Called Firefly, this service promises to provide affordable launches of satellites to Earth's low orbit using an all-composite launch vehicle powered by methane and constructed using light-weight mass-produced components.
Firefly was created for one simple reason: provide low-cost, high-performance space launch capability for the underserved small satellite market, where secondary-payload launches are often the only option. The technologies employed in our state-of-the-art rockets provide a clear pathway for future incremental improvements in vehicle capability. Later vehicles will also have reusable elements and employ air-breathing propulsion.
Small satellites are playing an increasingly significant role in space. Smaller, lighter and cheaper satellite technologies have led to functional systems that are a fraction of the size of their predecessors. Meanwhile, constellations of small satellites are showing promise for replacing larger custom-built systems, thus providing redundancy and the ability to regularly refresh system technology. Lastly, many advanced technologies languish at middle TRL levels. Low cost rides to space will allow these technologies to be proven and advance our collective space-flight capabilities.
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|Archive of Colour Photographs from the Apollo Missions|
|25,000 hellos from Earth to Gliese 581d|
|"It would be quite dangerous for humanity to communicate with a civilization we don’t know anything about."|
|Just How Ridiculously Huge the Universe Is|
|Termite-Inspired Autonomous Robotic Construction Crew|
|Unboxing a Factory Sealed IBM Compatible PC from 1988|
|“The release of methane from hydrate may be apocalyptic.”|
|The Unknown Reader|
|James Charles' Pop Culture Dollars|
|Reviewing Counterfeit Toys Made in China|
|"This very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age."|
|“There was not only automation but where the suggestion that humans had any control [...] was absent too.”|
|"Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40."|
|"Fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business."|
|Pat the Zombie: A Cruel Adult Spoof of 'Pat the Bunny'|