ALPHA Rocket Launch by Firefly Aerospace Set for December 20202nd Nov 2020
The VAFB (Vandenberg Air Force Base) is the chosen site for the ALPHA rocket blastoff of an LV (Launch Vehicle) built by Firefly Aerospace. The event will take place on 22nd December 2020, and it’s the first of its kind to be launched from California.
For the company, this is a significant milestone in offering numerous variations of space transport services. Furthermore, the launch date works perfectly for the company as they strive to meet the strict rules set by VAFB. Firefly Aerospace is racing to complete all the tasks at hand for the launch without missing the set date.
However, the company has set aside another date of 31st January 2021 if any issues arise and impedes the scheduled launch. The ALPHA rocket launch design has been fully vetted and fulfils many set requirements before the lift off.
What Firefly Aerospace has Achieved So Far in Regards to the ALPHA Rocket Launch
The spacecraft that Firefly intends to launch from California is 95 feet in height and will carry more than 1 ton of payload into low orbit. For any company seeking its services, the cost per ALPHA rocket is set at $15 million for every launch into space.
To be ready for the maiden flight in 2022, Firefly Aerospace continues to carry out more tests and fix all the issues that arise. That way, the company hopes the rocket launch will go ahead without having to push the date forward to January.
Two weeks ago, the company managed to test the engine for the final time. What comes next is the 2nd stage for engine testing, which will hopefully happen soon. After that, Firefly Aerospace will proceed with test site activation.
When this runs smoothly, another significant step for the ALPHA rocket launch will be the Launch Vehicle’s static firing at the site. Once all of this has taken place successfully and the launch goes ahead smoothly, Firefly aims to launch the vehicles 3 times in 2021, as per their mission.
More so, the company continues to be a leader within the space industry, with many bigger plans for the future. One of these plans is to send an OTV (Orbital Transfer Vehicle) that is responsible for safe satellite delivery into orbit from rockets. Firefly Aerospace is also building Genesis, a lunar lander for NASA following a successful ALPHA rocket launch.