Firefly Alpha, Firefly Beta и проч. изделия Firefly Space Systems

Автор Тангаж, 12.02.2015 14:18:49

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Тангаж

Firefly Space Systems Inks Space Act Deal With NASA

ЦитатаTexas-based Space startup Firefly Space Systems announced today that the company has signed a Space Act agreement with NASA.

Founded in January 2014, Firefly is focused on building a reusable launch system that is geared towards the small satellite market. Its first rocket, Firefly Alpha, is planned to be able to lift 453 kg into low Earth orbit and is slated to launch in 2017. It will be followed by its second system, Firefly Beta, which will be able to deliver 1114 kg to low Earth orbit.

"The reason why Firefly exists is that if you look at emergence of space companies, you can see that a large number of them are smallsat companies," Firefly's VP of Business Development Maureen Gannon told me. "That growth in the smallsat market is really what we're seeing as opportunity for our company."

One big area where Firefly aims to be competitive is cost. According to Gannon, the company is targeting a launch cost of $8-9 million. By contrast, a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch costs $61.2 million.

Four years fr om start to launch is an aggressive schedule for any space company. That's one area wh ere the agreement with NASA comes in. Under this agreement, NASA and Firefly have agreed to collaborate on the engineering and design of the Firefly Alpha system. This includes "areas of technical consultation, engineering services, and concept/design reviews," according to a press release. (However, there's no financial aspect to the agreement.)

The other way that Firefly is trying to reach its goal is by shifting the normal process through which rockets are developed. To that end, the company has partnered with ANSYS, which makes physics-based simulation software for engineering firms.

"Our simulation software allows companies to develop in a different way," Rob Smith, ANSYS's Aerospace and Defense Industry director told me. "The old way was to come up with an idea, sketch it, prototype it and test until it breaks. It's expensive and time consuming."

Firefly has been able to use the simulation software, which runs on the Texas Advanced Computing Center's Stampede supercomputer, to speed up their development process.

"Traditionally, you have to write your own code to implement models," Jared Cuneo, Firefly's Director of Structures Analysis said. "Here we can model aerodynamics, pressure forces, internal forces and more. It allows for a quick turnaround for us to deliver our rocket."

"We also use it to validate our tests so we can reach the mass goals we need to hit the orbit we want," Cuneo added.

By validating the tests with physical experiments, Firefly is use information it gains from physical experiments to make its simulations more accurate. This in turn reduces the time and money needed for unnecessary testing.

Eventually, the company hopes that its rocket design will enable it to achieve at least one launch per month, ushering in a new era for low-cost commercial space enterprises.

"We want to become the Model T of launch providers," Gannon told me. "To get there, we have to move quickly."
http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2015/01/13/firefly-space-systems-inks-space-act-deal-with-nasa/



Grus

Даже шрифт на рекламке как у SpaceX.

Димитър

Основатель фирми - ученик Маска!
До создания своей фирми Том Маркусик работал в СпейсИкс, а также в Виргин Галактик и Блю Оригин. Как и Маск, он хочет сделать ракету на жидком метане.

Тангаж

First Rocket Engine Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems

ЦитатаCEDAR PARK, Texas, September 10, 2015

Firefly Space Systems, the Texas-based developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today that it has successfully tested its first rocket engine, Firefly Rocket Engine Research 1 ("FRE-R1").

"The successful testing of our first engine represents a quantum step in the technical maturation of our company. We have demonstrated that our core engine design can reliably start, stop and operate at a steady state without combustion instabilities," said Firefly Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.

 

Firefly is developing one combustor design that will be utilized to power both stages of their small-sat launcher - "Firefly Alpha." The Alpha upper stage will utilize an engine (FRE-1) with a single combustor, whereas the first stage engine (FRE-2) will use an array of twelve of the same combustors arranged in an annular aerospike configuration.

FRE-R1 is a propulsion pathfinder for both stages of Alpha. It operates using LOx/RP-1 propellants, but the basic combustor design can utilize either methane or RP-1 fuels. The upper stage variant of the engine (FRE-1) will produce 7,000 lbf thrust, and the first stage cluster used in FRE-2 will produce 125,000 lbf thrust.

The first test series successfully demonstrated startup, shutdown, and steady state combustion. The test also served to prove the complete functionality of Firefly's new test site. Upcoming engine tests will emphasize performance tuning and longer duration "mission duty cycle" runs. The first hot-fire tests of the FRE-2 aerospike engine are expected to take place in early 2016.

