Firefly Aerospace has acquired launch and in-space transportation service provider Spaceflight Inc., in a bid to expand its on-orbit capabilities for customers.
Firefly did not disclose the terms of the deal but a company spokesperson confirmed that the transaction has closed. The spokesperson added that the entire Spaceflight team, including CEO Tiphane Louradour, will be absorbed into Firefly, and that the company “will be assessing talent and roles and responsibilities in the coming months.”
“Spaceflight’s flight-proven orbital vehicles, facilities, and mission management expertise will support Firefly’s rapid growth, provide a robust roadmap for investors, and meet the high demand for our on-orbit and responsive space services,” Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace, said in a statement. “The acquisition further accelerates Firefly’s timeline to support end-to-end missions with launch, lunar, and in-space services.”
Cedar Park, Texas-based Firefly is in the rocket and spacecraft business. The company has developed a small launcher called Alpha, which has flown twice, and is developing a medium-lift vehicle with Northrop Grumman that could fly as soon as 2025. The company is also developing a suite of spacecraft, including a lunar lander called Blue Ghost and two “Space Utility Vehicles” busses for in-space mobility and payload hosting.
Firefly will be absorbing Spaceflight Inc.’s tech, including its family of orbital transfer vehicles called Sherpas, as well as its licensing and mission management services. Being able to offer these services may help Firefly stand out to prospective customers, especially as more and more rocket companies bid for their business.
With the deal’s close, Firefly said it would honor Spaceflight’s existing customer contracts with other launch vehicles. However, once those obligations have been met, Spaceflight’s services will be used exclusively with Firefly rockets.
Firefly also plans to use Spaceflight’s facilities in Bellevue, Washington to manufacture its orbital vehicles. According to a Spaceflight press release from last year, the company maintains a 39,000-square foot space in Bellevue, including 25,000-square feet of office space and a 14,000-square foot warehouse plus clean room.
The news comes as Firefly is gearing up to conduct the third and fourth launch of its Alpha rocket. The third launch, called Victus Nox, will challenge Firefly to launch its rocket with just 24 hours’ notice for the U.S. Space Force. A subsequent mission for NASA is tentatively targeted for August.