Firefly’s First Test Flight Lasts More Than Two Minutes, With Successful Liftoff and Progression to Supersonic Speed

September 06 2021

On September 2, Firefly Aerospace (Austin, Texas, U.S.) conducted the first flight test of its all-composite Alpha rocket. According to a company statement by Firefly Aerospace on 3rd September, the rocket launched successfully, flew for about 2.5 minutes and achieved supersonic speed, prior to an anomaly that caused the vehicle to explode prior to reaching orbit.

Alpha is a two-stage, small-satellite launch vehicle designed to carry 1,000 kilograms of customer payload to low Earth orbit (LEO), and all major structural components are constructed from carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg. In Octber. 2020, the company declared an investment in an automated fiber placement (AFP) machine, aiming to automate and scale up its rocket production.

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