"In only fifteen months, we have built our Texas team, constructed state-of-the-art engineering and test facilities, designed a complete rocket (Alpha) to PDR level, and built and tested key vehicle technologies, such as the FRE-R1 engine," added Markusic.

"I'm incredibly proud of the innovative and hard-driving spirit of the Firefly team. They are smart, hard-working and building momentum in hardware development, which will carry Firefly to space in short order."
http://www.fireflyspace.com/news/ournews/first-rocket-engine-test-a-success-for-firefly-space-systems

Тангаж

NASA Awards $5.5M Venture Class Launch Services Contract to Firefly

ЦитатаFirefly Space Systems, Inc., a New Space leader in the development of dedicated small satellite launch vehicles has been sel ected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct a demonstration CubeSat launch by March 2018. The Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract to Firefly is valued at $5.5M.

Mark Wiese, chief of the Flight Projects Office for NASA's Launch Services Program (LSP), based at Kennedy Space Center, described VCLS contracts as representing "NASA's investment in the future of the commercial launch industry for SmallSats."

Since there hasn't been a dedicated launcher available, CubeSats have flown into orbit as auxiliary payloads that are released after the booster has achieved the primary mission. They have also been sprung into the orbital void fr om canisters aboard the International Space Station to conduct research missions. In both cases though, the CubeSats are at the mercy of the primary payload and the orbit it must fly in.

"The CubeSat and small satellite engineers and scientists are coming up with missions that justify flying unique orbits and at altitudes that are not available if we only fly as secondary payloads," said Garrett Skrobot, lead for the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission for LSP. "These are still experimental satellites, but the technology they are employing is mature enough to use in these new ways."

That's wh ere Firefly and its family of launch vehicles comes in. Since its inception, Firefly's mission has been to dramatically reduce the cost of commercial launch services for small satellites and science missions across the entire sub-1 metric ton payload segment. The company is focusing on the development of low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the under-served small satellite market. Firefly Alpha, the company's first rocket, will be capable of lifting 400kg to a 400km equatorial orbit or 200kg to a 500km Sun-synchronous orbit

"Being recognized by NASA with a VCLS contract is a tremendous honor for the Firefly team. We have worked tirelessly during the last 18 months to develop Firefly Alpha, a vehicle that will be different fr om anything that has come before it. NASA's vote of confidence in our technology and team is a significant boost to our efforts of 'Making Space For Everyone'" said Dr. Thomas Markusic, Firefly's CEO.

Added Maureen Gannon, Firefly's Vice President of Business Development: "We are greatly encouraged knowing that NASA shares our industry's vision for low-cost boosters to enable ever more exciting missions in exploration, science and education."
http://www.fireflyspace.com/news/ournews/nasa-awards-usd5.5m-venture-class-launch-services-contract-to-firefly

Петр Зайцев

ЦитатаДимитър пишет:

До создания своей фирми Том Маркусик работал в СпейсИкс, а также в Виргин Галактик и Блю Оригин.
Вот же летун.

Salo

24.11.2015 00:52:21 #8 Последнее редактирование: 24.11.2015 00:53:00 от Salo
http://spacenews.com/building-the-model-t-of-rockets/
ЦитатаFirefly Aims To Build the 'Model T of Rockets'
by Debra Werner -- November 23, 2015
 
In September, Firefly announced the first successful ground test of its rocket engine at its testing facility in Briggs, Texas. Credit: Firefly Space Systems
 
 
Spotlight | Firefly Space Systems
SAN FRANCISCO -- At least 25 companies have announced plans to build rockets to meet the growing demand for small-satellite launches, but Firefly Space Systems does not plan to blend into that pack.
"The driving theme of our company is to distinguish ourselves as soon as possible fr om the crowd that talks about doing this and to join an elite group of people that can actually field technology to get things to space," said Thomas Markusic, Firefly chief executive.
Markusic, a propulsion engineer who worked at NASA, the U.S. Air Force, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin before founding Firefly, plans to build a family of simple expendable rockets offering dedicated rides for satellites weighing less than 1,000 kilograms.
 
