CEDAR PARK, Texas, June 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The quest for space travel inspires STEM interest like no other endeavor.  Firefly has promoted that interest by opening its doors to youth though Firefly Academy, the Base 11 Space Challenge, and the Firefly International Rocket Event (FIRE).  Today Firefly is taking their STEM commitment literally to the next level by announcing a global competition to host academic and educational payloads, free of charge, on the inaugural flight of the Firefly Alpha launch vehicle.

“If America fails to grow more STEM talent over the next few years, our country risks being left behind technologically. That’s why Firefly’s challenge is so important. Inspiring young people and making science cool is the name of the game,” stated Deborah James, former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and current Firefly Advisory Board member.  

Firefly is making a philanthropic commitment to STEM, by committing a portion of the payload capacity on Alpha’s maiden flight to support and stimulate STEM on a global basis.  Firefly also aims to enable other newspace enterprises and increase economic activity in low earth orbit.  The Dedicated Research and Education Accelerator Mission (DREAM) payload also provides newspace entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to gain access to space and gain flight heritage for concepts.  DREAM payloads will be co-manifested with a commercial payload.

“‘Making Space for Everyone’ has been an essential part of Firefly’s vision and dream since the day we began,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “I’m proud to announce today that we’re following through on that commitment by opening a competition, to literally everyone, for the use of the excess capacity of our first Alpha launch.” 

Dr. Markusic added, “All ideas are welcome – from a child’s drawing, to a university science experiment, to a startup company cube sat – so we encourage everyone to propose their idea for a DREAM payload to Firefly for consideration.”

Details and specifications for DREAM payloads can be found on the Firefly website at https://www.firefly.com/DREAM. Applications should be submitted for consideration by June 30th, 2019.


Firefly is developing a family of launch and in-space vehicles and services that provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability. Firefly’s launch vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to ten metric tons of payload at the lowest cost per kg in the small-launch class. Combined with Firefly’s in-space vehicles, such as the Space Utility Vehicle and Blue Ghost Lunar Lander, Firefly provides the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon or beyond. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, TX.

For more information please see: www.firefly.com

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