About Us

Making Space for Everyone

Our Mission

As an end-to-end space transportation company, Firefly Aerospace is on a mission to enable our world to launch, land, and operate in space – anywhere, anytime. Our small- to medium-lift launch vehicles, lunar landers, and orbital vehicles provide more affordable, responsive, and reliable space access for government and commercial customers. We achieve this by utilizing advanced carbon composite structures, patented propulsion technologies, and common components across our vehicles that allow us to scale efficiencies, improve reliability, and lift heavier payloads at a lower cost.

Our Vision

Looking ahead, Firefly’s evolving line of launch vehicles and spacecraft will provide more affordable and reliable access to space while allowing us to support more advanced missions. This includes responsive launch, deorbit, and reentry services in LEO; in-space mobility, logistics, and payload hosting in GEO; lunar deliveries, sample return, and relay services in cislunar space; and transport services to nearby planets such as Mars and Venus.

 

Firefly Vision

 

Our Team

With nearly 700 employees, Firefly is quickly growing to support regular launches, on-orbit missions, and lunar landings. This passionate, hardworking team rapidly and continuously innovates to make our customers successful and unlock space for humanity.

Our Leaders

Our leadership team combines the best knowledge and experience from both heritage and new space organizations. We’re also supported by an industry-leading board of directors and advisory board to further drive innovation and growth.

Senior Leadership

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Weber

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Weber is a multi-time CEO who has spent the entirety of his career leading people in high growth technology environments, solving some of the world’s most difficult problems. He most recently founded First Light Acquisition Group, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company that completed at $230M public raise in September 2021 (NYSE: FLAG). Prior to First Light, Bill served as president, CEO, and board member of KeyW Corporation, a 2,000+ person, $500M publicly traded company (NASDAQ: KEYW), President and COO of XLA, a privately-held national security and diplomacy technology firm, and President of Kaseman, a technology services firm providing foreign policy assistance to the U.S. government. A veteran U.S. Army Captain and Airborne Ranger, Bill was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during Operation Desert Storm. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington University and is a graduate of The Executive Program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He currently serves on the board of America’s Warrior Partnership.

Chief Financial Officer

Darren Ma

Chief Financial Officer

Darren Ma joined Firefly as its Chief Financial Officer in August 2020 and brings 21-years of finance experience. At Firefly, he oversees all financial business operations, capital raises, and investor relations. In his earlier role at the company, he managed the legal, human resources, purchasing, and supply chain functions. Darren has a strong track record of building strong relationships, partnering with key leaders, and increasing shareholder value at hardware and manufacturing companies. Prior to joining Firefly, Darren was CFO and SVP of Spectra7 Microsystems and the CFO for GigPeak, a NYSE listed company, where he was instrumental in strategically raising capital and driving profitable growth that led to a $250M acquisition by Integrated Device Technology. Darren holds a Managerial Economics Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis and received his MBA from W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Chief Operating Officer

Dan Fermon

Chief Operating Officer

Dan Fermon is a seasoned operating leader with decades of experience leading teams in highly technical industries, primarily in aerospace. Prior to joining Firefly, Dan was a Vice President at AE Industrial Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense, and government services. Previously, Dan served as the P&L and Operations Leader for GE Aerospace’s fast-paced Global Component Repair team, doubling revenue in just three years to over $3B with strong margins by utilizing technology, lean improvements, and powerful team engagement. Dan holds a dual bachelor’s degree in both aerospace and mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Chief Information Officer

Pete Starnes

Chief Information Officer

Chief Technology Officer

Shea Ferring

Chief Technology Officer

Shea has been designing, building, and testing spacecraft for nearly 30 years with expertise in mission assurance, systems engineering, qualification, integration, and test. Currently serving as Chief Technology Officer, Shea has been a key part the Firefly leadership team since mid-2018. He helped lead the maturity and transition of the company from a 100-person workforce to a 550-person company evaluated at more than $1B in a five-year period. Prior to Firefly, Shea held numerous engineering and leadership positions at both heritage and NewSpace companies, working on more than 60 missions and vehicles, including Minotaur, Atlas V, Delta II & IV, Pegasus, Skybox, Mars Exploration Rovers, Antares, Falcon 9, and many more. With a passion for inspiring the next generation workforce, Shea has been mentoring high school and college students in robotics for more than two decades. He has a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering and a master’s in aerospace and satellite design.

