From: Firefly Space Systems
Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2020
Firefly Aerospace, headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, is a manufacturer of small launch vehicles for commercial, national security and civil space customers. The company maintains a 200-acre manufacturing and test facility in Briggs, Texas, 27 miles north of its headquarters.
On January 22, 2020, test engineers were conducting a planned test of the first stage of the company’s “Alpha” launch vehicle. The test was to be the first in a series of propulsion tests to verify design and operation of the stage, and involved a short, 5-second firing of the stage’s four engines.
At 6:23 pm local time, the stage’s engines were fired, and a fire broke out in the engine bay at the base of the rocket’s stage. The 5-second test was immediately aborted and the test facility’s fire suppression system extinguished the fire. The cause of the anomaly is under investigation. Firefly engineers are reviewing test data from the stage to identify potential causes for the test failure, and Firefly will share results of that investigation once it is complete.
Firefly is committed to workplace safety, and at no time during the test were Firefly operations personnel or the public in danger. Firefly is coordinating closely with local authorities and emergency response personnel as it investigates the anomaly and refines its contingency procedures.
Additional questions concerning this press release may be directed to Eric Salwan, Firefly spokesperson, at (216) 533-1301.
Commercial Business Development
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