Author Topic: Firefly Space : Company and Development General Thread  (Read 464664 times)

Online zubenelgenubi

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Any news if Flight 3 is still on track for January?  Hard to get excited for Flight 4 in April if three doesnt make it in time. 

Will be impressed if they can hit a quarterly cadence this year tho.
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=119834&RequestTimeout=1000
Per this link, the start date is now listed as 02/01/23, so it's NET February now
I have seen this one, but the description section still lists "January 2023" as the current launch date, hence the confusion.
Salo updated the listing today.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/firefly_space/status/1615772312405426193

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We’re honored to have former @NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on our advisory board. Get his insights on the Artemis program and why he sees Firefly as more than just another launch company in an interview with @Ryandoofy on @payloadspace’s Pathfinder:


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/firefly_space/status/1618715496999788558

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2023 is primed to be an exciting year with innovative missions from @NASA and @SpaceForceDoD.  As the launch provider for USSR VICTUS NOX, we'll help demonstrate how to rapidly respond to threats by launching a satellite into orbit with 24-hour notice.

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https://twitter.com/firefly_space/status/1618715496999788558

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2023 is primed to be an exciting year with innovative missions from @NASA and @SpaceForceDoD.  As the launch provider for USSR VICTUS NOX, we'll help demonstrate how to rapidly respond to threats by launching a satellite into orbit with 24-hour notice.
That tweet was deleted and replaced with the following...probably because the VICTUS NOX mission wasn't backed by the USSR.

https://twitter.com/Firefly_Space/status/1618722793503481856

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1623118631893712897

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Firefly Aerospace's Bill Weber says in a small launch vehicle panel at #smallsatsymposium they're preparing for an Alpha launch for a responsive space mission in May; after that, perform launches every two months.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/firefly_space/status/1628167792087146499

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Another beautiful Texas sunset highlights our Alpha rocket test stand as the team prepares multiple launches this year.  Testing each launch vehicle before it flies is key to our mission success.

Offline catdlr

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Alpha Rocket - Test What We Fly



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Feb 27, 2023
Our team completed engine and stage testing on another Alpha rocket, and we are GO for launch integration. Firefly’s in-house, “test what we fly” approach further ensures mission success.
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Offline Ultimograph5

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Page for MLV has been updated. https://fireflyspace.com/mlv/

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Our medium launch vehicle (MLV) will fill a void in the medium-lift market by providing a 100% US-made solution that’s more responsive to national security, civil, and commercial space needs. With the first flight scheduled for 2025, MLV will be capable of launching 14,000 kg to lower Earth orbit with a 5-meter class payload fairing that can be customized based on customer needs. The vehicle will deliver payloads at a comparable cost per kilogram to existing reusable rockets while enabling direct deliveries to customers’ preferred orbits.

MLV will utilize the Firefly-manufactured Antares 330 first stage that’s powered by seven Firefly Miranda engines and a new liquid upper stage incorporating one Miranda derived vacuum engine. The vehicle will utilize technologies from Firefly’s flight-proven Alpha vehicle, such as all carbon composite structures and tap-off cycle engines, and will evolve into a reusable vehicle.
Always watching mostly quietly

Online trimeta

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I wonder if that 14k kg payload number is with or without reuse. I have to assume it's expendable, because although the page mentions "will evolve into a reusable vehicle," that doesn't seem like something which would be reflected in the topline numbers. Then again, Rocket Lab's page on Neutron has 13k kg payload to LEO as its topline number, but that's actually their downstream recovery number (Neutron is 15k kg to LEO expendable). I guess Neutron's page talks a lot more about reuse as the default assumption, though.

Offline TrevorMonty

They said price ($kg) competitive with existing RLVs ie F9R. I estimate is $30-40m expendable.

Offline DeimosDream

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They said price ($kg) competitive with existing RLVs ie F9R. I estimate is $30-40m expendable.
That seems optimistic, especially when Alpha already starts at $15M+. I read this as $67M / 16 ton * 14 ton = $55-60m expendable. (A pessimistic view might even take the 'while enabling direct delivery' bit to imply MLV-expended $/kg will be competitive with F9's rideshare rate of $5.5K/kg giving ~$75m.)

So cheaper than Antares 230 or Vulcan VC0 while delivering better performance than both. That's pretty good by expended standards, but may not be good enough with Neutron and Terran-R both promising a first-flight in 2024.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-picks-firefly-aerospace-for-robotic-delivery-to-far-side-of-moon

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Mar 14, 2023
RELEASE 23-026

NASA Picks Firefly Aerospace for Robotic Delivery to Far Side of Moon

To carry multiple payloads to the far side of the Moon including a satellite to orbit that area, NASA has selected Firefly Aerospace of Cedar Park, Texas. The commercial lander will deliver two agency payloads, as well as communication and data relay satellite for lunar orbit, which is an ESA (European Space Agency) collaboration with NASA.

The contract award, for just under $112 million, is a commercial lunar delivery targeted to launch in 2026 through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, initiative, and part of the agency’s Artemis program.

This delivery targets a landing site on the far side of the Moon for the two payloads, a place that permanently faces away from Earth. Scientists consider this one of the best locations in the solar system for making radio observations shielded from the noise generated by our home planet. The sensitive observations need to take place during the fourteen earth-day long lunar night.