Thomas Markusic, Firefly chief executive. Credit: Firefly Space Systems

"Think of this as the Model T of rockets, a simple widely used vehicle for getting from point to point, or in this case getting to space," he said.
Firefly's initial launch vehicle, Firefly Alpha, an all-composite rocket with a pressure-fed aerospike engine, is designed to send 400 kilogram payloads into low Earth orbit or 200 kilograms into sun-synchronous orbit for $8 million. Firefly plans to use cellphone technology to send telemetry data from the ascending rocket. "We are using commercial electronics technology in our avionics to a larger extent than anyone has ever done before," Markusic said.
Markusic left his job as Virgin Galactic's vice president for propulsion in December 2013 to found Firefly because he saw a dearth of launch options for the burgeoning small-satellite market. "There is great competition and cost reduction in the medium- to heavy-lift area, but there's very little that's available in the small class," he said. "Firefly and other companies popping up are aiming to fill that gap."
In October, NASA announced the award of fixed-price contracts to Firefly, Los Angeles-based Rocket Lab and Virgin Galactic of Long Beach, California, to provide dedicated rides into orbit for the cubesats NASA transports under its Cubesat Launch Initiative. NASA plans to pay Firefly $5.5 million, Virgin Galactic $4.7 million and Rocket Lab $6.95 million for launches scheduled to occur by April 2018.
To date, cubesats have flown primarily as secondary payloads on larger rockets, which meant their builders had little control over the launch timing or orbital destination. While those piggyback rides were welcomed by cubesat pioneers eager to test components or conduct scientific research, some of the entrepreneurs building miniature satellites to gather data or relay communications are eager for rides to specific altitudes and inclinations.
Firefly Space Systems at a Glance
Established: January 2014
Top Official: Thomas Markusic, chief executive
Employees: 61
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
 
Firefly Space Systems, which currently has 61 employees, plans to have a staff of about 150 when it begins sending satellites into orbit in 2018. Credit: Firefly Space Systems
 
"When you are riding as a secondary payload on a large launch vehicle, you sometimes have to wait a couple of years and you are subject to the technical specifications of that launch," said Amir Blachman, Space Angels Network managing director in Los Angeles. "Whereas if you can pay to get a custom launch for a smaller payload, you can tailor the timing and all the other elements of the mission to your specific needs."
Firefly executives say they will attract customers with low launch prices and strong customer service. The company plans to enable a customers to track the progress of their launch vehicle through its production cycle and, if possible, to watch the launch in virtual reality.
"The customer side of the launch vehicle market has been ignored for years," said Maureen Gannon, Firefly business development vice president. "We want to be a leader in customer experience."
 
Maureen Gannon, Firefly business development vice president. Credit: Firefly Space Systems
 
After establishing its business with Firefly Alpha, the company plans to offer multiple space transportation vehicles. "Firefly Alpha is the first step toward a next generation of larger vehicles with increased payload capability and reusability," Gannon said.
One of the benefits of starting the company by building a small rocket is the capital investment. "From a capital standpoint, this type of program is available to more people than the mega programs like SpaceX is doing," Blachman said.
"The cost does not scale linearly with vehicle size," Markusic said, adding that a vehicle twice as large might cost eight times as much to develop because it would require custom machine tools.
Firefly plans to raise roughly $100 million to build and launch Firefly Alpha. Through a seed round, the company raised between $10 million and $20 million. The company plans to raise the balance through Series A and B funding rounds.
Firefly has 61 employees and plans to have a staff of about 150 when it begins sending satellites into orbit in 2018. Firefly received a $1.2 million economic incentive package from Cedar Park, Texas, wh ere the company built a 1,850-square-meter research and development facility as well as a 80-hectare test site.
In Firefly's first year and a half, its engineers have tackled some of the company's greatest technical risks. In September, Firefly announced its first successful ground test of its rocket engine.
By 2017, Firefly plans to begin conducting suborbital launches. "We will learn a lot about the vehicle so when we have someone's precious payload on the top, it will not be the first time this thing has ever performed," Markusic said.
 Firefly plans to conduct is first orbital flight in March 2018, an ambitious goal for a company established in 2014.
"When I started the company, I committed myself to the idea that we would be very successful very quickly or we would fail very quickly," Markusic said. "The goal is not to build a company that can sustain itself for 10 years and never get to space. The goal of the company is to get to space in three or four years or not exist."
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Pirat5

10.06.2016 23:46:42 #9 Последнее редактирование: 10.06.2016 23:49:14 от Pirat5
Что они хотели этим сказать? Типа 1й из 12 двигателей для первой ракеты прожгли?
ЦитатаFirefly Space ‏@Firefly_Space  7 ч.7 часов назад
The 1st of 12 engines has been mounted and tested on our aerospike live ring.

che wi

немного текста к фото из предыдущего поста

Firefly Rocket Engine Looks Luminous During Test

ЦитатаA white, hot column of flame firing out of a rocket engine, backdropped by white clouds and a blue sky, looks like a work of art in this photo from the private company Firefly Space Systems.