Brett Alexander

Chief Revenue Officer

Brett Alexander

Brett Alexander

Chief Revenue Officer

As Firefly's Chief Revenue Officer, Brett oversees all customer relationships, sets the sales strategy, and leads the business development team. With more than 30 years of military, civil, and commercial experience in the aerospace industry, Brett is focused on accelerating growth and fostering new and existing customers across Firefly’s launch, lunar, and on-orbit services. Prior to joining Firefly, Brett led Blue Origin’s government sales across civil and national security space sectors for more than 10 years.

Previously, Brett served in leadership roles at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, as well as senior advisor roles on the NASA Advisory Council and the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee. Brett's former experience also includes senior policy analyst roles at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, the Aerospace Corporation, and ANSER Corporation, as well as roles at Transformational Space Corporation and the X PRIZE Foundation.

Chief of Staff

Olga Bai

Chief of Staff

Olga is currently the Chief of Staff at Firefly Aerospace. Prior to joining Firefly, Olga has worked at Dassault Systemes, Fortune 50 software company, and v(room)), a Paris-based marketing and strategic consultancy agency where she advised top technology and luxury companies on building a brand presence in the digital realm. Among her clients were Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Audemars Piguet, and SOLIDWORKS. During her free time, Olga is actively involved with Space Generation Advisory Council, a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organization and network, which aims to represent university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia. Olga holds a Master's in International Marketing from KEDGE Business School, a Master of Science in International Marketing and Management from ISM University of Management and Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Management from LCC International University, where she graduated Cum Laude.

David Wheeler

General Counsel

David Wheeler

David Wheeler

General Counsel

David Wheeler joined Firefly in June 2022 and oversees legal, compliance, and risk. David brings more than 25 years of legal experience, managing a broad spectrum of domestic and international issues for private and public companies. Before joining Firefly, David was Division General Counsel and group Chief Compliance Officer at Signature Aviation (formerly BBA Aviation), and Senior Counsel at GE Aerospace. Prior to that, he was a principal at an Am Law 50 law firm where he specialized in M&A, corporate governance, and complex commercial transactions. David is recognized as a hands-on General Counsel and business partner with a demonstrated history of implementing effective strategies to meet business objectives, support growth, and reduce risks. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law. He also is a Certified Public Accountant.

VICE PRESIDENT, LAUNCH VEHICLES

Adam Oakes

VICE PRESIDENT, LAUNCH VEHICLES

Adam oversees Firefly’s launch vehicle programs for Alpha and MLV, including the vision and strategy, technology development, and key aspects of launch vehicle manufacturing, testing, and operations. Prior to joining Firefly, Adam served in multiple roles over his 10 years working at SpaceX. He led several engine development and qualification campaigns for the Falcon/Merlin product line, supported construction of the rocket engine test stands as Director of Production and Test at SpaceX’s facility in McGregor, Texas, and served as the Director of Propulsion Production at SpaceX’s Hawthorne facility. Adam started his career at ATK (Alliant Tech System), working as a design engineer on human-rated rocket motors before supporting the development of ATK’s Booster Separation Motor program. He has a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington.

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Trina Patterson

Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Trina is a seasoned and awarded communication leader supporting more than 100 human spaceflight, DoD and commercial launches (and counting). Her strong launch and payload expertise stems from her 20-year career in the aerospace industry, most recently supporting Northrop Grumman Launch Vehicles. Known to many in the industry as “Rocketheels,” her passion and in-depth technical knowledge are evident to all who work with her, and she truly considers herself a full-fledge rocket geek. Trina’s background in crisis communication, storytelling and employee engagement is a great asset to our Firefly launch team.

Vice President, Operations and Production

Justin Siebert

Vice President, Operations and Production

With nearly two decades of experience in Aerospace & Defense, Justin leads all manufacturing and test operations for Firefly, including executing our overall growth strategy and new product introduction for our launch vehicles and spacecraft. Prior to joining Firefly, Justin served as Deputy VP of Operations for BAE Systems' Electronics business unit, responsible for strategy, execution, and operations of their $5B business and launching their digital transformation efforts. In addition, Justin has experience at Honeywell Aerospace and Magellan Aerospace in a wide array of senior leadership positions within general management, operations, lean manufacturing, and global supply chain. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Operations Management from Arizona State University.

