From the time that NASA ordered the mission, Firefly will have had about 2.5 years to design and build the lander, Coogan said.Firefly started as a launch company and attempted its first Alpha rocket launch in early September.
The rocket failed after one of its first-stage engines shut off only seconds after launch, but the company is already well on its way toward a second attempt, said CEO Tom Markusic.
The company plans to deliver hardware for its second flight to the launch site at Vandenberg Space Force Base in December and may attempt a launch as early as January 2022.The company's rocket production process is strongly vertically integrated, so developing Blue Ghost has been a challenge in that it relies more heavily on external partners, Markusic said."I'd say the supply chain is my biggest concern, but it’s not a serious concern," Markusic said about Blue Ghost's scheduled launch and lunar landing.Although he began Firefly to launch rockets, Markusic said he has realized that to scale in the space industry, a company needs to do more than launch.So in addition to developing a larger "Beta" rocket and the Blue Ghost lander, Firefly is also working on an in-space utility vehicle.
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