This luminous image was posted to the company's Twitter account on June 10, and shows a single engine -- one of 12 that will be included on the completed Firefly Alpha aerospike rocket. The aerospike design uses engine nozzles with a slightly different shape compared to the bell-shaped nozzles seen on many other rocket engines.  

 Скрытый текст:
Firefly is a company aiming to build "low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the underserved small satellite market," according to the company's website. The company's first launch with its Firefly Alpha vehicle is scheduled for March 2018. That will be the first of four launches contracted by NASA.

In the picture, the engine is attached to the "life ring," which will hold all 12 engines when the rocket is fully constructed. (Many rocket designs have multiple engines, such as SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, which has nine engines.)

The aerospike engine design has been around since the 1960s, a representative for Firefly told Space.com via email, but the company believes it "will have the first aerospike engine in production when Firefly Alpha becomes operational in early 2018," he said.

Seerndv

ЦитатаFirefly Targets Late Fall For Alpha Aerospike Rocket Tests

Initial combustor trials pave way for start of FRE-2 aerospike development rocket tests


Aug 5, 2016Guy Norris Aviation Week & Space Technology


Firing Up Firefly


Low-cost launcher start-up company Firefly Space Systems plans to conduct the first full-scale development test of its Alpha vehicle's pressure-fed FRE-2 aerospike rocket engine in the fourth quarter of this year.
The 125,000-lb.-thrust engine will be the first aerospike rocket to fly and is pivotal to Firefly's goal of developing a scalable family of relatively simple, lightweight launchers for the small satellite market. The initial vehicle, called the Alpha, is designed to deliver 200-kg (440-lb.) payloads to sun-synchronous orbit and is scheduled to launch on its first operational mission for NASA in March 2018.
"People have been talking about aerospike engines for a half-century," says Firefly co-founder and CEO Tom Markusic. "Early rocket pioneers recognized some very interesting characteristics of the aerospike concept that allow you to have a variable area-ratio nozzle without any moving parts. The gas dynamics in an aerospike means it naturally evolves into an increasingly high area-ratio nozzle as it ascends in altitude," he adds.


The FRE-2 aerospike is configured with an extended, fluted spike for improved performance following extensive CFD analysis. Credit: Firefly

Updating Firefly's development progress at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Propulsion and Energy Forum in July, Markusic said the basic simplicity of the aerospike concept suited the low-cost goals of the Alpha design. Unlike some other altitude-compensating nozzle developments, such as the wedge-shaped Rocketdyne XRS-2200 linear aerospike, which was developed for the aborted X-33, the FRE-2 is a plug-cluster- chamber design in which the annulus is divided into a discrete number of combustors. The exhaust from each of the 12 combustors impinges directly against the sides of a centrally mounted aerospike.
"We wanted to create something incredibly simple and eliminate moving parts," says Markusic. "First we dispensed with the turbomachinery. So how do you get propellant to the engine? We use a pressure-fed system, but tanks are generally very heavy. So the design challenge is to try to minimize parasitic masses." To get around this, the Alpha is configured with low-pressure, all-composite propellant tanks with a resulting low combustion-chamber pressure.

However, says Markusic, "the downside is you can't put much of a nozzle on it because you can only expand so far with a ground launch vehicle before you start to have problems. So it turns out [that] for a pressure-fed rocket, the aerospike is a very natural solution. It allows us to have additional effective nozzle area without having to put longer nozzles on or increasing chamber pressure."
Aerospike engines are also notoriously difficult to cool, acknowledges Markusic. However, once again, the Firefly design exploits a natural synergy, he says. Pressure-fed designs require "copious amounts of heat to pressurize the gases in the tank." The liquid oxygen/RP-1-fueled rocket is pressure fed using high-pressure helium to push the propellant from composite tanks into the pintle injector. The helium is stored cryogenically at high pressure before being heated to increase its specific volume using waste heat from the combustors. "So the two problems cancel each other out. From a systems perspective, the aerospike works for Alpha," he adds. 
The oxygen flow rate will be 297 lb./sec., while RP-1 will be added at 126 lb./sec. for a mixture ratio of 2.35. Pressurized to 547 psia, the regeneratively cooled thrust chamber will incorporate a milled copper liner and an electroplated nickel jacket. 
Markusic says close work with the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin has led to refinement of the FRE-2 configuration and extension of the spike. "We have run some of the most advanced computational fluid dynamics [CFD] analysis that has ever been done to optimize the length. We've been able to eke out a few more seconds of ISP [specific impulse] in CFD by using more of a fluted geometry aerospike rather than one with a continuous smooth surface," he says.
The upper stage of the two-stage Firefly will be powered by a single FRE-1 engine. The 6,200-lb.-thrust conventional bell nozzle LOx/RP-1 rocket will be identical to each of the 12 combustors in the aerospike's plug cluster. "One of our principles with Firefly is to make lots of the same thing. It's easier to make lots of combustors, and we wanted to use the same basic combustor on the upper stage as [on] the lower stage. To do that and get the requisite thrust on the upper stage, you need 12 of them on the first stage," adds Markusic.
Combustors are being built and tested at Firefly's rocket site at Briggs, Texas. A circular test rig--with positions for all the combustors that comprise the aerospike cluster--is currently fitted with a research combustor on the bottom and a flight-weight unit on top. "Eventually, we will have all 12 combustors; the first aerospike development tests [are scheduled for] later this fall," Markusic says. 
Иветта, Лизетта, Мюзетта,
Жанетта, о, Жоpжетта.
Вся жизнь моя вами,
Как солнцем июльским согpета,
Покуда со мной вы, клянусь,
Моя песня не спета.

