Alpha Flight 2 - To The Black

Oct 1st 12:01 AM – 2:00 AM PDT

Mission Summary

To The Black was Firefly’s second technology demonstration flight. We successfully achieved our primary objective to reach orbit and became one of only a handful of U.S. companies with this accomplishment under their belt. As a secondary objective, we successfully deployed our demonstration payloads and tested a stage two relight. The relight met our expectations for the mission, primarily serving as an opportunity to collect data for our next flight while providing valuable scientific and technical data to our demonstration customers. Ultimately, the success of this flight on only our second attempt proved Firefly’s engineering rigor and launch capabilities for government and commercial customers. It was a true testament to the maturity of our technology and the expertise of our team.

Customer: Test launch

Vehicle: Alpha

Flight Number: FLTA002

Launch Date: October 1, 2022, 08:01 UTC

Launch Site: Firefly SLC-2, Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA

Altitude: 300 km

Inclination: 137 deg


Satellite Payloads

Teachers in Space — Serenity

  • Class: 3U CubeSat
  • Dimensions: 32cm x 10cm x 10cm
  • Mass: 1.67Kg


Mission: To collect flight data during the mission and make it available to the educational community for analysis and comparison to data collected on other flights and vehicles.

Typical data collected: Atmospheric pressure, Temperature, and Radiation via a matched pair of Geiger counters, one wrapped in experimental radiation protection material, one unwrapped

NASA TechEdSat-15

  • Class: 3U CubeSat
  • Dimensions: 10cm x 10cm x 34cm
  • Mass: 4.15kg


Mission: The TechEdSat-15 is a three-unit CubeSat that weighs 9.1 pounds and carries experiments that are being advanced in TechEdSat’s Nano-Orbital Workshop (NOW) rapid flight development series.

TechEdSat-15’s primary experiment is a version of an exo-brake intended to survive much higher temperature environments – several hundred degrees – than in previous flights. It will demonstrate the next step forward in nanosatellites’ ability to target an Earth entry point.

The exo-brake is a device that applies drag in Earth’s exosphere – the uppermost reaches of the atmosphere – to slow the speed of a satellite’s descent and change its direction. This experiment will permit the satellite to survive closer-to-peak heating, maintain telemetry, and assess the dynamics as the system enters the top of the atmosphere.

Another experiment on TechEdSat-15 includes the Beacon And Memory Board Interface (BAMBI), which optimizes internal and external data transfer from the nanosatellite.

The TechEdSat-NOW series has multiple research goals including using the exo-brake to de-orbit high-altitude nanosatellites at end of mission to reduce issues related to orbital debris. Additionally, drag modulation has uses for sample return from low-Earth orbit as well as tailoring orbits during aero-pass maneuvers for future planetary applications.

Libre Space Foundation — PicoBus

  • Class: PicoSat Deployer
  • Dimensions: 37cm x 12cm x 15cm
  • Mass: 6.327Kg (including dispenser)


Mission: An 8P Pocketqube deployer to be used to deploy 6 picosatellites into space and test the world’s first fully free and open source telecommunications constellation

GENESIS-G & GENESIS-J (AMSAT Spain). Objective: Technology demonstration for radio-amateurs, electrospray thruster & test platform to build heritage for future missions.

FOSSASAT-1B. Objective: Communication & Remote sensing Technology Demonstrator of LoRa telecommunications, ADCS demonstration, & low-resolution earth imager experiment.

Qubik-1 & Qubik-2 (Libre Space). Objective: Communication Technology Demonstrator performing multiple telecommunication experiments

How to Watch

Everyday Astronaut will, once again, be live streaming our launch, beginning approximately 90 mins prior to our scheduled launch time. Please check this page and our social channels for updates as we get closer to the launch date, or enter your email in the subscribe link below.