Repeatable Reliability for Your Mission
Firefly’s small launch vehicle, Alpha, provides more responsive, reliable, and affordable launch services for commercial, civil, and national security missions.
Using flight-proven rocket technologies, Alpha is 100% manufactured in America and is the only U.S. orbital rocket ready to take customers to space in its launch class. Alpha’s pump-fed, regeneratively-cooled engines use Firefly’s patented tap-off cycle that removes the need for excess engine components. This simple design allows us to reduce weight and launch more mass to orbit while maintaining the reliability of the rocket. Firefly also utilizes advanced carbon-fiber composites for Alpha’s entire airframe and cryogenic propellant tanks, enabling a strong, lightweight vehicle.
With dedicated launch facilities at the Vandenberg Space Force Base, Firefly is also expanding operations on the east coast at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to support flexible launch options.
LEO, 300 km
SSO, 500 km
PAYLOAD FAIRING HEIGHT
PAYLOAD FAIRING DIAMETER
LOX / RP–1
Alpha baseline payload envelope with baseline payload adapter
Alpha utilizes well established propulsion technology. Both stages use common designs: copper regen-cooled LOx/RP-1 thrust chambers, a simple tap-off cycle which drives single shaft turbopumps, nozzle-mounted turbine exhaust manifolds, and hydraulic actuators. Innovations in Firefly engines include our simple “Crossfire” injector, tap-off geometry, dual-mounted electrically actuated, trimmable propellant main valves, and ultra-compact horizontal turbopump mounting. The upper stage engine, “Lightning,” includes a turbine-exhaust cooled refractory metal high area ratio nozzle extension. The first stage “Reaver” engines feature simple single axis gimballing. Consistent with the overall Alpha vehicle design, cost and performance are traded and optimized in Lightning and Reaver components to provide the best payload performance value.
Firefly utilizes advanced carbon-fiber composites for the entire airframe of Alpha, including the state-of-the-art, linerless, cryogenic propellant tanks. Composite materials are ideally suited to launch vehicle structures due to their high strength, low density and tailorable material properties. This allows Firefly Alpha to lift heavier payloads than a similar metal rocket.
Firefly avionics hardware, such as the flight computer and communication system, utilizes a combination of custom designed and Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) components with established flight heritage. Data Acquisition is accomplished using a modular Data Acquisition Chassis, which provides analog to digital conversion of all sensor data, and further packages the data and transmits to the Flight Computer via an onboard Ethernet network. The Flight Computer incorporates all vehicle telemetry and transmits data along with video to various Earth ground stations along the flight trajectory, for the duration of the flight.