Комодский Варан

За вытесниловку респект. Только вот зачем в баках давление 37 атмосфер - непонятно, 15-20 вполне достаточно будет. Аэроспайк там нафиг не нужен. Мороки много, а 235 сек УИ у земли того не стоят.

Salo

Цитата Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust
Michael Blum, Firefly: Alpha can to 400 km, but can double payload capacity by adding turbopump to our engine. #smallsat
8:18 - 8 авг. 2016 г.

  Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  
Blum: Firefly's 2018 manifest is sold out, 2019 nearly sold out. Plan to ramp up to ~50 launches/yr by 2022-23. #smallsat
  8:54 - 8 авг. 2016 г.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Сергей

ЦитатаSeerndv пишет:
Цитата Firefly Targets Late Fall For Alpha Aerospike Rocket Tests

Initial combustor trials pave way for start of FRE-2 aerospike development rocket tests


Aug 5, 2016 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology


 Firing Up Firefly


Low-cost launcher start-up company Firefly Space Systems plans to conduct the first full-scale development test of its Alpha vehicle's pressure-fed FRE-2 aerospike rocket engine in the fourth quarter of this year.
The 125,000-lb.-thrust engine will be the first aerospike rocket to fly and is pivotal to Firefly's goal of developing a scalable family of relatively simple, lightweight launchers for the small satellite market. The initial vehicle, called the Alpha, is designed to deliver 200-kg (440-lb.) payloads to sun-synchronous orbit and is scheduled to launch on its first operational mission for NASA in March 2018.
"People have been talking about aerospike engines for a half-century," says Firefly co-founder and CEO Tom Markusic. "Early rocket pioneers recognized some very interesting characteristics of the aerospike concept that allow you to have a variable area-ratio nozzle without any moving parts. The gas dynamics in an aerospike means it naturally evolves into an increasingly high area-ratio nozzle as it ascends in altitude," he adds.

 
The FRE-2 aerospike is configured with an extended, fluted spike for improved performance following extensive CFD analysis. Credit: Firefly

Updating Firefly's development progress at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Propulsion and Energy Forum in July, Markusic said the basic simplicity of the aerospike concept suited the low-cost goals of the Alpha design. Unlike some other altitude-compensating nozzle developments, such as the wedge-shaped Rocketdyne XRS-2200 linear aerospike, which was developed for the aborted X-33, the FRE-2 is a plug-cluster- chamber design in which the annulus is divided into a discrete number of combustors. The exhaust from each of the 12 combustors impinges directly against the sides of a centrally mounted aerospike.
"We wanted to create something incredibly simple and eliminate moving parts," says Markusic. "First we dispensed with the turbomachinery. So how do you get propellant to the engine? We use a pressure-fed system, but tanks are generally very heavy. So the design challenge is to try to minimize parasitic masses." To get around this, the Alpha is configured with low-pressure, all-composite propellant tanks with a resulting low combustion-chamber pressure.

