Firefly, a space company, is gearing up for its second orbital launch of the Alpha rocket. The venture hopes to establish the foundation of the business.
CNBC spoke with Tom Markusic Firefly CEO, who stated that Firefly intends to be SpaceX’s next company.
CNBC recently got an exclusive look inside the company’s manufacturing and testing locations near Austin, Texas. its first Alpha rocket launch in September.
The rocket is your key to the stars. Markusic explained that it is crucial but not the most lucrative.
Markusic – whose experience includes leadership roles at Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX – compared the lunar lander that Firefly is building, called Blue Ghost, to SpaceX’s series of Dragon capsules, which delivers cargo and people to low Earth orbit. Markusic claims that the lunar lander offers more value per mission than Firefly’s Alpha rocket, which is priced at $15 million per launch.
Markusic stated that Blue Ghost fully loaded with payload can bring in about $150,000,000 of revenue to the company.
Firefly Aerospace CEO Tom Markusic poses in front the Alpha rocket of Firefly Aerospace at Vandenberg Space Force Base, SLC-2.
Andrew Evers | CNBC
Although the September Alpha launch was a major milestone for Alpha, an electrical problem caused one of its four engines to fail. This led to an intentional explosive ending about two minutes in.
Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket explodes high above California, after it was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in September 2021.
Andrew Evers | CNBC
Firefly CEO Lauren Lyons stated that the company expects to attempt a second flight in 2022. The goal is to reach orbit and begin regular flights.
Lyons stated that the goal was to launch 24 rockets by 2024. Lyons stated that flying our next flight and any subsequent ones as fast as possible will help us reach that goal. Also, we need to learn as much as possible so we can move on to repeatable builds.
Markusic stated that Firefly currently spends about $10 million per monthly and wants to see its revenues grow “before we go public.” Up to now, Firefly has raised nearly $200 million in Venture Capital.
Markusic stated to CNBC that he doesn’t believe going public is a good way to finance development. CNBC’s Markusic stated that “I believe it’s possible this year,” and suggested that there could be a public offer of Firefly.