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 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, possibly resulting from the 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 contestted aerospike propulsion system.
|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|
No. TypNo Type Date LS Payload
none Planned none Launch sites: CC = Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Eastern Test Range, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA ?