Firefly Aerospace signed an agreement with the US Space Forces

Firefly Aerospace has entered into an agreement with the US Space Forces to test a rapid response space system. It will also create a medium-class carrier together with Northrop Grumman.

On October 1, the Alpha rocket was successfully launched. Source: Firefly Aerospace/Everyday Astronaut

New Firefly Aerospace Agreement with Space Forces

After the successful launch of its Alpha rocket on October 1, Firefly Aerospace is on the rise. It became known that a day before this event, it signed an agreement with the US Space Forces to conduct a demonstration launch of a rapid response space system

The Tactically Responsive Space TacRS-3 program was announced by the US military in the spring. Then it was announced that they were looking for a private company that would be able to launch a small satellite into orbit within 24 hours after receiving a request from them.

In a tough competition, it was Firefly Aerospace that won this important contract. Now it is Alpha that will become the rocket that, at the command of the Space Forces, will launch the Millennium Space small satellite into a given orbit within a day. According to the company’s president, Jason Mello, who served in the US Air Force less than a year ago, engineers are now discussing the details of how this can be ensured.

Now Alpha can put 1,170 kilograms of cargo into low-Earth orbit, but, according to Mello, a new version is already being prepared for testing. Its load capacity has been increased to 1400 kg. The next launch of the current version of the rocket is planned to take place before the end of this year. This will be a demonstration mission of the Venture Class Launch Service Demonstration 2, which Firefly Aerospace will carry out in the interests of NASA.

The Alpha rocket is preparing for launch. Source:

Cooperation with Northrop Grumman

In addition, it is known that back in August, Northrop Grumman chose Firefly Aerospace as a partner in the development of its medium-class carrier. It will be called Antares 330 and will allow putting a cargo weighing up to 13 tons into low-Earth orbit.

In fact, it will be a completely redesigned version of those Antares missiles that are currently in use. Instead of Russian and Ukrainian-made engines, which are now installed on its lower stage, seven Firefly Miranda engines will be used.

Northrop Grumman and Firefly Aerospace do not hide that the main purpose of creating a new carrier is military orders. The companies are seeking to win contracts to launch military satellites in the third phase of the national program of their deployment, which will begin in 2024.

In the previous similar competition, which was held in 2020, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX won. These agreements brought them stability at a time when startups that experienced a rise in 2021 faced a lot of problems in 2022.

According to

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