Vice President, Spacecraft

Jana Spruce

Vice President, Spacecraft

Jana leads all aspects of Firefly's Blue Ghost lunar lander and Elytra orbital vehicle lines, including strategy, business development, program management, lean operations, execution, and payload integration. Prior to joining the team, Jana worked at Collins Aerospace where she launched the Spaceflight Agile Research and Development Lab. Jana’s other roles have included strategy consultant for a variety of technology focused companies, from Fortune 500 to start-ups, program manager for the Eclipse 500 very light jet, and systems engineer at Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo. Jana spent the beginning of her career at the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California supporting several Naval development programs. She earned her BS in Aerospace Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA. Her experience in scaling teams and building cultures of innovation at both startups and big corporations is incredibly valuable as our spacecraft business takes off.

Rudy Garcia, VP of Finance, Firefly Aerospace

Vice President, Finance

Rudy Garcia, VP of Finance, Firefly Aerospace

Rudy Garcia

Vice President, Finance

As Vice President of Finance at Firefly Aerospace, Rudy is responsible for leading the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) team. Rudy has decades of experience leading finance teams in high-growth, high-tech businesses within the semiconductor and electronics industry, automated test and measurement systems, and software. Prior to joining Firefly, Rudy was Senior Vice President of Finance at Bonterra, a private equity backed software startup where he built and led the FP&A team in establishing financial reporting processes and partnering with the leadership team to drive growth and achieve financial objectives. Previously, Rudy worked at National Instruments and served as Group CFO at Qorvo Semiconductor and Freescale Semiconductor, leading finance operations for high-growth business groups and advising the leadership teams on growth strategy, business execution, financial planning, and reporting as the businesses scaled to $1B in revenue.

Board of Directors

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Weber

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Weber is a multi-time CEO who has spent the entirety of his career leading people in high growth technology environments, solving some of the world’s most difficult problems. He most recently founded First Light Acquisition Group, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company that completed at $230M public raise in September 2021 (NYSE: FLAG). Prior to First Light, Bill served as president, CEO, and board member of KeyW Corporation, a 2,000+ person, $500M publicly traded company (NASDAQ: KEYW), President and COO of XLA, a privately-held national security and diplomacy technology firm, and President of Kaseman, a technology services firm providing foreign policy assistance to the U.S. government. A veteran U.S. Army Captain and Airborne Ranger, Bill was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during Operation Desert Storm. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington University and is a graduate of The Executive Program at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He currently serves on the board of America’s Warrior Partnership.

FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY ADVISOR

Thomas E. Markusic

FOUNDER AND CHIEF TECHNOLOGY ADVISOR

Prior to co–founding Firefly, Tom served in a variety of technical and leadership roles in New Space companies: Vice President of Propulsion at Virgin Galactic, Senior Systems Engineer at Blue Origin, Director of the Texas Test Site and Principal Propulsion Engineer at SpaceX. Prior to his New Space work, Tom was a civil servant at NASA and the USAF, where he worked as research scientist and propulsion engineer.

PARTNER

Peter Schumacher

PARTNER

Mr. Schumacher is a Partner at AE Industrial and is primarily focused on investment strategy, deal origination, due-diligence management, and the monitoring and growth of AE Industrial’s portfolio investments. Mr. Schumacher currently sits on the boards of AE Industrial’s portfolio companies: AIM, AMPAC, Applied Composites, Atlas, Cross Fire, Moeller and UAV Factory. Mr. Schumacher brings over 14 years of aerospace industry M&A, business development, and engineering experience to AE Industrial. Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2015, Mr. Schumacher was the Director of Business Development for GE Aviation’s Engine Services business, where he was responsible for leading all M&A activity within this organization, including joint ventures, acquisitions, disposals, and related business initiatives. During his ten year career at GE Aviation, Mr. Schumacher also held commercial roles within the Sales, International Programs and Customer Support organizations, as well as engineering roles within the Services and Design organizations. Prior to GE Aviation, Mr. Schumacher was a mechanical engineer at Orbital Sciences Corporation, where he was responsible for design, assembly and test of the Navy’s GQM-163A ducted rocket. Mr. Schumacher holds an MBA from The Ohio State University and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University.

PARTNER

Kirk Konert

PARTNER

Mr. Konert is a Partner at AE Industrial and is primarily focused on originating, executing and monitoring AE Industrial’s portfolio investments. Mr. Konert currently sits on the boards of AE Industrial’s portfolio companies: AMPAC, Applied Composites, Atlas, Belcan, BigBear.ai, CDI, Columbia, Gryphon, Pangiam, Redwire and UAV Factory. He has also been involved in AE Industrial’s investments in Global Jet Capital and Kellstrom. Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2014, Mr. Konert was a Senior Associate at Sun Capital Partners where he focused on sourcing, screening and executing middle market buyout transactions across several industries, as well as handling portfolio company responsibilities. Prior to Sun Capital, Mr. Konert was a member of Wells Fargo Securities’ Industrials Group, where he focused on M&A and corporate finance transactions. Mr. Konert received a BA in Economics from Davidson College.

