CEDAR PARK, Texas, Oct. 20, 2022 — Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or “the Company”), a new space leader in launch, spacecraft, and in-space services, announced today that Chris Emerson, a seasoned industry leader with decades of aerospace expertise, has joined the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.
“Chris is a respected leader with an extensive background in aerospace and defense, including his many years at Airbus, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to Firefly’s Board,” said Bill Weber, Firefly CEO. “His track record of driving innovation in business as well as in technology will be a tremendous asset as Firefly works with our commercial customers to help them address their growing space transportation needs.”
Mr. Emerson brings over 25 years of aerospace experience in space, commercial aviation, U.S. defense, and rotorcraft. He is the former Chairman & CEO of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., where he developed and executed a strategy to grow Airbus’ U.S. space business. Earlier this month, Mr. Emerson joined AE Industrial Partners, LP (“AEI”) as an Operating Partner, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of AEI portfolio companies’ Belcan and The Atlas Group. Previously, he served as President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc., and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Airbus. Mr. Emerson started his career with the Daimler – Mercedes Benz team, which later formed Airbus. He holds a BS degree from the University of Alabama.
“I’m excited to offer my counsel as Firefly looks to build off its successful launch earlier this month,” said Mr. Emerson. “Firefly is one of a handful of companies with the proven technology and expertise to offer customers affordable space transportation solutions, and I look forward to collaborating with Firefly’s team during this new stage of the Company’s evolution.”
With the recent successful launch of Firefly’s Alpha FLTA002 mission, Firefly became the first company to launch and reach orbit from U.S. soil in only its second attempt. Firefly is also the first and only U.S. commercial space company with a rocket ready to take customers to space in the highly desired 1400kg payload lift class.
Firefly was also recently selected by the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC) to provide launch services for SSC’s VICTUS NOX mission, and the company’s Space Transport Services was recently selected by NASA to provide launch services for some of the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions. Firefly and Northrop Grumman Corporation also recently announced they had joined forces to provide an American-built first-stage upgrade for the Antares rocket and a new medium launch vehicle to serve commercial, civil and national security space launch markets.
Firefly is a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners (“AEI”), a U.S.-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power & utility services, and specialty industrial markets.
About Firefly Aerospace
Firefly Aerospace is an emerging end-to-end space transportation company focused on developing a family of launch vehicles, in-space vehicles, and services to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability to its government and commercial customers. Firefly’s launch vehicles, combined with their in-space vehicles, such as the Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Blue Ghost Lunar Lander, provide the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon and beyond.
About AE Industrial Partners
AE Industrial Partners is a private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power & utility services, and specialty industrial markets. AE Industrial Partners invests in market-leading companies that can benefit from its deep industry knowledge, operating experience, and relationships throughout its target markets. AE Industrial Partners is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the ILPA Diversity in Action initiative. Learn more at www.aeroequity.com.
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