Satnews Daily
February 24th, 2019

Firefly Aerospace to Establish Business and Launch Ops at Cape Canaveral Spaceport

Firefly Aerospace, Inc. (Firefly) has executed a binding term sheet with Space Florida, under which Firefly will establish business operations at Cape Canaveral Spaceport, including launch operations at historic Space Launch Complex 20 and manufacturing facilities at Exploration Park, Florida.

Firefly’s announcement is concurrent with its receipt of a Statement of Capability from the 45th Space Wing. As Florida’s spaceport development authority, Space Florida will enable the company’s Florida operations by matching the company’s infrastructure investments up to $18.9 million via the Florida Department of Transportation Spaceport Improvement Program. Firefly will invest $52 million and will bring more than 200 high paying jobs to Florida.

Executive Comments

Firefly CEO Dr. Tom Markusic said that the company is proud to be the newest member of the Florida Space Coast family. Firefly's mass production manufacturing facility in Exploration Park will enable the firm to produce 24 Alpha vehicles a year, enabling a launch cadence that will support a rapidly expanding global small satellite revolution and the commercialization of cislunar space. Firefly Aerospace is uniquely positioned to be successful in this new economy. With launch sites on both coasts and a mass production facility to support the company's global team of more than 300 highly accomplished engineers and technicians, the firm will provide space solutions from LEO to the surface of the Moon and beyond.

Frank DiBello, Space Florida President and CEO, noted that the organization is pleased to welcome Firefly Aerospace to the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Firefly’s presence in the State of Florida further solidifies that Florida’s Spaceport System is poised to lead the world in this next space era. The company looks forward to the new launch and manufacturing capabilities that Firefly brings to SLC-20 and Exploration Park, respectively.

John Way, 45th Space Wing spokesperson, added that the 45th Space Wing welcomes new launch providers who wish to assist in furthering America’s assured access to space. The Statement of Capability represents an important first step for Firefly Aerospace to obtain certification for launch operations on the Eastern Range,.

Brad Obrocto, Firefly Director of Launch Operations, reported that SLC-20 will allow Firefly access to lower inclination orbital trajectories for customers and enable access to lunar trajectories for its lander program as part of the firm's Commercial Lunar Payload Services contract with NASA. The space industry is expected to be fastest growing segment of the worldwide economy in the coming decades, with analysts predicting a global market of more than $1 trillion a year by 2040.