However, says Markusic, "the downside is you can't put much of a nozzle on it because you can only expand so far with a ground launch vehicle before you start to have problems. So it turns out [that] for a pressure-fed rocket, the aerospike is a very natural solution. It allows us to have additional effective nozzle area without having to put longer nozzles on or increasing chamber pressure."
Aerospike engines are also notoriously difficult to cool, acknowledges Markusic. However, once again, the Firefly design exploits a natural synergy, he says. Pressure-fed designs require "copious amounts of heat to pressurize the gases in the tank." The liquid oxygen/RP-1-fueled rocket is pressure fed using high-pressure helium to push the propellant from composite tanks into the pintle injector. The helium is stored cryogenically at high pressure before being heated to increase its specific volume using waste heat from the combustors. "So the two problems cancel each other out. From a systems perspective, the aerospike works for Alpha," he adds.
The oxygen flow rate will be 297 lb./sec., while RP-1 will be added at 126 lb./sec. for a mixture ratio of 2.35. Pressurized to 547 psia, the regeneratively cooled thrust chamber will incorporate a milled copper liner and an electroplated nickel jacket.
Markusic says close work with the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin has led to refinement of the FRE-2 configuration and extension of the spike. "We have run some of the most advanced computational fluid dynamics [CFD] analysis that has ever been done to optimize the length. We've been able to eke out a few more seconds of ISP [specific impulse] in CFD by using more of a fluted geometry aerospike rather than one with a continuous smooth surface," he says.
The upper stage of the two-stage Firefly will be powered by a single FRE-1 engine. The 6,200-lb.-thrust conventional bell nozzle LOx/RP-1 rocket will be identical to each of the 12 combustors in the aerospike's plug cluster. "One of our principles with Firefly is to make lots of the same thing. It's easier to make lots of combustors, and we wanted to use the same basic combustor on the upper stage as [on] the lower stage. To do that and get the requisite thrust on the upper stage, you need 12 of them on the first stage," adds Markusic.
Combustors are being built and tested at Firefly's rocket site at Briggs, Texas. A circular test rig--with positions for all the combustors that comprise the aerospike cluster--is currently fitted with a research combustor on the bottom and a flight-weight unit on top. "Eventually, we will have all 12 combustors; the first aerospike development tests [are scheduled for] later this fall," Markusic says.
Молодцы, есть собственные проектные решения, сопло с внешним расширением из дискретных сопел - это оригинально, не зависимо от конечного результата. Даже , если достигнут проектных экономических показателей - 20 000 $/кг на НОО, вопрос рентабельности проекта остается открытым. Пока мировой опыт показывает, что производители сверхлегких ракет переходят в классы более мощных РН , где больше заказов на пусковые услуги.

vogel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rqWc6QrHzM


ЦитатаFull Mission Duty Cycle Test a Success for Firefly Space Systems
CEDAR PARK, Texas, September 26, 2016
Firefly Space Systems, the Texas-based developer of dedicated launch vehicles for the small satellite market, announced today that it has successfully completed over 50 hot fire tests of its combustor, including multiple full mission duty cycle ("MDC") tests.
"These tests of our combustor retire critical engine design risk elements and place Firefly among an elite group of newspace companies that have successfully performed an MDC hot fire on a flight weight combustor. We have shown that our regeneratively cooled engine is capable of withstanding the stresses associated with long duration hot fires," said Firefly Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Thomas Markusic.
Firefly is developing one combustor design that will be utilized to power both stages of their small-sat launcher - "Firefly Alpha." The Alpha upper stage will utilize an engine (FRE-1) with a single combustor, whereas the first stage engine (FRE-2) will use an array of twelve of the same combustors arranged in an annular aerospike configuration.
Firefly rocket engines operate using LOx/RP-1 propellants and the basic combustor design can utilize either methane or RP-1 fuels. The upper stage variant of the engine (FRE-1) will produce 7,000 lbf thrust, and the first stage cluster used in FRE-2 will produce 125,000 lbf thrust.
This combustor test successfully demonstrated Firefly's regeneratively cooled flight weight engine firing for the full mission duty cycle of 163 seconds required for the first stage of Firefly's Alpha rocket. The test also served to further validate the complete functionality of Firefly's test site in preparation for a full 12 combustor aerospike test scheduled for the end of 2016.
Full video of the MDC test can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/-rqWc6QrHzM
"In less than three years, we have built our Texas team to over 160 world-class engineers, constructed state-of-the-art engineering and test facilities, designed a complete rocket (Alpha) to PDR level, and built and tested key vehicle technologies, such as composite tanks, avionics and engines," added Markusic.
"I'm incredibly proud of our hard-working and innovative Firefly team. They are a testament to the entrepreneurial vision of newspace and the amazing achievements that can be accomplished by a group of intelligent, motivated people in a short period of time."


 http://www.fireflyspace.com/news/ournews/full-mission-duty-cycle-test-a-success-for-firefly-space-systems#sthash.VGqYi7ki.dpuf

Salo

http://spacenews.com/firefly-space-systems-furloughs-staff-after-investor-backs-out/
ЦитатаFirefly Space Systems furloughs staff after investor backs out
by Jeff Foust -- October 3, 2016
 
