Small launch vehicle startup Firefly Aerospace has signed a four-launch contract with San Diego-based space technology and payload integration specialists Adaptive Launch Solutions (ALS).
The multi-year launch contract was signed on December 23 and includes four launches aboard Firefly Aerospace Alpha vehicles beginning in 2021.
The Firefly Alpha is a two-stage small launch vehicle designed to be capable of launching payloads of up to 1,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit. Alpha has been under development since 2017 and is set to make its debut in early 2021.
Following an initial test flight in the first quarter of 2021, the first two ALS missions will be carried aboard Alpha flights 2 and 3, both of which are expected to be launched in 2021. The missions will be launched from Firefly’s launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, which according to the launch provider is nearing completion.
According to Firefly’s Chief Revenue Officer Bradley Schneider, the ALS contract all but fills out the launch provider’s 2021 launch manifest.
“Firefly has now nearly filled our 2021 launch manifest and is focused on finalizing our 2022 flight opportunities,” said Schneider. “The demand for access to Low Earth Orbit is rapidly expanding, and Firefly will provide the most dependable and economical small launch vehicles in the industry.”
The ALS contract is the second Firefly has been won this month. On December 11, Firefly Black, a national security and civil space subsidiary of Firefly Aerospace, was awarded a NASA Venture Class Launch Service Demonstration 2 mission which will deploy a two CubeSat constellation into a 550-kilometer Sun-Synchronous Orbit.