Author Topic: Firefly Aerospace  (Read 338688 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #940 on: 09/17/2022 05:51 pm »


Quote
Up close and personal with Firefly's Alpha rocket!
17 Sept 2022

I had the pleasure of speaking to Meagan Roth (Senior Manager of Launch and Test Operations),  Shea Ferring (Senior Vice President, Engineering) and Jordi Paredes Garcia (Alpha Chief Engineer) about Firefly's Alpha rocket and their Blue Ghost lunar lander!
« Last Edit: 09/17/2022 05:52 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #941 on: 09/18/2022 02:20 am »
In the video above, its mentioned that Blue Ghost will fly in about 18 months time, which I calculate to be in March 2024.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online trimeta

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #942 on: 09/30/2022 11:22 pm »
Firefly has won the Space Force's Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS-3) launch contract. Honestly, I thought this was basically Rocket Lab's to lose, so I'm curious why they lost it (and why Firefly won it).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1575979476961280000

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #943 on: 10/01/2022 03:30 am »
Firefly has won the Space Force's Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS-3) launch contract. Honestly, I thought this was basically Rocket Lab's to lose, so I'm curious why they lost it (and why Firefly won it).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1575979476961280000
Probably giving newcomers a helping hand, NASA does the same.
Be good for Government to have access to low cost 1000kg class LV. Give it six months and there should be 3 LVs in this class available.

Offline sanman

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #944 on: 10/01/2022 04:06 pm »
So I just read about Firefly's Gamma -- a reusable spaceplane planned to be best-flown in the late 2020s. What market is Gamma meant to pursue?

« Last Edit: 10/01/2022 04:21 pm by sanman »

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #945 on: 10/01/2022 11:04 pm »
So somehow no one has actually mentioned it in this thread yet, so:

https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1576106787027099649?s=20&t=NZuNFhg7fnRltGYxTe4fRA

Quote
Alpha has reached orbit! FLTA002 has gone #ToTheBlack


EDIT: Now that they've reached orbit, are we going to get a Firefly section on the forum? I think I'm generally in favor of fewer sections, but Firefly do have quite a few balls in the air (Alpha, Beta/MLV, Antares deal, CLIPS/Blue Ghost, Space Utility Vehicle, etc.), so there may be enough to fill out a section.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2022 04:43 am by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #946 on: 10/02/2022 12:30 am »
So somehow no one has actually mentioned it in this thread yet, so:

https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1576106787027099649?s=20&t=NZuNFhg7fnRltGYxTe4fRA

Quote
Alpha has reached orbit! FLTA002 has gone #ToTheBlack


EDIT: Now that they've reached orbit, are we going to get a Firefly section on the forum? I think I'm generally in favor of fewer sections, but Firefly do have quite a few balls in the air (Alpha, Beta, Antares deal, CLIPS/Blue Ghost, Space Utility Vehicle, etc.), so there may be enough to fill out a section.
There are feelers with FAI hooking up with NG so I'd wait awhile to see if FAI proves itself to be viable after several flights. Astra in my personal opinion is an example of jumping the gun on new section creation.

Offline Star One

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #947 on: 10/02/2022 07:15 am »
So somehow no one has actually mentioned it in this thread yet, so:

https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1576106787027099649?s=20&t=NZuNFhg7fnRltGYxTe4fRA

Quote
Alpha has reached orbit! FLTA002 has gone #ToTheBlack


EDIT: Now that they've reached orbit, are we going to get a Firefly section on the forum? I think I'm generally in favor of fewer sections, but Firefly do have quite a few balls in the air (Alpha, Beta, Antares deal, CLIPS/Blue Ghost, Space Utility Vehicle, etc.), so there may be enough to fill out a section.
There are feelers with FAI hooking up with NG so I'd wait awhile to see if FAI proves itself to be viable after several flights. Astra in my personal opinion is an example of jumping the gun on new section creation.
You say its jumping the gun to create a new section for them, yet you do this on the basis of nothing more than speculation about their future relationship with NG. If anything is jumping the gun it seems more the latter than former.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #948 on: 10/02/2022 06:44 pm »
So somehow no one has actually mentioned it in this thread yet, so:

https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1576106787027099649?s=20&t=NZuNFhg7fnRltGYxTe4fRA

