Firefly emerges from bankruptcy

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Capitalism in space: Firefly Aerospace, the company that was forced into bankruptcy when it lost a Virgin Galactic lawsuit for stealing their proprietary engineering, has emerged from bankruptcy.

The full article is behind a paywall, but it appears that the company includes its same management staff under a new owner.



  • Anthony Domanico

    This is fantastic news! Unfortunately, it remains to be seen as to whether or not they can legally pursue aerospike technology as they originally intended. I’m really surprised they were able to get more investment capital given their legal history. Does anybody know who invested and how much?

    Go Firefly! Mr. Z, think they will have a payload in orbit before Virgin Galactic has a paying customer in suborbital space?

  • Edward

    Anthony Domanico asked: “Does anybody know who invested and how much?

    Space News’s print edition (July 31) has an article that I cannot find online, “Firefly’s Second Act” The article explains that Firefly Aerospace was called Firefly Space Systems before “virtually all of the assets of the company were sold at auction.” Noosphere Ventures bought those assets, this past March, and it was also one of the creditors of Firefly Space Systems. I have not found the purchase price. I suspect that the purchase price was the amount to pay off all the other creditors, hopefully in full.

    Technically, Firefly Aerospace is a new company, 100% owned by Noosphere Ventures, but in reality there is not much difference; even the president, Thomas Markusic, is the same. They now own most of the old company’s assets and are hiring. Firefly Space Systems had about 150 employees when they had to furlough everyone, but Firefly Aerospace now has 60 employees, including both former Space Systems personnel and new people, and hope to reach 100 employees by first launch. They expect to enter service by mid 2019.

    (Are you looking for a job? They are located just north of Austin TX.)

    They expect to be able to place 1,000 kg into a 200 km orbit, if launched from Cape Canaveral, for a price of $10 million. They are working on “version 2.0” of their Alpha rocket, but I do not know whether they are still planning to use an aerospike engine.

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