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Sunday, 8 August 2021

Firefly to Become the Premier Supplier of Rocket Engines and Spaceflight Components for the Emerging New Space Industry


Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced the launch of a new line of business dedicated to supplying rocket engines and other spaceflight components to the emerging New Space industry. 

“Our goal with this line of business is to become the Tier 1 supplier of components to the New Space industry,” said Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “Our component sales business model has inherent advantages over businesses that focus on a single (e.g., rocket engines) or narrow range (e.g., valves) of components.”

The development of this new line of business was born out of the overwhelming interest in Firefly’s technology and the need, within the New Space industry, to shorten the time to market and have a reliable and consistent sourcing partner for the components necessary to develop spaceflight vehicles. 

Firefly is unique in that it not only builds and operates spaceflight vehicles, such as its Alpha rocket, but will also become a premier sourcing partner for other New Space companies to procure the components that are used in those vehicles, helping to lower the barrier to entry in the New Space market. Through the manufacture of their own vehicles, Firefly will establish flight heritage for all components before supplying them to other companies, providing customers with high confidence and low risk, as the components will have been fully proven in spaceflight missions, not just ground tests. 

The component business plan also has the advantage that there is automatically a core customer – Firefly’s spacecraft and launch vehicle divisions. As the company adds external customers, it will allow them to manufacture increasingly larger numbers of the same components, creating economies of scale for production efficiency and cost reduction.

“We initially focused external sales on Firefly’s rocket engines, which we believe provide the best cost/performance in the industry. Initial demand has been strong, with external orders already exceeding the quantity of engines that Firefly was building for use on its own launch vehicle, Alpha,” said Eric Salwan, CRO of Firefly. He added “Firefly also has strong expertise in the design and production of carbon fiber composite structures. We are currently in active negotiations to supply composite components, such as composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV), to external customers.”

While Firefly is launching this line of business based on the components developed in-house, it plans to expand its offerings to include a number of components developed by their partners, creating a New Space component marketplace with a complete line of products allowing companies to procure and have components delivered from a single source.

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