Firefly Space Systems started testing engines for its Alpha small launch vehicle last September. Credit: Firefly Space Systems  
 
WASHINGTON -- Firefly Space Systems, a Texas company developing a small launch vehicle, has furloughed its entire staff after an investor backed out, forcing the firm to consider alternative vehicle concepts or even a sale of the company.
In a brief statement posted to its Twitter account Sept. 29, Firefly Space Systems said a recent "setback in funding" forced the company to "take necessary action to maintain cash-flow equilibrium and position our company for future success." Firefly did not elaborate on its situation other than tweeting a photo of company employees Sept. 30 with the caption, "Owners and management are so honored to have such a dedicated and committed team."
In an interview Oct. 2, company co-founder and chief executive Thomas Markusic said the announcement came after a setback in fundraising. Firefly was in the middle of a Series A funding round, and had already signed up one of two planned major investors in the round.
"The second large investor, which we had been working with for a year and had everything finalized, dropped out at really absolutely the last minute," he said. "Suddenly we were left with half of our Series A funding unaccounted for."
Markusic declined to identify the investor, other than to say the investor was based in Europe. "Brexit had something to do with it," he said, referring to the decision by voters in a June referendum in the United Kingdom to exit the European Union. "All the messaging that we got was that it wasn't us. They were going to go in a different strategic direction."
He did not disclose the amount that the investor planned to put into Firefly. In June, the company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had raised nearly $19.1 million of a planned round of $38.2 million. The filing did not disclose who invested in that round, and Markusic would only say that the other large investor was based in the United States, citing confidentiality agreements. That investor was also not willing to fund the rest of the Series A round after the European investor dropped out.
 
Thomas Markusic, Firefly chief executive. Credit: Firefly Space Systems
 
The sudden decision of the European investor to pull out caused problems because of the company's high rate of spending. "The way we've been able to go so fast is kind of a hand-to-mouth existence, so having a surprise like that did not give us a lot of runway," he said. "We've been trying to recover from that for the last couple months, and we've been unable to do that."
Markusic said Firefly implemented "really aggressive pay reductions" a few weeks ago. All but two of the company's 159 employees stayed on the job, he said, but those pay cuts were not enough. "We decided to basically furlough everybody last week," he said. That decision, he added, precipitated the public statement about the funding setback.
The company is currently working to raise a limited amount of capital to bring back some of its employees. Markusic said that the company's founders plan to inject additional money into the company, and other existing investors have provided "preliminary commitments" to provide funding in the next week. "It would allow us to at least maintain the core team," he said.
He said he hopes to raise enough near-term capital to support the company for four months. "We're trying to figure out the future of Firefly in the next four months," he said.
Firefly has been working on a small launch vehicle called Alpha. That two-stage vehicle, featuring new engines also being developed by Firefly, is designed to place payloads weighing up to 200 kilograms into a sun-synchronous orbit. One option for the company, Markusic said, is to continue the development of Alpha.
However, the company is considering alternatives. Markusic said Firefly found out last week it won a contract from a "major [Department of Defense] organization to utilize our technology on another platform" that he said was valued at tens of millions of dollars.
He declined to provide additional details, as the contract is still being negotiated and has not yet been formally announced, but he said an option for Firefly is to concentrate on that work, which would involve the development of a stage for another launch platform. "By concentrating on just the stage, it would dramatically lower our capital raise requirements, it would leverage everything we've done on Alpha, or almost all of it, and still get to space in the same timeframe we've been talking about and perhaps even honor our existing launch contract," he said.
Firefly's one launch contract it has announced to date is from NASA's Venture Class Launch Services program, awarded one year ago, for a single launch of the Alpha the company planned to carry out in early 2018. Earlier this year, NASA quietly issued a contract modification for that contract "to change the configuration from a land launch to an air launch and to revise the mission success criteria," according to a NASA procurement filing. The agency subsequently reduced the value of the contract, originally $5.5 million, by $2.4 million, without further explanation.
A third option, Markusic said, is to focus on technology development contracts the company has won from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Those contracts are valued at about $3 million, he said, for work on an aerospike engine and composite propellant tank. "That might be a last resort," he said. "It's a path, but we haven't looked at hard enough to see if it is a path that would be worthwhile."
He also did not rule out a sale of the company. "We already have interested parties lined up," he said. "That's a strong possibility." If that happened, he said it would be up to the new owner to decide what to do with the company's technology and vehicle plans.
Besides the financial problems, the company has been dealing with litigation from Virgin Galactic, Markusic's former employer. In a suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in California, Virgin Galactic alleged that Markusic developed some of the key technology for Firefly while working at Virgin, and took that with him when he left to found Firefly.
In August, an independent arbitrator concluded that Markusic deliberately destroyed evidence, in the form of computers and storage devices, that Virgin Galactic claims contained proprietary data used by Firefly. "Because of the destruction they have already accomplished, it is impossible to reconstruct the facts necessary to prove Claimant's case directly," the arbitrator concluded in an Aug. 16 report filed with the court. "As a result of the destruction of evidence, including emails, the essential links between Virgin Galactic's property and the development of Firefly's technology in this critical early period of Firefly's existence have been broken."
Markusic said the case, which is ongoing, did not play a factor in the European investor's decision to back out. He said "reputable independent evaluations" of the company's technology have traced it back to NASA, open source and other commercial technologies.
"Of course, when there's an accusation everyone looks into it," he said, "but given the independent auditing, everyone's been comfortable with the provenance of our technology."
Markusic said he's had "very frank and open conversations" with other entrepreneurial space companies about Firefly's current situation. "They're quite concerned, because our successes and our failures are going to be very influential to all the companies," he said. "We really need to be successful."
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Salo

