Firefly Aerospace Ready for Urgent Launch on Military Demand

Firefly Aerospace and Millennium Space Systems are ready to conduct trials of Victus Nox. At any moment, a signal can come from the U.S. military, upon which they must launch a satellite into the designated orbit within 24 hours.

Firefly Aerospace team ready for launch. Source: Firefly

Launch within 24 hours

Representatives of Firefly Aerospace, which was once rescued by Ukrainian businessman Max Polyakov, announced on June 30 that they are ready to launch a military satellite within 24 hours. Last year, they were selected, together with Millennium Space Systems, for testing under the Victus Nox program.

Its goal is generally formulated as “the launch of a private company’s satellite at the request of the Ministry of Defense within 24 hours.” Although in reality, the program is divided into several stages with unprecedented tight deadlines that the companies must meet.

According to the plan, the Ministry of Defense must first send a request for launch preparation. Upon receiving it, Firefly Aerospace has 60 hours to deliver the carrier and the satellite developed by Millennium Space Systems to the spaceport.

After this, at any moment, a message with specified orbit parameters should come from the Pentagon. From this moment, the company will have 24 hours to launch the satellite. Then, Millennium has an additional 48 hours to establish communication with it.

How such speed is achieved

Overall, the entire process from issuing the command to prepare for communication with the spacecraft in orbit is supposed to take 132 hours. It might seem like a considerable amount of time. However, no one has tried to launch even a ready satellite faster than in a matter of weeks or months.

So, although the start of preparation for testing was announced last autumn, readiness for it was declared only now. Throughout this time, Firefly Aerospace experts were engaged in training, which included packaging and delivering a satellite model to the Firefly integration center at Vandenberg Space Force Base, static testing, and manufacturing everything necessary.

“We will set a new standard by proving that nominal launch operations can be completed in a matter of hours, not weeks or months,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace.