Ukrainian-American company “Firefly” successfully tested “Alpha” rocket engines

Saturday, August 28, 2021
Ukrainian-American company “Firefly” successfully tested “Alpha” rocket engines

The company announced that it has reached the final stage of preparation for the launch of the rocket

Firefly Aerospace, an American rocket and space technology company owned by Ukrainian businessman Maxim Polyakov, conducted the final ground test of the Alpha launch vehicle before launch.

According to the company on Friday, the team is currently processing the received data and preparing for the first launch of the rocket, tentatively scheduled for September 2 from the SLC-2W launch pad at the Space Forces base in Vandenberg, USA.

“I am very glad that the company, in which I believed in 2017, successfully conducted this pre-launch test. Now we are entering the final stage of preparation for the launch of the rocket, and the projects selected under the program to popularize the exact sciences will reach space,” Polyakov said.

The company notes that as part of the first launch, the Alpha rocket will launch into orbit not only a commercial payload but also academic and educational projects of the winners of the Dream specialized program aimed at promoting the exact sciences.

Among the program participants, 26 projects from seven countries were selected, including children's drawings and satellites from the best universities and non-profit organizations from around the world.

Firefly Aerospace previously signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with equipment and avionics company Adaptive Launch Solutions (ALS), which includes four Alpha launches starting in 2021.

The Ukrainian company Space Electric Thruster Systems (SETS) will provide the SPS-25 propulsion system for the debut launch of the Alpha rocket.

Firefly Aerospace was restarted in 2017 by Ukrainian Maxim Polyakov, including it in Noosphere Ventures.

Firefly is currently focused on getting into orbit, but the global vision is to be a space company that deals with the entire spectrum of work in space, from building satellites to putting them into orbit and analyzing the resulting data.

In addition to the Alpha and Beta rockets, Firefly Aerospace is working on an orbiting vehicle (OTV) - known as a space tug to deliver satellites from a rocket to a specific orbit - and a lunar lander called Genesis for NASA.

Firefly is headquartered in Texas with offices in Washington, Tokyo, and the Dnieper. Funding for Firefly is provided by the Noosphere Ventures venture fund, founded by Polyakov, a native of Ukraine, known primarily for projects in the IT sector.

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