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Firefly Aerospace Expands to Support Medium Launch Vehicle

Firefly Aerospace
Credit: Firefly Aerospace

Ibadan, 4 March 2024. – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., an end-to-end space transportation Company, has opened a Rocket Ranch expansion in Briggs, Texas, more than doubling the size of its manufacturing facilities. The space transportation Company also added two new test stands and installed machinery to support the production of Northrop Grumman’s Antares 330 and the Medium Launch Vehicle (MLV) the companies are co-developing together.

Firefly’s expanded manufacturing space from 92,000 to 207,000 square feet includes two new large-scale buildings for rocket production, assembly, and integration. The Company also built a new higher thrust engine stand to test Firefly’s Miranda and Vira engines with up to 230,000 pounds of thrust and five times the load capacity as Firefly’s current Reaver and Lightning engine stand. Designed to accommodate three engine bays as production cadence increases, the new stand provides redundant, high accuracy thrust and mass flow rate data to further improve mission assurance.

The expansion also includes a new 100-foot structural test stand to conduct pressurized axial loading to mimic flight loads. In total, Firefly now has six test stands at its Briggs location to support the robust testing performed across all vehicle lines.

“After Firefly signed the MLV agreement with Northrop Grumman, we went immediately to work on our Briggs expansion, which has been completed in less than a year’s time,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Along with the expansion, we’re taking advantage of automated machinery to further advance our rapid production schedule while improving efficiencies and lowering costs.”

Other recent facility expansions include two new mission operations centers at Firefly’s spacecraft facility in Cedar Park, Texas, to support a growing number of launch, lunar, and on-orbit missions. Firefly also expanded its Cedar Park headquarters with a mezzanine to accommodate nearly twice as many employees.

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