Firefly Aerospace reaches orbit with new Alpha rocket

Date:


A brand new aerospace firm reached orbit with its second rocket launch and deployed a number of small satellites on Saturday.

Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Area Pressure Base, California, in early morning darkness and arced over the Pacific.

“100% mission success,” Firefly tweeted later.

A day earlier, an try and launch abruptly ended when the countdown reached zero. The primary-stage engines ignited however the rocket mechanically aborted the liftoff.

The rocket’s payload included a number of small satellites designed for quite a lot of expertise experiments and demonstrations, in addition to instructional functions.

The mission, dubbed “To The Black,” was the corporate’s second demonstration flight of its entry into the marketplace for small satellite tv for pc launchers.

The primary Alpha was launched from Vandenberg on Sept. 2, 2021, however didn’t attain orbit.

One of many 4 first-stage engines shut down prematurely however the rocket continued upward on three engines into the supersonic realm the place it tumbled uncontrolled.

The rocket was then deliberately destroyed by an explosive flight termination system.

Firefly Aerospace stated the untimely shutdown was traced to {an electrical} concern, however that the rocket had in any other case carried out nicely and helpful information was obtained in the course of the almost 2 1/2 minutes of flight.

Alpha is designed to hold payloads weighing as a lot as 2,579 kilos (1,170 kilograms) to low Earth orbit.

Different opponents within the burgeoning small-launch market embrace Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit, each headquartered in Lengthy Seaside, California.

Firefly Aerospace, primarily based in Cedar Park, Texas, can be planning a bigger rocket, a car for in-space operations and a lander for carrying NASA and business payloads to the floor of the moon.


New rocket firm fails to attain launch on 2nd try


Extra info:
firefly.com/alpha/

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Firefly Aerospace reaches orbit with new Alpha rocket (2022, October 2)
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