Firefly to conduct trade study for up to two demonstration missions, proving capabilities to rapidly launch its Elytra vehicles and support on-orbit missions beyond GEO

Cedar Park, Texas, March 21, 2024Firefly Aerospace, Inc., an end-to-end space transportation company, today announced it signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to conduct a trade study on its capabilities to rapidly launch Firefly’s Elytra vehicles and support missions beyond Geosynchronous Orbit, referred to as xGEO. Once complete, the trade study will provide the groundwork for up to two Firefly demonstration missions that will advance the DoD’s responsive access to xGEO.

“Firefly’s robust vehicle lines and proven responsive space capabilities put us in a unique position to rapidly service the vast region of space from GEO to the Moon and beyond,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “As international and commercial initiatives ramp up in this region, the Firefly team is prepared to execute missions that support the growing infrastructure, provide space domain awareness, and help protect our nation’s critical assets on and around the Moon.”

The contract supports the DIU’s Sinequone project that aims to deliver cost-effective, responsive access to xGEO through both launch and orbital transfer services. Following completion of the study, Firefly will conduct up to two demonstrations to deliver multiple payloads to xGEO aboard its Elytra Dark spacecraft with the first mission completed within 18 months of receiving the approval to proceed. The missions will perform technology demonstrations to advance future operations in the xGEO environment.

“Firefly is accelerating commercial growth beyond GEO with our launch, lunar, and orbital vehicles,” said Jana Spruce, Vice President of Spacecraft. “Paired together, these vehicles allow us to provide regular, responsive access to this underserved region that’s critical to building a sustainable presence on the Moon.”

In addition to this latest agreement, Firefly is ramping up for multiple upcoming responsive space missions, including a responsive on-orbit Elytra mission for the NRO that will launch aboard Alpha later this year and a study for DARPA on responsive on-orbit spacecraft hubs. These operations follow Firefly’s recent responsive launch for the U.S. Space Force’s VICTUS NOX mission that was successfully completed after a 24-hour notice.

About Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace is an end-to-end space transportation company with launch, lunar, and on-orbit services. Headquartered in central Texas, Firefly is a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners (“AEI”) focused on delivering responsive, reliable, and affordable space access for government and commercial customers. Firefly’s small- to medium-lift launch vehicles, lunar landers, and orbital vehicles provide the space industry with a single source for missions from low Earth orbit to the surface of the Moon and beyond. For more information, visit

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