Max Polyakov’s Firefly Aerospace Will Rival SpaceX After Successful Engine Test
Los Angeles, CA ( TS Newswire ) -- 17 Oct 2020
While SpaceX has been getting all the media limelight for its satellite launches into orbit for the Starlink internet project, an American-Ukrainian company, Firefly Aerospace Inc., owned by Max Polyakov, was working on space and rocket technology that would rival companies such as SpaceX and New Zealands Rocket Lab.
Firefly Aerospace Reports About Successful Fire Test Rocket Engine
During these tests, the companys engineers ran the engines for 35 seconds and tested the thrust vector, stability, and power of the rockets propulsion system. After successful tests, the company believes this significant milestone will open the way for bigger projects as they look to enter the spaceflight business.
Looking into the Future
With these tests, Firefly Aerospace is set to explore its first launch. In the future, the company looks to provide various space services. They look to not only launch spacecraft, but Firefly also plans to produce satellites, among other services.
Now stationed at the Vandenberg Cosmodrome in California, the Alpha carrier rocket waits for its initial flight. Before, Firefly Aerospace conducted the Dream competition in which participants were allowed to propose projects that would launch on the Alpha rocket. The teams selected will be a part of the companys historical entry into the spaceflight business.
Affordable Space Transportation
When Max bought Firefly Aerospace in 2018, he looked to revamp its vision and make it one of the most successful companies providing affordable space transportation. To achieve this, Firefly would explore a new market, a middle option.
To understand Fireflys vision, compare its projections with already existing transporters. The Rocket Lab, which serves the lower tier, offers a capacity of roughly 650 pounds. On the other hand, Blue Origin and SpaceX handle government programs and carry up to 18,000 pounds, which places these companies in the top tier of cargo capacity.
However, Max Polyakovs Firefly Aerospace looks to venture into neither of the two tiers but to create a new segment. The company will offer a cargo capacity of 2,000 pounds through the Alpha rocket, which places it as a middle option ideal for satellite manufacturers. This would be a brilliant pursuit as the middle option market is not explored.
The Alpha rocket will run Lightning-1 and Reaver-1 engines and will do low-Earth orbit launches. Firefly wants to launch its first flight before the end of this fall. The company says this flight could be used as a sail anchor while they prepare to fully venture into the space business with satellites and rockets.
From a Troubled Past
Firefly was founded in 2014 and came into the spaceflight business with plans to provide innovative solutions that would make rocket launches more affordable. But despite this optimism, it went through a series of challenges.
In 2016, Firefly lost its key investor, which forced them to send employees on vacation. It also faced a protracted legal battle, so in 2017, Firefly filed for bankruptcy. Polyakov then came in and bought a lot of its assets, investing $75 million. In 2018, following support from Max Polyakov, the company established its research and development center in Dnipro, raising its staff to 150 employees.