OPERATING PARTNER

Pam Braden

OPERATING PARTNER

Ms. Braden is an Operating Partner at AE Industrial, bringing over 35 years of experience in the defense, technology and government services industries. Ms. Braden currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial’s portfolio companies: Belcan, BigBear.ai and Pangiam. Prior to joining AE Industrial in 2022, Ms. Braden was the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Gryphon Technologies, a former AE Industrial portfolio company, which was sold to ManTech International Corporation in 2021. Under Ms. Braden’s leadership, Gryphon transitioned from a privately owned small business into a 1,500+ employee and $300 million annual revenue leader that provides digital engineering, cyber, cloud migration, and predictive analytics solutions to national security organizations. Prior to Gryphon, Ms. Braden served as an executive at various government sector startups that ultimately grew into large businesses. She holds a BS from the University of Akron.

OPERATING PARTNER

Pete Cannito

OPERATING PARTNER

Mr. Cannito is an Operating Partner at AE Industrial, bringing over 20 years of experience in the defense, government services and technology industries, and serves as the CEO of Redwire, an AE Industrial portfolio company. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial portfolio companies: American Pacific Corporation, BigBear.ai, Edge Autonomy, Firefly Aerospace and Redwire. He previously served on the Board of Directors of Gryphon Technologies, prior to its sale to ManTech International Corporation in 2021. Prior to joining AE Industrial, Mr. Cannito served as the CEO of Polaris Alpha, a high-tech solutions provider developing systems for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, with specialized experience in Space, Cyber and the Electromagnetic Spectrum. He also held successive executive roles at EOIR Technologies and Booz Allen Hamilton. Prior to this, Mr. Cannito started a company which focused on enterprise mobile computing. Mr. Cannito proudly served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Operating Partner

Chris Emerson

Operating Partner

Mr. Emerson is an Operating Partner at AE Industrial, bringing over 25 years of aerospace experience in the commercial aviation, U.S. Defense, Rotorcraft, and Space sectors. Mr. Emerson currently serves on the Board of Directors of AE Industrial portfolio companies: Belcan, Firefly and The Atlas Group. Mr. Emerson also serves on the Board of Directors of Hidden Level and Spirent Federal. Mr. Emerson is the former Chairman & CEO of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc.; in this role he developed and executed a strategy to grow Airbus’ U.S. space business. Previously, he was President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc., where he led a turnaround in the U.S. civil market by growing their market share from ~40% to ~70% in 4 years.

Mr. Emerson started his career in 1996 with Daimler – Mercedes Benz in Alabama. In early 2000, he joined Daimler Chrysler Aerospace (DASA) in Germany and was part of the internal team that formed – through a simultaneous IPO and merger of three national entities — EADS (today Airbus). In 2003, Mr. Emerson was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer charged with helping the newly formed executive team establish Airbus North America as a credible U.S. Government contractor. Mr. Emerson was also responsible for investor relations in the U.S. From 2010 to 2015, Mr. Emerson led the global marketing and strategy organization for Airbus’ commercial aircraft division in France during the introduction of the A350 and A320NEO programs.

Advisory Board

Jim Bridenstine

Mr. Bridenstine served as NASA Administrator from 2018 to 2021. During his tenure, NASA launched its Artemis mission and established the Commercial Lunar Payload Services Program (CLPS) to partner with private enterprise in landing rovers on the lunar surface. Among his accomplishments at NASA, he managed the continued commercial resupply of the International Space Station and led agency efforts to partner with U.S. businesses on the Commercial Crew Program, which seeks to launch U.S. rockets from U.S. launch sites. Also during his tenure, NASA’s science portfolio grew to include the Mars Perseverance Rover, an enhanced fleet of Earth-observing satellites, and the finalization of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Prior to his time at NASA, Mr. Bridenstine served in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Before being elected to Congress, he served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy before transitioning to the U.S. Navy Reserve and being named Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. He holds a BA from Rice University and an MBA from Cornell University.

