Firefly Aerospace Announces Formation of Advisory Board

CEDAR PARK, Texas, July 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today the formation of an all-star advisory board. Members of the board act as ambassadors and advocates of Firefly and support the executive and management teams through consultation and strategic analysis. Initial appointments to the Firefly board are Jeff Bingham, Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr., George Nield, and William F. Readdy.

Jeff Bingham brings nearly 40 years of governmental experience to Firefly. Instrumental in shaping space station policy, he served most recently as the senior advisor on space for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He was previously the associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Legislative Affairs. Jeff played a key role in ensuring continued congressional support for the ISS as the legislative coordinator for the International Space Station program.

Robert M. Lightfoot, Jr. had a long and distinguished NASA career. Currently the President of LSINC in Huntsville, AL, Robert served as the Associate Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of NASA, the Agency’s highest ranking civil servant, from 2012 until his retirement in 2018. During that time, he also served as the longest running Acting Administrator in NASA history from January 2017 until April 2018. Prior to his appointment, Robert held other prominent positions, including Director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Manager of the NASA Space Shuttle Propulsion Office.

George Nield has played a critical role in opening space to private industry. As head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, he was responsible for ensuring public safety during all commercial launches and reentries. Previously, George served as manager of the Space Shuttle program flight integration office at NASA Johnson Space Center and as Senior Scientist at the Orbital Sciences Corporation. He holds a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and is a Flight Test Engineering graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School.

William F. Readdy is a veteran astronaut who flew on Space Shuttle missions STS-42, STS-51 and STS-79. He served as NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight Operations, which had oversight for the Johnson, Kennedy, Marshall and Stennis Space Centers as well as program oversight for International Space Station, Space Shuttle, Space Communications and Space Launch Vehicles. Following retirement from NASA in 2005, Readdy has served on the boards of several publicly traded, non-profits and aerospace and technology startups, and served as a chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia until 2016.

Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic said, “We are thrilled to have Jeff, Robert, George, and William join our Firefly team. In addition to their depth and breadth of experience, advisory board members were selected for their desire to become deeply involved in all aspects of the Firefly development program. We expect them to challenge our assumptions and help Firefly avoid the many pitfalls on the path to space. These changemakers have had a huge impact on our industry. Their experience will bring Firefly to a new level and help us to fulfill our mission of providing the reliable, convenient, and frequent access to space that our customers critically require.”

ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE

Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light to medium lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the Moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine, and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.

Firefly Aerospace Welcomes Leslie Kovacs as Vice President of Business Development

CEDAR PARK, Texas, June 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today that Leslie Kovacs has joined Firefly as Vice President of Business Development. Kovacs has over 30 years of space launch industry experience, most recently at United Launch Alliance (ULA) as Director of Executive Branch affairs where he helped shape federal policy and acquisition approaches for the $57B Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. Kovacs will be based in Firefly’s Washington D.C. office.

“Les adds an extraordinary depth of experience to our team,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “He has hands-on launch experience working as an Air Force Space Operations Officer and as an operations manager for Orbital Science’s X-34 and Antares vehicles. Combined with his extensive experience working with the White House, NASA and the Departments of Commerce and Defense, Les brings capabilities and knowledge of Washington executive branch, regulation and procurement affairs to Firefly that are key to supporting our global business development strategy.”

Additional notable accomplishments in Kovacs’ career include acting as a launch controller at Cape Canaveral, developing architectures for Lunar and Martian surface habitation, leading concept of operations efforts for launch vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle and developing the United States Air Force “Spacelift” course, where he instructed classes in orbital mechanics, launch vehicle design and range and flight safety operations. 

Dr. Max Polyakov, Firefly Co-founder, said, “We have assembled a world class team at Firefly and we will continue to aggressively hire top tier individuals as we prepare for our first launch in the third quarter of 2019. We welcome Les to the Firefly family with the knowledge that his extensive experience will further accelerate Firefly’s business development.”

“We are witnessing the transition of space to commercial enterprise. From populating large satellite constellations to the commercialization of cislunar space, the moon and beyond, Firefly is uniquely situated to provide reliable and economical access to space for this burgeoning industry through its Alpha and Beta launch vehicles,” said Leslie Kovacs. “I’m excited to join Firefly in pursuit of our shared vision of ‘Making Space for Everyone’.”

ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE 

Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light to medium lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the Moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited Awards Launch Services Agreement to Firefly Aerospace

CEDAR PARK, Texas, June 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today the execution of a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) for use of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle.

“Firefly is pleased to enter into an LSA with SSTL to provide up to six Alpha launches from 2020 through 2022,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “The Alpha launch vehicle allows for deployment of SSTL satellites as a primary payload to their preferred orbit, rather than flying as a secondary payload on a larger launch vehicle.”

Sarah Parker, SSTL Managing Director, said, “SSTL is delighted to be the first Firefly Aerospace customer to sign an LSA. Our new partnership with Firefly assures SSTL customers convenient, dependable access to space, with certainty of launch opportunities. Starting with CARBONITE-4 in early 2020, we look forward to launching many successful missions together.”

Dr. Max Polyakov, Firefly Co-founder, added that, “The Firefly Alpha program is on schedule for our first launch in the third quarter of 2019. Our mass production processes will enable eight Alpha flights in 2020 and eighteen flights in 2021. This launch cadence will allow Firefly to support missions from SSTL and the many other customers that have expressed interest in the Alpha launch vehicle. Firefly is excited to join with SSTL in opening space to a new generation of entrepreneurs.”

ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE

Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light to medium lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the Moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.

ABOUT SSTL

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) is the world’s leading small satellite company, delivering operational space missions for a range of applications including Earth observation, science, communications, navigation, in-orbit servicing and beyond Earth infrastructure. SSTL designs, manufactures and operates high performance satellites and ground systems for a fraction of the price normally associated with space missions, and employs 500 staff working on turnkey satellite platforms, space-proven satellite avionics, optical instruments and new mission concepts.

Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched more than 50 satellites for 20 international customers, as well as providing training and development programmes, consultancy services, and mission studies for ESA, NASA, international governments and commercial customers. Our innovative approach is changing the economics of space.

Headquartered in Guildford, UK, SSTL is part of Airbus.

www.sstl.co.uk

Firefly Aerospace Opens Research and Development Center in Dnipro, Ukraine

CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today the official opening of its Research and Development (R&D) center in the city of Dnipro, Ukraine (Firefly Ukraine).

Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly currently has additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Tokyo, Japan. The opening of the Dnipro R&D center is a significant milestone towards achieving future Firefly goals.

The new R&D center will further enable the world-class engineering teams at Firefly Aerospace to design and manufacture components of launch vehicles and launch systems. Firefly Ukraine, which will be home to more than 150 employees, is equipped with the largest 3D-printer in Ukraine, intended for industrial manufacturing of high-quality metal parts.

Firefly Aerospace was honored by the presence of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, during the opening ceremony of the Dnipro R&D center.

John Isella, Director of International Business Development for Firefly and a resident of Dnipro said, “Firefly expects to be the first new space company to obtain a US Government Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) facilitating design collaboration between the US and Ukraine. This collaboration, once approved, will leverage the knowledge base in Dnipro and strengthen our business case. Firefly U.S. is looking forward to working with Firefly Ukraine in compliance with all U.S. export control requirements. Both companies have implemented robust programs designed to ensure compliance now and in the future.”

“We plan to launch the first Firefly Alpha in the third quarter of 2019. By 2021, our mass production facilities will support two Alpha launches per month. This will enable our customers to purchase dedicated launches, allowing them to go directly to the orbit of their choosing, according to their schedule,” said Firefly founder Dr. Max Polyakov.

Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic added, “Our US based team is incredibly impressed with the engineering skills and manufacturing capability available in Ukraine. The growth of our company to include these new team members will allow us to dramatically accelerate the pace of development of our future Firefly launch vehicles.”

ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE

Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light to medium lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park, TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.

Firefly Aerospace Receives Statement of Support from the United States Air Force for Use of Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 2 West

CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly), a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced today that the United States Air Force (USAF) has issued a “Statement of Support for the Firefly Aerospace Program, Alpha and Beta Launch Vehicles” to utilize Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) Space Launch Complex 2 West (SLC-2W) for future launches of the Firefly Alpha and Beta launch vehicles.

“Firefly Aerospace is greatly appreciative that NASA and the USAF support the transition of SLC-2W to a commercial launch site dedicated to the launch of Firefly vehicles,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “SLC-2W has been an incredible asset for US space missions for over 50 years. We are humbled and honored that Firefly Alpha and Beta launch vehicles will be adding many successful missions to the already storied history of SLC-2W.”

30th Space Wing Commander, Colonel Michael S. Hough, stated: “We are excited to be currently working with a new launch provider, Firefly, at Vandenberg Air Force Base. This is a new commercial space lift provider seeking to launch commercial satellites from SLC-2W.”

Firefly’s Director of Launch, Brad Obrocto, added: “Converting an active government launch site to commercial operation is substantially less complex and costly than the greenfield development of a new launch site, saving Firefly years of facility development and substantial capex dollars. This enables Firefly to stay on track for Alpha’s first flight by the third quarter of 2019 and ramp up to monthly launches by the end of 2020. The accommodation of Firefly launch by the USAF significantly enhances Firefly’s ability to service the full spectrum of government and commercial customers from one location and advances Firefly’s vision of ‘Making Space for Everyone.’”

ABOUT FIREFLY AEROSPACE

Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light to medium lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta will provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park TX, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C., Dnipro, Ukraine and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.

Contact
Eric Salwan
512-277-6959