Firefly Aerospace and Max Polyakov Want to Build Smaller Rockets than SpaceX
Max Polyakov is collaborating with the US to create rockets smaller than those that SpaceX has built. He has invested $150 million in the commercial rocket industry, making a name for himself. Polyakov’s commercial spaceflight company, Firefly Aerospace, runs an engine test site in Austin, Texas with offices in Cedar Park. His company is already in line for multi-million dollar contracts to launch satellites for NASA .
Firefly’s 300-member staff is looking forward to launching Alpha, which will be their first rocket sent into orbit from a launching pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California. The 96-foot tall Alpha rocket will be the first to enter the world of commercial spaceflight with a cargo capacity of 2,000 pounds. The Rocket Lab of New Zealand has taken up most contracts for small launches of about 650 pounds and below, while giants like Blue Origin and SpaceX take up larger government space launches with massive loads of 18,000 pounds and above. If Alpha is successful, it will have made a niche for itself in middle-load launches. Firefly also has plans for Beta, (a larger rocket), a lunar lander, a reusable spaceplane, propulsion systems, and satellites.
Will Firefly Aerospace Achieve this Massive Ambition?
Alpha’s launch was moved from September to December, and there is no doubt that it’ll be a success.
Max Polyakov has invested in and run businesses whose values combine to about $1 billion. After graduating from medical university in Ukraine,he started a string of successful businesses that were acquired by firms such as Oracle and Blackstone.
Like Musk, Polyakov is willing to wager his fortune on the space industry, hoping to discover opportunities others have missed.