269.7252 maureen@fireflyspace.com

GenAstro Media 703.243.6582 media@gen-astro.com 

Firefly Alpha

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, Texas, July 2, 2014 –

Firefly Space Systems, a ground-based, small satellite launch company, has officially announced its first launch vehicle, “Firefly Alpha.” This efficient, brand new vehicle is capable of carrying 400kg into low earth orbit and will be the world’s first dedicated light satellite launch vehicle in this mass class.

Following its official launch and seed funding in January, Firefly has aggressively moved forward in its mission to lower the prohibitively high costs of small satellite launches to Low Earth and Sun Synchronous Orbits with the goal of revolutionizing broadband data delivery and earth observation missions.

“What used to cost hundreds of millions of dollars is rapidly becoming available in the single digit millions,” said Firefly CEO Thomas Markusic. “We are offering small satellite customers the launch they need for a fraction of that, around $8 or 9 million – the lowest cost in the world. It’s far cheaper than the alternatives, without the headaches of a multi manifest launch.”

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 for traditional manufacturers of small satellites for government agencies and earth observation customers. In addition, Firefly has set its sights on New-Space constellation customers, aiming to disrupt the data flow from traditional players.

“To say that this is an exciting and significant technological milestone would be an understatement,” said Michael Blum, co-founder of Firefly. “Until now, there existed virtually no dedicated launcher capacity in the small satellite industry to deliver their respective payloads to orbit. This announcement today just changed all that.”

ABOUT FIREFLY SPACE SYSTEMS

Firefly is a ground-based small satellite launch company with locations in Austin, TX and Hawthorne, CA. Our team consists of highly experienced aerospace engineers that have spent the better part of the past decade working at various New Space companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

Visit www.fireflyspace.com for more information.