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Fly the Lightning

Alpha FLTA004 Fly the Lightning is a dedicated commercial launch for Lockheed Martin in support of a national security technology demonstration.

FLTA004 Fly the Lightning

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Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Mission: Technology

Low Earth Orbit Space Launch Complex 2W Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA Probability: 60%

Firefly’s Alpha rocket will launch Lockheed Martin’s new wideband Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) technology integrated on a Terran Orbital Nebula satellite bus. Developed within Lockheed Martin Space’s Ignite organization using a proprietary design, the ESA payload will demonstrate faster on-orbit sensor calibration to deliver rapid capabilities to U.S. warfighters.


Cosmic_Penguin • Dec. 23, 2023, 5:48 a.m.

Updated launch status following confirmation of stage 2 2nd burn failure.

Cosmic_Penguin • Dec. 22, 2023, 5:32 p.m.


Cosmic_Penguin • Dec. 22, 2023, 4:45 p.m.

Updated T-0.

Firefly Alpha

Family: Firefly Alpha

Firefly Alpha (Firefly α) is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle developed by the American aerospace company Firefly Aerospace to cover the commercial small satellite launch market. Alpha is intended to provide launch options for both full vehicle and ride share customers.

See Firefly Alpha Details
  • Stages
  • Length
    29.0 m
  • Diameter
    1.82 m
  • Fairing Diameter
    2.21 m
  • Launch Mass
    54 T
  • Thrust
    736 kN
  • Name
    Firefly Alpha
  • Family
    Firefly Alpha
  • Variant
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Firefly Alpha
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
  • Low Earth Orbit
    1000 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity
    630 kg

Firefly Aerospace

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Bill Weber Founded: 2014 Successes: 2 Failures: 2 Pending: 1

Agency Type: Commercial

Firefly Aerospace is an American private aerospace firm based in Austin, Texas, that develops small and medium-sized launch vehicles for commercial launches to orbit.


Related News


Software problem blamed for Firefly Alpha mishap

A software glitch prevented the upper stage of Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket from completing a second burn during a December launch, stranding its payload in a low orbit.


Lockheed Martin’s misplaced satellite to fall back to Earth next month

Despite a much shortened mission, the company said it successfully accomplished many of the objectives of the technology demonstration..


Firefly Alpha upper stage malfunction puts payload into wrong orbit

A problem with the upper stage of a Firefly Aerospace Alpha rocket placed a Lockheed Martin technology demonstration satellite into the wrong orbit on a Dec. 22 launch.

Space Scout

Firefly Alpha Flight 004 Ends in Anomaly

After several delays due to uncooperative weather, Firefly’s Alpha launch vehicle has flown for the fourth time as part of the Fly the Lightning mission. Firefly was able to find a break in the weather on Friday morning, and the vehicle li…


Firefly suffers second stage anomaly on “Fly the Lightning” mission

Just on the heels of its success in integrating and launching a payload to orbit within 27 hours for the Space Force, Firefly Aerospace flew again — this time with a dedicated flight for Lockheed Martin. The Alpha FLTA004 mission lifted of…

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