Author Topic: Introducing Firefly Space Systems  (Read 198843 times)

Offline QuantumG

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Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« on: 01/09/2014 02:25 AM »
http://app.hedgeye.com/unlocked_content/32826-introducing-firefly-space-systems

They've got Tom Markusic and they are aiming "to be in orbit in about three years."

@Firefly_Space on Twitter.

"We have established our headquarters in Austin, TX and research and development operations in Hawthorne, CA."

« Last Edit: 01/09/2014 03:10 AM by QuantumG »
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #1 on: 01/09/2014 02:49 AM »
I wish they would make more information available.  Their entire website is 10 words.

The Hedgeye post shows a graphic that seems to imply a two-stage vertically-launched rocket.  There are four somethings on the bottom that look like possible landing legs.  There seems to be one engine on the bottom of the first stage, and it looks like it might be an aerospike.

There's no detail on exactly how big the payload is supposed to be.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #2 on: 01/09/2014 03:39 AM »
I heard of these guys in passing a couple of months and didn't stop to check it out.

Perhaps at a space conference in the Silicon Valley, or an address in Mojave.

Is there any connection with the DSI Firefly probes?


Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #3 on: 01/09/2014 03:40 AM »
Hello all.  Thanks for starting this thread.  One of our themes at Firefly will be transparency; we look forward to continued dialog with the community as our vehicles and company mature.  We will update the website soon to provide details on performance, and technology employed.

-Tom Markusic

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #4 on: 01/09/2014 03:52 AM »
Great, I'm looking forward to it!  Welcome to the forum!

Offline Garrett

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #5 on: 01/09/2014 07:53 AM »
Welcome to the forum Tom.

Saw this on their Twitter account (@Firefly_Space):
Quote
Job openings for aerospace engineers with New Space experience.
This must be the first time I've seen a job position specifically requesting "New Space experience". I wonder how they define that? In another tweet, they say:
Quote
We are building an engineering driven culture & one of the very best #Newspace working environments yet
What's a New Space environment? Masten-like or SpaceX-like?
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Offline R7

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #6 on: 01/09/2014 11:30 AM »
From Twitter page:

Quote
Air breathing small sat launchers coming to an orbit near you soon!

Wondered what the boxy thingies at the base of the rocket in Hedgeye picture were. Ramjets? And toroidal aerospike? Cool.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2014 01:38 PM by R7 »
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #7 on: 01/09/2014 01:04 PM »
Hello all.  Thanks for starting this thread.  One of our themes at Firefly will be transparency; we look forward to continued dialog with the community as our vehicles and company mature.  We will update the website soon to provide details on performance, and technology employed.

-Tom Markusic

Good news Tom. Thanks for joining - we like companies that interact!

And did someone say aerospike! Nice! :)

Offline Danderman

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #8 on: 01/09/2014 02:43 PM »

What's a New Space environment? Masten-like or SpaceX-like?

Yes.

Offline Eer

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #9 on: 01/09/2014 03:00 PM »
What's a New Space environment? Masten-like or SpaceX-like?

From the link:

With a Ph.D. from Princeton in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Tom has conducted research on deep space propulsion systems and since 2006 has held senior leadership positions inside virtually every leader in the Newspace Industry: Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.


Offline simonbp

Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #10 on: 01/09/2014 03:08 PM »
Here's the picture in question, for posterity's sake.

It does indeed look like four hypersonic inlets/exhausts feeding onto a common plug nozzle. Hydrocarbon scramjet?

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #11 on: 01/09/2014 03:22 PM »
Interesting! Cant wait to hear more about this!

Offline simonbp

Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #12 on: 01/09/2014 03:41 PM »
One interesting tidbit from the announcement is that it sounds like they will be focusing on sun-synchronous orbits,  which makes sense for comm sat constellations and downward-looking telescopes, but also means they need a launch site like Vanderburg where they can launch polar, slightly retrograde.

Offline R7

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #13 on: 01/09/2014 04:07 PM »
Hydrocarbon scramjet?

The otherwise "rockety" looks suggests flight path that's already above of most of the atmosphere before scramjet speed achieved so I'd guess no. Voting for ramjet that is tuned to assist as early as possible, say from ~1M to flame out at .. uh .. 3-4M. (SWAG!)
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Offline Darren_Hensley

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #14 on: 01/09/2014 04:49 PM »
One interesting tidbit from the announcement is that it sounds like they will be focusing on sun-synchronous orbits,  which makes sense for comm sat constellations and downward-looking telescopes, but also means they need a launch site like Vanderburg where they can launch polar, slightly retrograde.

Why rule out Sea Launch? It looks small enough.
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Offline simonbp

Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #15 on: 01/09/2014 05:20 PM »
Hydrocarbon scramjet?

The otherwise "rockety" looks suggests flight path that's already above of most of the atmosphere before scramjet speed achieved so I'd guess no. Voting for ramjet that is tuned to assist as early as possible, say from ~1M to flame out at .. uh .. 3-4M. (SWAG!)

Maybe, maybe. On the other hand, if it's not going to use the jets for long, why bother having them at all?

Thinking about it again, maybe hydrogen scram/ramjets, given that the first stage looks long enough that a hydrocarbon stage that size would not need air-breathing assistance.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #16 on: 01/09/2014 06:38 PM »
Maybe these jet engines (if they really exist) are for RTLS of the first stage?

Offline Jim

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #17 on: 01/09/2014 06:53 PM »

Why rule out Sea Launch? It looks small enough.

Because Sea Launch is not going to let a competitor use its facilities and there are ITAR issues.

Offline RanulfC

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #18 on: 01/09/2014 07:11 PM »

Why rule out Sea Launch? It looks small enough.

Because Sea Launch is not going to let a competitor use its facilities and there are ITAR issues.

Uhm, I think he meant "sea-launch" as in floating launch Jim. In answer to the question though don't think "air-breathing" is compatable with sea-launch.

It is "just" a conception art at this point (I think?) but I'm not sure how much "help" simple ramjets would be and it doesn't actually look like the "inlets" feed into the plug-nozzle but have their own exhaust outlets. Frankly I don't think the art helps us with anything and, well, uhm... Oh heck! Markusic get back here and start devulging company secrets! Stat! :)
(And welcome to the forums)

(I wonder if I can get these guys to steal my or Dani Edar's "Jet-booster" ideas! Please? :) )

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Offline Oli

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Re: Introducing Firefly Space Systems
« Reply #19 on: 01/09/2014 07:59 PM »
Maybe the small launcher is just a test vehicle for the engine (with a winged vehicle following later).
« Last Edit: 01/09/2014 08:24 PM by Oli »

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