Quote
Alpha has reached orbit! FLTA002 has gone #ToTheBlack


EDIT: Now that they've reached orbit, are we going to get a Firefly section on the forum? I think I'm generally in favor of fewer sections, but Firefly do have quite a few balls in the air (Alpha, Beta, Antares deal, CLIPS/Blue Ghost, Space Utility Vehicle, etc.), so there may be enough to fill out a section.
There are feelers with FAI hooking up with NG so I'd wait awhile to see if FAI proves itself to be viable after several flights. Astra in my personal opinion is an example of jumping the gun on new section creation.
You say it’s jumping the gun to create a new section for them, yet you do this on the basis of nothing more than speculation about their future relationship with NG. If anything is jumping the gun it seems more the latter than former.
The creating a section part isn't speculation. They have only had a single successful flight to prove their worth. Astra hasn't been so successful. Just like with early SpaceX they didn't receive their own section on here for several years. I personally believe that such a decision for would be premature so give it a few flights before doing so. Also the forum doesn't want a trillion sections as voiced by the forum administrators and senior moderators as early as the recent past.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2022 07:02 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline GWH

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #949 on: 10/02/2022 07:30 pm »
Blue Origin's had their own section for years and has yet to put anything into orbit.  ::)

Strange criteria for gatekeeping. They've joined a pretty exclusive group in the industry being only the 5th purely commercial company to put a launch vehicle into orbit, with a few test payloads to boot.  There is little that separates them from any of other companies and they have more projects in development than some of those (Astra, Virgin Orbit).

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #950 on: 10/02/2022 08:03 pm »
Any LV startup that makes it to orbit should hsve their own section. If nothing else gives us a place to put mission threads. Good chance it will merge with NGIS in future if people's predictions come true.

I think future for Firefly is more promising than Astra. For start have lot more capable LV, a depth of engineering talent along with good financial backing.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #951 on: 10/02/2022 08:36 pm »
Any LV startup that makes it to orbit should hsve their own section. If nothing else gives us a place to put mission threads. Good chance it will merge with NGIS in future if people's predictions come true.

I think future for Firefly is more promising than Astra. For start have lot more capable LV, a depth of engineering talent along with good financial backing.
I do agree with creating a common section or board for mission threads that would be the simplest solution to implement.
Blue Origin's had their own section for years and has yet to put anything into orbit.  ::)

Strange criteria for gatekeeping. They've joined a pretty exclusive group in the industry being only the 5th purely commercial company to put a launch vehicle into orbit, with a few test payloads to boot.  There is little that separates them from any of other companies and they have more projects in development than some of those (Astra, Virgin Orbit).
That section created under different criterion and decisions as kicked out of a coiple of NIMBY sections. I'm more in favour of the 2000's decade of criterion for thread creation. Even today the admins and mods still stste that they do not want an endless number of sections however the current forum is not ideal in terms of organisational structure and other stuff. There are holdover sections from a much younger forum and such.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2022 08:37 pm by russianhalo117 »

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #952 on: 10/02/2022 11:34 pm »
The in-orbit engine restart during the flight got me thinking. I can't find any solid numbers for the propellant mass for the Alpha Second Stage (heretoafter AS- wait, no, nevermind). Even the payload user's guide just lists the dry mass (909 kg, which is impressive). It does list the GLOW though, and gives performance figures for the Lightning engine, and the velocity at second stage ignition and SECO, so I could calculate it a couple different ways I suppose...

Yeah, like I thought, it's something around 4.5 to 5 metric tons of propellant. Why do I bring this up?

Because that's light enough that you could fully refuel an Alpha second stage with one launch of a Beta (MLV), with full first stage reuse. Actually, with MLV now doing 13 tons to LEO you could refuel two stages in one launch. Not to mention the potential to just use a fully fueled Alpha second stage as a third stage on Beta.

I don't think they plan on doing any of that, but the potential is interesting to me.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2022 11:42 pm by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline sdsds

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #953 on: 10/03/2022 12:17 am »
I don't think they plan on doing any of that, but the potential is interesting to me.

Concur.

