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Small rocket launch startup Firefly teams up with Aerojet Rocketdyne

Firefly is on track to make its crucial first launch in time for the February to March timeframe next year, according to Firefly founder and CEO Dr. Tom Markusic, who spoke at the International Astronautical Congress this year in Washington, D.C., to provide an update on his company’s progress and talk about the newly formed partnership between Firefly and Aerojet Rocketdyne.

Markusic was joined by Aerojet Rocketdyne SVP of Space Business Jim Maser, and the two executives explained how Aerojet will provide engines for Firefly to use on its next-generation launch vehicle, aptly named ‘Beta,’ the full development of which will follow once Alpha has launched and enters into regular commercial service.

Firefly plans to do an orbital transfer vehicle to provide more advanced launch capabilities, and its ambitions extend even beyond launchers and to in-space manufacturing, which Markusic said is attractive to the company since the ultimate way to reduce launch costs is to obviate the need for launch costs altogether, and the company’s ultimate goal is to get more commercial satellites into orbit, regardless of method.

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