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Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace is a company founded in 2014 by Max Polyakov, Michael Blum and Thomas Markusic .

Firefly Aerospace is an aerospace company developing space launch vehicles for sending small and medium-sized payloads into space. The company is headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, and was founded in 2014 by Maureen Gannon, Max Polyakov, Michael Blum, PJ King, and Thomas Markusic.

Firefly Space Systems is a company that has a focus on the design and production of aerospace launch vehicles. Firefly Aerospace Inc. was founded in Austin, TX, to design, manufacture, and operate launch vehicles. Firefly is majority-owned by Noosphere Ventures as of March 16, 2017.

It was announced in October 2018 that Firefly Aerospace would work with York Space Systems to develop integrated launch services and spacecraft mission solutions. The company has several projects designed for small-satellite use, orbital transfer vehicle, reusable vehicles, and launch facilities. They look to promote STEM efforts through their DREAM initiative, or the Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission.

Firefly Alpha

Firefly Alpha is a launch vehicle developed by Firefly Aerospace for getting small satellites into space. It can deliver up to 1 metric ton into low earth orbit (LEO) and 630kg into 500km sun-synchronous orbit (SSO).

The rocketship has a 1.8m stage-one diameter, a 1.8m stage 2 diameter, a 2m payload fairing diameter, and a 29m overall length. Its stage 1 propulsion system uses the 4x reaver 1 engine, LOX/RP-1 as propellent, a turbopump propellant feed, 4 combustors, and has a thrust of 736.1 kN and an ISP (VAC) of 295.6 seconds. Its stage 2 propulsion system uses the 1X Lightning 1 engine, LOX/RP-1 propellant, 1 combustor, and has a thrust of 70.1 kN and an ISP (VAC) of 322 seconds.

Firefly Beta

Firefly Beta is a launch vehicle developed by Firefly Aerospace for delivering payloads up to 4,000kg to a 200km LEO, 3,000kg to SSEO, or delivering payloads to geosynchronous transfer orbits. Firefly Beta is the lowest cost per kg to deliver payloads into space that are under 4,000kg.

It has a 1.8m stage 1 diameter, a 2.8m stage 2 diameter, and payload fairing diameter of 2.8m, and an overall length of 31m. Its stage 1 propulsion system uses the 3X Alpha Stage 1 core, LOX/RP-1 as a propellant, a turbopump propellant feed, 12 combustors, and has a thrust of 2,208 kN and an ISP (VAC) of 295.6 seconds. The Stage 2 propulsion system uses the 1X Lightning 2 engine, LOX/RP-1 as a propellant, the turbopump propellant feed, 1 combustor, and has a thrust of 163 kN and an ISP (VAC) of 324 seconds.

Acquired by
Noosphere Ventures

On March 16, 2017, Firefly Aerospace was acquired by Noosphere Ventures for an undisclosed amount of money. Noosphere bought the majority of Firefly Aerospace assets and intellectual property in an auction held on March 16, 2017, in Menlo Park, California.


May 4, 2021
Firefly Aerospace raises $75M Series A at a $1B+ valuation, plus $100M in secondary sale.

June 2016
Firefly Aerospace raises a $19,100,000 series A round from SeedInvest.
October 2014
Firefly Aerospace raises a $463,000 venture round.
April 2014
Firefly Aerospace raises a $2,000,000 venture round from Dylan Taylor and SK Ventures.
March 2014
Firefly Aerospace raises a $1,600 seed round.

Funding rounds



Brad Obrocto

Brad Schneider

Gary Lantz

Joel Waldrum

Les Kovacs

Robb Kulin

Sarah Hinze

Shea Ferring

Tom Markusic


Further reading


About - Firefly Aerospace


Dream - Firefly Aerospace


Genesis - Firefly Aerospace


Launch-alpha - Firefly Aerospace


Launch-beta - Firefly Aerospace


Launch-gamma - Firefly Aerospace


Documentaries, videos and podcasts





Richard Speed
September 6, 2021
'Arrived' back on the planet quite a bit sooner than expected, sure
September 3, 2021
VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - A privately designed, unmanned rocket built...
Richard Speed and Katyanna Quach
September 3, 2021
Firefly Aerospace rounds out a wobbly week for rocket fanciers
September 3, 2021
Firefly Aerospace's Alpha rocket was "terminated" over the Pacific Ocean Thursday night after suffering an "anomaly" off the California coast.
The Associated Press
September 3, 2021
ABC News
A privately designed, unmanned rocket built to carry satellites into orbit exploded in a fireball off the California coast
September 3, 2021
VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) -- A rocket launched by Firefly Aerospace, the latest entrant in the New Space sector, exploded minutes after lifting off from the central California coast on Thursday, officials said.
Science X staff
August 31, 2021
A drag sail that a team at Purdue University developed to pull launch vehicles in space back to Earth is scheduled to undergo a test launch on Thursday (Sept. 2).
Craig S. Smith
May 25, 2021
High-performance cloud computing has allowed start-ups to develop prototypes and run simulations -- including one to the moon -- that were previously done on supercomputers.
Laura Dobberstein
May 21, 2021
Series of 8 spin-torque oscillators improves efficiency, but parallel design better for wireless transmission
Richard Speed
May 21, 2021
Another NASA-awarded mission. Lucky those first stages are reusable, eh?
Darrell Etherington
May 20, 2021
Firefly Aerospace may be developing rockets of its own, but it's also simultaneously building Blue Ghost, its first lunar lander. Blue Ghost will hop a ride with a rocket from a different launch company -- SpaceX -- in 2023, the companies announced today. While Firefly Aerospace is in the process of developing its own launch [...]
Darrell Etherington
May 4, 2021
Firefly Aerospace has raised a total of $175 million, across a $75 million Series A round that valued the company north of $1 billion, and a $100 million secondary transaction which consisted of the sale of holdings held by primary Firefly investor Noosphere Ventures. The launch startup also announced that it intends to raise another [...]
Devin Coldewey
February 4, 2021
NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace with a $93.3 million contract to take a lunar lander module loaded with experiments to the surface of the Moon. While the company will not be performing the launch itself, it will be providing the spacecraft and "Blue Ghost" lander for the 2023 mission. The space agency made the award [...]
February 4, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- NASA has awarded Firefly Aerospace of Cedar Park, Texas, approximately $93.3 million to deliver a suite of 10 science investigations and...
Eric Berger
February 3, 2021
Ars Technica
Out: Max Polyakov. In: Two senior US government officials.
Brent Wistrom
June 30, 2020
For more, we cut to Firefly Aerospace, a Cedar Park-based rocket launching startup with a rocket testing platform just north of Cedar Park in Briggs.


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