One of these payloads delivered to the lunar surface aims to take advantage of this radio-quiet zone to make low-frequency astrophysics measurements of the cosmos – focusing on a time known as the “Dark Ages,” a cosmic era that began some 370,000 years after the Big Bang and lasted until the first stars and galaxies formed. Since there is no line of sight and no direct communication with Earth from the far side of the Moon, Firefly also is required to provide communication services.

“NASA continues to look at ways to learn more about our universe,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Going to the lunar far side will help scientists understand some of the fundamental physics processes that occurred during the early evolution of the universe.”

Firefly is responsible for end-to-end delivery services, including payload integration, delivery from Earth to the surface and orbit of the Moon, and NASA payload operations for the first lunar day. This is the second award to Firefly under the CLPS initiative. This award is the ninth surface delivery task award issued to a CLPS vendor, and the  second to the far side.

“We look forward to Firefly providing this CLPS delivery,” said Joel Kearns, the deputy associate administrator for exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “This lunar landing should enable new scientific discoveries from the far side of the Moon during the lunar night. This particular group of payloads should not only generate new science but should be a pathfinder for future investigations exploiting this unique vantage point in our solar system.”

The three payloads slated for delivery are expected to weigh in total about 1,090 pounds (494.5 kilograms). These payloads are:

Lunar Surface Electromagnetics Experiment-Night (LuSEE-Night): A pathfinder to understand the Moon’s radio environment and to potentially take a first look at a previously unobserved era in our cosmic history. It will use deployable antennas and radio receivers to observe sensitive radio waves from the Dark Ages for the first time. LuSEE-Night, is a collaboration between the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of California, Berkeley, Space Science Laboratory, and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. It is managed for NASA by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Lunar Pathfinder: A communications and data relay satellite that will provide communication services to lunar missions via S-band and UHF links to lunar assets on the surface and in orbit around the Moon and an X-band link to Earth. ESA’s Lunar Pathfinder is designed and developed by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. ESA collaborated with NASA for delivery through the CLPS initiative.
User Terminal (UT): This payload will institute a new standard for S-Band Proximity-1 space communication protocol and establish space heritage. It will be used to commission the Lunar Pathfinder and ensure its readiness to provide communications service to LuSEE-Night. It consists of software-defined radio, an antenna, a network switch, and a sample data source. UT is in development by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Commercial deliveries to the lunar surface with several providers continue to be part of NASA’s exploration efforts. Future CLPS deliveries could include more science experiments and technology demonstrations that further support the agency’s Artemis program.

Learn more about CLPS at:

http://www.nasa.gov/CLPS

-end-

Image caption:

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Rendering of Firefly’s Blue Ghost transfer vehicle deploying the European Space Agency’s Lunar Pathfinder satellite to lunar orbit. ESA’s Lunar Pathfinder is designed and developed by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited. ESA collaborated with NASA for delivery through the CLPS initiative.
Credits: Firefly Aerospace
« Last Edit: 03/14/2023 07:11 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Other renders of the mission.
I publish information in Spanish about space and rockets.
www.x.com/conexionspacial

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/firefly_space/status/1639267517171396608

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Spencer Kelly and his team at @BBCClick got a behind-the-scenes look at our Texas-based rocket test & production site (a.k.a. the Rocket Ranch). Catch the episode today on BBC World News at 2:30 pm CDT: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n13xtmd5/broadcasts/upcoming @spenley

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/spenley/status/1639566449659224065

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We had a blast @Firefly_Space filming a hot fire rocket test in super slow-mo - results at the end of the video. Massive thanks to @GavinFree @TheSlowMoGuys for lending us his camera! Full story @BBCClick this weekend

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001kfnd/click-rockets-and-rambling

Offline catdlr

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https://twitter.com/spenley/status/1639566449659224065

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We had a blast @Firefly_Space filming a hot fire rocket test in super slow-mo - results at the end of the video. Massive thanks to @GavinFree @TheSlowMoGuys for lending us his camera! Full story @BBCClick this weekend

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001kfnd/click-rockets-and-rambling

Requires the BBC Iplayer which is not available in the US. Maybe sometime in the future, we can view this on the Slow Mo Guys YouTube site.
https://www.youtube.com/@theslowmoguys/videos
« Last Edit: 03/26/2023 10:09 pm by catdlr »
It's Tony De La Rosa, ...I don't create this stuff, I just report it.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1641557537076985858

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At @ascendspace Firefly CEO Bill Weber says the company is in the middle of a capital raise right now. Says it's not the most enjoyable experience in the world.

Virgin Orbit has gone today but plenty more to follow.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Yes, sorry to say it but you are right.  We already had Masten go down.  There are other launcher and space services companies who could easily go the same way.

Offline Robotbeat

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I actually think Firefly has a good shot of survival because they're providing the first stage for the new Antares. Northrop Grumman would buy their assets in the worst case.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online trimeta

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I actually think Firefly has a good shot of survival because they're providing the first stage for the new Antares. Northrop Grumman would buy their assets in the worst case.
Personally, I think "get acquired by Northrop Grumman" is also their best case.

 

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