FireFly featured by Vice.com in "Rise of the Boutique Rockets Firms Inspired by SpaceX"

The Rise of Boutique Rocket Firms Inspired by SpaceX

SpaceX has dominated the private space industry since it was founded 12 years ago. The company’s thriftiness, its reusable space launch concept, and Elon Musk’s unabashed hopes to land humans on Mars have all contributed to its swift ascent to the top of the corporate spaceflight ladder.

One of the most interesting byproducts of SpaceX’s success, however, is the wealth of opportunities left in its wake. New spaceflight niches are beginning to be filled by a wave of specialized rocket startups, looking to provide solutions for modest satellite manufacturers with limited launch options.

Firefly Space Systems is of the youngest of these upstart private space companies. Founded in January 2014 by veteran engineer Tom Markusic—who has previously developed spaceflight systems at SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Blue Origin—Firefly aims to be a kind of boutique rocket company, catering to smaller satellite payloads and missions.

“When Elon Musk started SpaceX, he really paved the way for companies like Firefly to even have a chance at getting started and being successful,” the company’s CFO Michael Blum told me over the phone.

See more at : http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-rise-of-boutique-rocket-firms-inspired-by-spacex

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.

Firefly Space Systems hires 25th Employee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AUSTIN, Texas, June 23, 2014 –

Firefly Space Systems, a ground-based, small satellite launch company, is pleased to announce the recruitment of its 25th employee, Senior Systems Engineer James Bartlett. James joins Firefly after serving as the lead engineer for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Powerhead component engineering team and later as a project engineering specialist at Aerojet-Rocketdyne.

Following its official launch and seed funding in January, FireFly has aggressively moved to recruit the very best engineering talent for the development of its vehicles. In his new role at Firefly, James will lead the team working on the design and development of the Firefly Rocket Engine (FRE) that will be utilized in the boost and upper stages of the Alpha launch vehicle and derivatives.

“We are delighted to have such interest in our project,” said Firefly CEO Thomas Markusic. “Attracting the best engineering talent is the goal of many technology companies and having the caliber of personnel of James is exactly what we need to achieve our recruitment goal of expanding the team to 40 by the end of the year.”

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.

“The heart of any company are its people, said Maureen Gannon, VP of Business Development. Its gratifying that people see the vision of Firefly and wish to be part of it.’

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.