Firefly Alpha Launch Scheduled for Thursday Evening From Vandenberg

Tom Markusic and Lauren Lyons in front of Firefly Alpha rocket on the pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base. (Credit: Firefly Aerospace)

Firefly Aerospace will attempt the maiden flight of its Alpha booster later today from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The window for the rideshare mission extends from 6 to 10 p.m. PDT (0100-0500 UTC on Friday). A livestream of the launch will be available through Everyday Astronaut beginning one hour before the scheduled liftoff.

The rideshare mission will carry a number of payloads, which are show below.

PayloadPurposeCompany/ OrganizationNation
 DREAMCubeSat deployerFireflyUSA
BSS1 (DFAST Demonstrator)Technology demonstrationBenchmark SpaceUSA
CRESST DREAM COMETTechnology demonstrationUniversity of CambridgeUK
Firefly Capsule 1EducationFireflyUSA
FOSSASAT 1bLoRa communicationsFOSSA SystemsSpain
FOSSASAT 2PhotographyFOSSA SystemsSpain
GENESIS LAmateur radio/PropulsionAMSAT-EASpain
GENESIS NAmateur radio/PropulsionAMSAT-EASpain
HiapoThermospheric researchHawaii Science and Technology MuseumUSA
NPS-CENETIX-Orbital 1Technology demonstrationAT&T / NPSUSA
PICOBUS-1PocketQube deployerLibre Space FoundationGreece
QUBIK 1Amateur radioLibre Space FoundationGreece
QUBIK 2Amateur radioLibre Space FoundationGreece
Spinnaker3Technology demonstrationPurdue UniversityUSA
TIS SerenityEducationTeachers in Space, Inc.USA

Source: Wikipedia

The two-stage, 29 meter (95 foot) tall Alpha booster is capable of delivery one metric ton (2,205 lb) to low Earth orbit and 630 kg (1,389 lb) to a 500 km (311 mile) high sun-synchronous orbit. Firefly is charging $15 million for a dedicated launch.

USSPACECOM Signs 100th Commercial Agreement to Share Space Data, Service

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  –  U.S. Space Command signed the 100th Commercial Space Situational Awareness Data Sharing Agreement in the history of the command with Libre Space Foundation, a non-profit entity, to initiate the two-way flow of SSA services and information.

The memorandum, signed July 1 by U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi, USSPACECOM director of Plans, Strategy and Policy, will enhance the nation’s awareness within the space domain and increase the safety of global spaceflight operations.

“Our space systems underpin a wide range of services, providing vital national, military, civil, scientific and economic benefits to the global community,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, commander of USSPACECOM. “Space situational awareness, which requires these types of cooperative agreements in order to achieve efficiency and effectiveness, is one of many approaches used to ensure all responsible space-faring nations continue benefitting from this critical domain.”

(more…)