Firefly Aerospace has successfully launched its Alpha rocket for the first time ever, delivering three small satellites, with all payloads reaching the intended orbit.
The rocket took off at 3:01 AM EDT (7:01 GMT) October 1, 2022, from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, United States.
It marked the second attempt for Firefly, after its first launch, conducted in September 2021, ended with the rocket exploding mid-air.
The company announced the success shortly after the take-off, later tweeting that all payloads had reached their orbits.
100% Mission success. Congratulations to the entire team.— Firefly Aerospace (@Firefly_Space) October 1, 2022
Here’s a little replay teaser from tonight’s outstanding @Firefly_Space’s first successful launch of their Alpha rocket! I can’t wait for @considercosmos to post the high quality video AND audio along with this, it’s going to be something special for sure!!! #ToTheBlack pic.twitter.com/L4LbT8I7Bd— Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) October 1, 2022
The launch was originally slated to take place in early September 2022 but was delayed several times due to technical problems and adverse weather.
Founded in 2017, Firefly aims to enter the small satellite launch market with the Alpha, a two-stage expendable rocket that can lift 1,170 kilograms (2,580 pounds) to low Earth orbit.