Past Mission

FLTA002 To The Black

Firefly’s 1st Orbital Launch

Mission Details

Mission Name:


Mission Type:

Test Flight


Demonstration Payloads


Alpha FLTA002 Rocket

Launch Date:

October 1, 2022

Launch Site:

Firefly SLC-2, Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA

Mission Summary

FLTA002 To The Black was Firefly’s second test flight and first orbital launch. We successfully achieved our primary objective of reaching orbit in addition to deploying customer payloads and testing a stage two relight. The relight served 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 technologies and the expertise of our team.


FLTA002 deployed a total of three payloads, including demonstration satellites from NASA TechEdSat-15 in conjunction with San Jose State University (SJSU), Teachers in Space, and Libre Space Foundation. These payloads will perform several in-space experiments, including an “exo-brake” to help in the deorbiting of satellites and test the world’s first fully-free and open-source telecommunications constellation.


Teachers in Space

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



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

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


Rewatch the livestream with Everyday Astronaut.

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firefly flight 1

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