Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, announced on 10 October 2018 the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with York Space Systems for the development of integrated launch services and spacecraft mission solutions.
“Firefly is pleased to enter into an MoU with York to formulate an integrated market offering that includes spacecraft, launch, and downlink provider, which will provide customers with a single point of entry to build space-based businesses,” said Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic. “We are excited to work closely with York to continue lowering the economic and schedule barriers to orbital access.”
Dirk Wallinger, York CEO, said, “The York S-CLASS spacecraft enables a broad range of configurable options for a multitude of space entrepreneurs and government customers for streamlined operations. Our commercial and government customers emphasize the need for integrated solutions that facilitate rapid deployment of spacecraft. This partnership with Firefly will give our customers another fantastic launch service option for rapid access to space.”
Les Kovacs, Firefly Vice President of Business Development, added that, “The performance of the Firefly Alpha allows for deployment of up to four York S-CLASS satellites in a single launch. Alpha’s industry leading small satellite launch vehicle performance will enable Firefly to provide York’s expanding customer base pre-configured launch solutions to greatly reduce historically long launch campaign timelines. We look forward to executing many successful missions together.”
Firefly is developing a family of launch vehicles to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience and reliability for dedicated light- to medium-lift launches. Firefly’s Alpha and Beta vehicles utilize common technologies, manufacturing infrastructure, and launch capabilities, providing LEO launch solutions for up to one and four metric tons of payload respectively. Alpha and Beta aim to provide the space industry with access to frequent launches at the lowest cost/kg, enabling ambitious commercial and exploration missions from LEO to the Moon. Headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, Firefly has additional presence in Washington, D.C.; Dnipro, Ukraine; and Tokyo, Japan. Firefly is financed by Noosphere Ventures of Menlo Park, California.
York Space Systems was founded to radically improve spacecraft affordability and reliability, transforming and enabling next generation space mission operations worldwide. York specializes in both end-to-end customer solutions and the manufacture of spacecraft platforms in Denver, Colorado. York’s S-CLASS industrial-grade platform is a standardized 3-axis stabilized spacecraft capable of supporting 85kg payloads with up to 100W of Orbit Average Power (OAP) and 3,000W peak (Enhanced power system), while reducing the cost of manufacture by an order of magnitude. The S-CLASS spacecraft is fully compatible with all launch vehicles, including ground- and air-launched, and ground segment providers. When optioned with York’s cloud-based mission tasking and operations center, an ultra-low-cost solution is available on demand for next generation data collection and analytics companies.