03.10.2016 15:19:16 #17 Последнее редактирование: 03.10.2016 15:22:42 от Salo
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/02/firefly-planned-air-launch-small-satellite-booster/
ЦитатаFirefly Planned to Air Launch Small Satellite Booster
Posted by Doug Messier
on October 2, 2016, at 9:10 pm in News
                                    

An alert reader who goes by the pseudonym "redyns" has pointed out something very interesting about Firefly Space Systems, the company that on Thursday is reported to have laid off its entire staff due to financial difficulties.
In April, Firefly and NASA modified a contract under the Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) program from land launch to air launch, according to the USASpending.gov website. The company's Firefly α small satellite booster was originally designed to launch vertically from the ground.
The website shows that Firefly was awarded a VCLS contract worth $4.4 million on Sept. 30, 2015. A second contract modification has been made to "deobligate" $2.5 million in funding from the contract. That modification was made on Sept. 27, two days before the layoffs.
NASA gave VCLS contracts to three launch companies -- Firefly, Rocket Lab and Virgin Galactic -- to launch CubeSats for the agency. None of the companies has yet to fly their small-satellite booster.
Firefly's change from land launch to air launch is a surprise. It would have placed the company in direct competition with Virgin Galactic, whose LauncherOne rocket will be air launched from a Boeing 747. The boosters have similar payload capacities.
Firefly and its founder, Tom Markusic, have been involved in a legal battle with Virgin Galactic for the past two years. Virgin Galactic brought arbitration proceedings against Markusic, claiming he took proprietary data when he left his position as Virgin's vice president of propulsion to form Firefly in early 2013.
Markusic has denied the accusations. However, media reports say the arbitrator in the case ruled against Markusic earlier in September, saying he had taken materials improperly.
What Firefly would have air launched its booster on is unclear. One possibility is  from Stratolaunch Systems' carrier aircraft, which is specifically designed to air launch rockets. The airplane is now under construction in Mojave, Calif.
Stratolaunch has not announced what launch vehicles it plans to use to orbit satellites. The enormous aircraft, which boasts a 385-foot wingspan, was originally built to launch medium-sized payloads into orbit.
The company had agreements first with SpaceX and then with Orbital Sciences Corporation (now Orbital ATK) to build medium-size boosters. However, both of those partnerships fell through.
Over the past year, company officials said they were looking at a range of options, including small satellite launchers. In June, Stratolaunch Executive Director Chuck Beames said the company planned to announce partnerships "very soon."
Beames left his position at Stratolaunch and as president of Paul Allen's Vulcan Aerospace earlier this month. Geekwire obtained an internal email from Allen on Sept. 22.
In the email, Allen said a change of leadership was necessary as the company moved "into a more operational phase" of the program. Stratolaunch Systems CEO Jean Fuller has become interim executive director of Vulcan Aerospace.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Salo

Кажется бобик сдох:
Цитата Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  11 ч.11 часов назад  
Nagaraj: setbacks to companies like XCOR and Firefly should not dissuade VCs, but encourage them to do more due diligence. #ISPCS2016
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Alex_II

ЦитатаSalo пишет:
Кажется бобик сдох
Из чего ты сделал столь эпохальный вывод? "Срывы" - еще не означают, что компании капец...
И мы пошли за так, на четвертак, за ради бога
В обход и напролом и просто пылью по лучу...