Launch startup Firefly Aerospace announced yesterday that it has acquired Spaceflight Inc., a space services and transportation company, to build its on-orbit service offerings.
Firefly did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Firefly: The Texas-based rocket startup, which focuses on the small to medium-lift market, achieved orbit for the first time in October with its Alpha launch vehicle. Firefly aspires to be a one stop shop for space transportation, offering launch services and in-orbit transportation to bring payloads to specific orbits.
Spaceflight Inc.: The space services company organizes launch rideshares, having completed over 460 successful payload deployments, and operates orbital transfer vehicles capable of last-mile satellite deliveries.
- The Spaceflight acquisition provides Firefly with further mission management expertise while expanding its product suite to offer an end-to-end service for satellite customers.
“The combination of Spaceflight’s on-orbit experience with Firefly’s launch vehicles, Blue Ghost landers, and Space Utility Vehicles is an overnight game changer for our customers and investors,” said Firefly chief Bill Weber.
Recent tug consolidation: Earlier this year, Launcher, a space tug competitor, merged with commercial space station company Vast, citing the benefits of a well-capitalized single-parent investor. Orbital transfer vehicle startups are capital-intensive businesses that compete in an increasingly crowded market. Nonetheless, they remain integral to the space transportation value chain.