As it approaches its first launch, Firefly Aerospace wants to raise an additional $350 million to expand its operations and develop a larger launch vehicle, SpaceNews reports.
“In the next five years we want to take Firefly from a $1 billion company when we go out and fly Alpha and the SUV,” [CEO Tom Markusic] said, a reference to an upper stage called the Space Utility Vehicle that can serve as a space tug, “to in about five years being on the order of a $10 billion company.”
Markusic said $125 million of the funding would go toward “production enhancements,” such as facilities and tooling needed to ramp up launch vehicle production. That would include equipment used in the aircraft industry to produce large carbon-fiber composite structures that Firefly wants to apply to its vehicles. “What that means is that it will really help us realize that low-cost vision that we have for the company.”
The other $225 million would support growth initiatives, in particular a medium-class vehicle capable of placing 10 tons into orbit, about 10 times the capacity of Alpha. The company wants to make a first launch of that larger vehicle by early 2024.
Firefly has raised about $200 million. The company is looking to conduct the inaugural launch of its Alpha booster from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at the end of February.