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Firefly-Alpha (Firefly-α)

Firefly-α [Firefly Space Systems]

Firefly-β [Firefly Space Systems]

Firefly is a small liquid fueled orbital launch vehicle, which is being developed by Firefly Aerospace, Inc.. Both stages are Kerosene and LOX fueled and pressurized by Helium.

After Firefly Space Systems, which was developeing the first version of the Firefly launch vehicle, was closed due funding issues as a investor backed out of the Series A funding round, the assets were taken over by the newly formed Firefly Aerospace, Inc., which restarted the Firefly development without using the aerospike design for technical reasons.

The first stage is powered by four of the Firefly built Reaver engines. The second stage is to be propelled by the Lightning engine.

As a launch site for polar orbits, the SLC-2W complex at Vandenberg AFB, which hosted Delta vehicles gefore, is planned to be modified for the Firefly vehicles. For low inclination orbits Cape Canaveral, Florida, has been chosen with SLC-20 as the launch pad.

The basic Firefly Alpha (Firefly-α) vehicle carries up to 1000 kg payloads to low earth orbit. A Firefly Beta (Firefly-β) featuring two more core stages as boosters was to deliver about 4000 kg to low earth orbit at a later date, but was later replaced by an enlarged design without strap-ons.

The maiden launch of the Firefly-Alpha took place on 3 September 2021 but failed to reach orbit.

Note: Although the manufacturer apparently calls the launch vehicle just "Alpha", it will be referred by the name "Firefly Alpha" on this website for practical reasons, as the term "Alpha" would be rather meaningless in the site search.

Version Booster Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Firefly Alpha (Firefly-α) - Stage 1 / 4 × Reaver Stage 2 / Lightning -
Firefly Alpha SUV (Firefly-α SUV) - Stage 1 / 4 × Reaver Stage 2 / Lightning SUV
Firefly Beta (Firefly-β) 2 × Stage 1 / 4 × Reaver Stage 1 / 4 × Reaver Widebody Stage 2 / x × Lightning -
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Firefly-α (Firefly Alpha) 1000 - - - -
Firefly-α SUV (Firefly Alpha SUV) -
Firefly-β (Firefly Beta) 4000 400 - - -
No.  TypNo Type             Serial     Date          LS               Payload 

 1      1  Firefly-Alpha    FLTA001    03.09.2021    Va SLC-2W   F    Serenity / Hiapo / BSS 1 / FossaSat 2 / FossaSat 1b / GENESIS-L / GENESIS-N /
                                                                      Qubik 1 / Qubik 2 / Spinnaker-3/Firefly Capsule 1


Planned

 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.2021    Va SLC-2W        Carbonite 4
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.2022    Va SLC-2W        OTB 2
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        (SSTL)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        (SSTL)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        (SSTL)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        (SSTL)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        (SSTL)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.2021    Va SLC-2W        (Spaceflight Inc. multi satellite launch)
 x      x  Firefly-Alpha               xx.xx.202x    Va SLC-2W        ELaNa TBD (VCLS Demo 2)

 
To be co-manifested:


Failures:

 1: Vehicle underperformed and broke up after 2 min 37 sec into the flight

Launch sites:

CC  = Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA USA
Va  = Vandenberg AFB, California, USA USA
  

References:

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