Firefly Aerospace First Test Flight – Official Statement
September 2, 2021 – Today we conducted the first-ever test flight of our Alpha rocket. Prior to the anomaly, we had a nominal countdown and lift off at 6:59 PM local time. While we did not meet all of our mission objectives, we did achieve a number of them: successful first stage ignition, liftoff of the pad, progression to supersonic speed, and we obtained a substantial amount of flight data.
More than two minutes into the flight, Alpha experienced an anomaly resulting in an early end of the mission. At Firefly, our goal is to always look out for the safety of our employees, partners, and community. We are happy to report that there were no injuries associated with the anomaly.
While it’s too early to draw conclusions as to the root cause, we will be diligent in our investigation, in partnership with the FAA and Vandenberg Space Force Base. We will utilize the data we obtained from the test flight and apply it to future missions. Our engineers are currently combing through thousands of lines of ground and flight system telemetry in order to better understand what occurred.
Firefly conducted the first flight test of our Alpha vehicle on September 2, 2021. Although the vehicle did not make it to orbit, the day marked a major advancement for the Firefly team, as we demonstrated that we “arrived” as a company capable of building and launching rockets. We also acquired a wealth of flight data that will greatly enhance the likelihood of Alpha achieving orbit during its second flight. In short, we had a very successful first flight.
We want to thank the teams at Vandenberg Space Force Base and Space Launch Delta 30 for their partnership in this launch and the FAA for their continued support. We will be providing further updates as more information becomes available.
ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE
Firefly is developing a family of launch and in-space vehicles and services that provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability. Firefly’s launch vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to ten metric tons of payload at the lowest cost per kg in the small-launch class. Combined with Firefly’s in-space vehicles, such as the Space Utility Vehicle and Blue Ghost Lunar Lander, Firefly provides the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon or beyond. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, TX.
Credits: Firefly Aerospace