Firefly Aerospace is preparing for the second launch of the Alpha rocket

Firefly Aerospace plans to carry out the second launch of its Alpha rocket in the next month or two. They are waiting for a decision from the Federal Aviation Administration and are preparing new contracts with NASA.

Alpha rocket. Source: Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace is preparing for a new launch of the Alpha rocket

Firefly Aerospace is preparing to launch its Alpha rocket in late August or early September. This will be the second attempt to launch this carrier. The first one, which took place in September last year, passed normally until an anomaly was detected in the third minute, due to which a command to self-destruct was transmitted from the flight control center.

The new Alpha is now on the company’s launch pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base. Engineers are completing all the preparatory work. According to the company’s executive director Peter Schumacher, they expect to launch within the next 45-60 days. According to him, the rocket is ready for launch, but we still need to conduct fire tests and a dress rehearsal.

But the matter is not limited to technical issues alone. Firefly Aerospace is awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). And there they are waiting for a simulation of a rocket explosion in the event of a new accident. The previous case significantly frightened this organization. After all, the scattering of debris was not as expected and some of them fell near populated areas.

Waiting for new contracts

Once FAA approval is received, Firefly Aerospace will be looking for a launch opportunity in the busy schedule of the airbase ​​Vandenberg. It all comes down to government launches, also scheduled for the end of summer. If they are not rescheduled, the Alpha launch will take place in the first weeks of September. If they are postponed, then a private rocket can be launched in the last days of summer.

In general, the company is positive. If this launch is successful, the next one should take place in November. This mission will also be a test and several cubesats will be put into orbit within its framework.

And in the future, launches should become regular. According to Schumacher, the company plans six launches already in 2023. Firefly Aerospace is quite capable of producing a new rocket every 2-3 months. Therefore, it expects new contracts, in particular from NASA.

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