James Cartwright

General James Cartwright retired from active duty on September 1, 2011, after 40 years of service in the United States Marine Corps. General Cartwright served as Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, before being nominated and appointed as the 8th Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation's second highest military officer. He is widely recognized for his technical acumen, vision of future national security concepts, and keen ability to integrate systems, organizations and people.

doug loverro

doug loverro

Douglas L. Loverro

Mr. Douglas L. Loverro is a recognized and highly sought-after expert in defense and intelligence space matters, having worked for over 30 years in the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), developing, managing, and establishing national policy for the full range of National Security space activities. Mr. Loverro served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, and Executive Director and Deputy Program Executive Officer for the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). Prior to his assignment at SMC, he served in a wide range of space leadership roles as Deputy Director of System Engineering at the NRO, and Program Director for the Future Imagery Architecture System, the US Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) System, and the Air Force’s classified space control systems program.

Mr. Loverro is credited with a wide-ranging list of accomplishments in aerospace development including the development of a national strategy for space defense and space system resilience, initiating modernization of the third-generation GPS System, and establishing the DoD’s Global Broadcast Service program, and the invention of the supersonic chemical oxygen-iodine laser.

Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews provides a unique array of experience from his 40 years that include 20+ years of Government service in the Air Force and Office of the Secretary of Defense where he led development of advanced propulsion systems, both high-power electric thrusters and cryogenic full flow stage combustion engines, oversight of acquisition programs for all DoD Space Transportation and Space Control investments and development of National and Department level Space Policies. He also has 20 years of industry experience for United Launch Alliance and his own Consulting company. He has demonstrated ability to develop comprehensive plans and strategies that integrate the various complexities of corporate needs, USG budget limitations, national policy guidelines and legislation to support both Government and Commercial customers successful planning. He provides a unique perspective that enables integration of Government requirements and Industry capabilities and technologies to enable new space systems that support both National objectives and Commercial business models.

Our Facilities

As a Texas-born, Texas-proud company, Firefly Aerospace was formed in 2017 and established its roots just north of Austin, which allowed us to set up a home base less than 30-minutes from our launch vehicle test and production facility (a.k.a. our Rocket Ranch) in Briggs, Texas. The close proximity between our headquarters, spacecraft facilities, and Rocket Ranch give us the unique ability to rapidly design, test, and iterate our technologies and deliver robust, low-risk solutions for our customers.

Cedar Park, TX

Headquarters and Spacecraft Production

Our north Austin headquarters and spacecraft production facility includes open engineering environments to rapidly innovate, a Mission Control Center to support launches and testing, and a ISO8 cleanroom to accommodate multiple landers.

Firefly Test Site, Briggs, TX

Briggs, TX

Launch Vehicle Production and Test Facilities

Just 30 minutes north of Firefly headquarters, Firefly’s 200-acre Texas Rocket Ranch enables launch vehicle production, integration, and testing all in one convenient location.

Lompoc, CA

Vandenberg Space Force Launch Site, Base SLC-2

Firefly’s launch site at the Vandenberg Space Force Base enables dedicated, rideshare, and responsive launch missions. Our launch site includes a payload processing facility equipped with a clean room and the capability to store and fuel hypergolic spacecraft. The site can support launch azimuths from 140 degrees to 260 degrees.

Cape Canaveral, FL

Cape Canaveral Space Force Launch Site, Station SLC-20

Firefly is also expanding operations at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Florida to provide flexible launch options on the east and west coast. This site can support launch azimuths from 35 degrees to 120 degrees.

Investors

With business momentum at an all-time high, Firefly welcomes new investors to join our mission in making space for everyone. Our momentum will continue to ramp up as the team executes critical missions and milestones across a diverse product line, including launch, lunar, and in-space services.

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Latest News

Firefly Aerospace Doubles Facilities in Briggs, Texas to Support Medium Launch Vehicle

Firefly Aerospace Onboarded as Launch Provider for the NRO with Alpha Rocket

Firefly Aerospace Ready to Launch Alpha FLTA004 for Lockheed Martin No Earlier Than December 20

Firefly Aerospace Selected to Support DARPA LunA-10 with Framework for On-Orbit Spacecraft Hubs

Firefly’s new MLV manufacturing and integration building
Liftoff of Firefly's Alpha FLTA004 Rocket - Credit: Firefly Aerospace / Trevor Mahlmann
Alpha FLTA004 Livestream with NASA Spaceflight
Firefly Elytra Dark - Spacecraft Hubs - DARPA LunA-10

IN THE NEWS

Get behind the scenes at our Texas Rocket Ranch recently featured on BBC World News.