Aerojet Rocketdyne has partnered with Firefly Aerospace to jointly provide launch services to support low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous orbit and Moon missions for the government and commercial sectors.
The cooperative agreement covers services to support small and medium launch vehicles and will combine Aerojet Rocketdyne's additive manufacturing, mission assurance and propulsion development experience with Firefly's rocket systems and in-space services, the former said Friday.
The partnership currently aims to support the launch of Firefly's Alpha rocket designed to send small satellites to LEO and sun-synchronous orbit. Aerojet Rocketdyne intends to use additive manufacturing for constructing components of the rocket's first stage in an effort to increase its SSO payload capacity to more than 1,764 pounds.
The company also applied the manufacturing technique as well as its in-space propulsion systems for the development of the Firefly Orbital Transfer Vehicle that works to deliver small payloads across orbits. Eileen Drake, president and CEO at Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the two firms intend to address emerging launch and national security demands as part of the agreement. Alpha is slated to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in the first quarter of 2020.