EDIT 1: launch scrubbed. Next opportunity 12.09.22; 22:00 UTC.
EDIT 2: second scrub. no new launch date as of now
Firefly’s first attempt to reach orbit ended in a spectacular fireball. The reason was an electrical connection that failed 15 seconds into the flight:
Firefly Aerospace: Firefly Alpha FLTA001
Scott Manley goes deeper into what went wrong during the first launch:
Reaver Causes Destruction of FireFly
Firefly Aerospace is a new competitor in the small sat launch arena. It can carry payloads of up to 1000 kg to low Earth orbit, from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
Like the Electron rocket by Rocket Lab, it is entirely made out of carbon composites, but larger. Even more interesting is that the engines will run on a tap-off cycle. An engine type that has never gone orbital before.
|Rocket||Height [m]||Diameter [m]||Payload to SSO [kg]|
Firefly is carrying a 35 kg payload to a 300 km low Earth orbit at a 137° inclination.
The payload consists of many small sats, mostly replacements that got destroyed during the first launch attempt.
There has been a lot of movement in the space industry since the end of February 2022. Getting Russian made rockets on the international market has become an issue. This opened an opportunity for Firefly to build a new first stage for Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket. Antares ferries cargo on the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Firefly Will Replace Russian Engines On Antares Rocket With Beta Booster
Where to watch:
- Tim Dodd will be commentating the official stream: Watch Firefly's Second Orbital Launch Attempt Of Their Alpha Rocket!
Check your local time at: www.timeanddate.com
Cost-Plus Content: Firefly Aerospace: How the Alpha Rocket Will Change the Small-Sat Market
Tim Dodd: Who will be the KING of the Small Sat Launchers?!
Useful links to stay up to date on launches:
Spaceflightnow.com: Launch Schedule
Everyday Astronaut: Prelaunch Previews
NASA Spaceflight nasaspacefight.com
Vote for my witness: @blue-witness
Posted with STEMGeeks