One of my little sadnesses in the history of SpaceX was their abandonment of the Kestrel engine when they discontinued work on Falcon 1e. SpaceX actually had a contract with Orbcomm to launch nominally three of their planned 130kg satellites, for a useful payload to orbit of 390kg. Would that have put Falcon 1e roughly in the same class as FIrefly Alpha? Phrased differently, is Firefly Alpha in some sense Falcon 1e reborn?

Regarding your thinking, it seems noteworthy that SpaceX doesn't offer a Kestrel powered third stage for F9 or FH. I believe that's because the performance of MVac is so good that it doesn't make economic sense. I fear the same might be true with your notion of using a Lightning powered stage on top of the Beta MLV, but maybe there are enough differences in the various engine and stage technologies to change that.
« Last Edit: 10/03/2022 12:18 am by sdsds »
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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #954 on: 10/03/2022 01:09 am »
I don't think they plan on doing any of that, but the potential is interesting to me.

Concur.

One of my little sadnesses in the history of SpaceX was their abandonment of the Kestrel engine when they discontinued work on Falcon 1e. SpaceX actually had a contract with Orbcomm to launch nominally three of their planned 130kg satellites, for a useful payload to orbit of 390kg. Would that have put Falcon 1e roughly in the same class as FIrefly Alpha? Phrased differently, is Firefly Alpha in some sense Falcon 1e reborn?

Regarding your thinking, it seems noteworthy that SpaceX doesn't offer a Kestrel powered third stage for F9 or FH. I believe that's because the performance of MVac is so good that it doesn't make economic sense. I fear the same might be true with your notion of using a Lightning powered stage on top of the Beta MLV, but maybe there are enough differences in the various engine and stage technologies to change that.

I also wish the Falcon 1 had been kept around. The Kestrel, for it's performance flaws, was a good little engine. It could've had a bright future as a lunar landing engine I suspect.

Falcon 1 was, roughly, analogous to the Alpha, Terran 1, and RS1 of today.

You have to consider that the Kestrel was a pressure-fed engine, while the MVac is pump-fed. So even the earliest MVacs were a substantial performance improvement over the Kestrel. The Lightning engine, on the other hand, is pump-fed; a tap-off cycle, just like the Reaver engines on the first stage.
ReaverVac, which the Firefly website says is currently slated for Beta, will apparently have an isp of 325s. That's only 3s better than the Lightning's 322s, a negligible performance improvement
« Last Edit: 10/03/2022 01:41 am by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #955 on: 10/03/2022 03:13 am »
I hope Firefly has her own section because is maybe will be an amazing company...
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #956 on: 10/03/2022 03:53 am »
I hope Firefly has her own section because is maybe will be an amazing company...
It might make sense to combine the NGIS and Firefly sections, since the new Antares will use basically the Beta first stage.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #957 on: 10/03/2022 09:22 am »
I hope Firefly has her own section because is maybe will be an amazing company...
It might make sense to combine the NGIS and Firefly sections, since the new Antares will use basically the Beta first stage.
Id hope if NGIS do buy out Firefly they might keep it as a separate arms length entity rather than just absorbing it into the general NGIS brand.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #958 on: 10/03/2022 10:07 am »
I hope Firefly has her own section because is maybe will be an amazing company...
It might make sense to combine the NGIS and Firefly sections, since the new Antares will use basically the Beta first stage.
Buyout is only guess nobody from NGIS or Firefly have publicly said it will happen. For now they 2 separate companies.

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Re: Firefly Aerospace
« Reply #959 on: 10/03/2022 03:30 pm »
I hope Firefly has her own section because is maybe will be an amazing company...
It might make sense to combine the NGIS and Firefly sections, since the new Antares will use basically the Beta first stage.
Id hope if NGIS do buy out Firefly they might keep it as a separate arms length entity rather than just absorbing it into the general NGIS brand.

How separate has Orbital ATK been? They became Northop Grumman Innovation Systems, and then Northrop Grumman Space Systems, but I don't know how much they integrated with the rest of the company.

For that matter, I don't know how much Firefly would be integrated with the bones of Orbital ATK, if those are themselves separate from the rest. Probably a bit more, honestly, because the second stage of Antares is heritage from Orbital ATK.

 

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