Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

Firefly (Aerospike version)

Firefly-α [Firefly Space Systems]
(Ground launch concept)

Firefly-β [Firefly Space Systems]

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

The first stage is powered by the Firefly built FRE-2 engine, which consists of eight nozzles in a plug cluster aerospike configuration. The second stage is be propelled by the FRE-1 engine, which uses a conventional bell nozzle.

A launch site has not yet been selected

The basic Firefly-α (Firefly Alpha) vehicle carries up to 400 kg payloads to low earth orbit.

The upgraded Firefly-β (Firefly Beta), to be introduced at a later date, uses two strap ons, also with plug cluster aerospike engines.

Firefly had reportedly signed an initial launch contract with an unnamed customer for four launches.

The design was apparently changed in April 2016 to an air-launched design. It is unclear, which carrier aircraft was to be used, but as connection to Stratolaunch has been rumoured.

In October 2016, Firefly Space Systems announced a setback on the funding they expected due to an investor backeing out of the Series A funding round. Also there was a lawsuit with Virgin Galactic concerning intellectual property rights. Firefly Space Systems has furloughed its entire staff. The future of this project remains somewhat unsure. Apparently the company was closed permanently in late 2016 with the assets auctioned off in March 2017 to the newly formed Firefly Aerospace, Inc., who restarted the Firefly development without using the aerospike propulsion system. The new rocket is also known as Firefly-α.

Version Strap-On Stage 1 Stage 2
Firefly-α - Stage 1 / FRE-2 Stage 2 / FRE-1
Firefly-β ? / FRE-? Stage 1 / FRE-2 Stage 2 / FRE-1
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Firefly-α 400 200 - - - -
Firefly-β - - - -
No.  TypNo Type             Date          LS               Payload 





Launch sites:

CC  = Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA USA ?


Cite this page: