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Firefly Aerospace successfully qualifies new rocket stage

November 29th, 2019 - With the major successes of commercial launch providers such as Space X or Rocket Lab, in 2019, it is extremely easy to overlook progress being made by smaller Aerospace corporations within the Industry. Austin, Texas based company, Firefly Aerospace; which achieved recognition in February of this year for their 20 year lease of historic Launch Complex-20 in Florida; has completed yet another major milestone before the decade's looming end. Announced to the public via twitter, Firefly has recently completed the qualifications necessary for the second stage of their first proposed launch vehicle, the Firefly Alpha. Alpha, is a SmallSat rocket designed to deliver small payloads efficiently to orbit, proposed at one of the industries smallest price points, just $15 million per launch. The rocket is expected to loft up 1,000kg into Low Earth Orbit, starting in 2020. The second stage of the Alpha, is the stage most responsible for delivering payloads into intended trajectories, once the craft is in space. It is composed of a single, turbo-pump fed, liquid fueled engine deemed, Lightning-1, produced in house by Firefly. The particular build of the second stage, which recently qualified on Test Stand-1, fired for a total duration of 949 seconds, testing not one, but two flight cycles, as well as a simulated coat phase followed by the engine being re-lit, and continuing to burn before successfully shutting down. Testing of the Lightning-1 second stage began in March of 2018. For more on all things Space, Rockets, and Firefly, stay tuned right here to

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