- Press Release
- Mar 21, 2023
Firefly Awarded $112 Million NASA Contract for Payload Delivery to Lunar Orbit and the Far Side of the Moon
Firefly Aerospace, Inc., an end-to-end space transportation company, was awarded a $112 million NASA contract to deliver multiple lunar payloads in 2026.
As Firefly’s second task order won under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload (CLPS) initiative, the company will use its Blue Ghost spacecraft in a two-stage configuration to first place a satellite into lunar orbit and then deliver two research payloads on the far side of the Moon.
“Our second lunar mission is something we’re celebrating as a Firefly team, as a NASA commercial provider, and most importantly, as an all-American company committed to making space exploration an achievable dream for everyone,” said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. “This mission will debut Firefly’s unique two-stage Blue Ghost spacecraft, offering NASA and other customers multiple deployment options as we collectively build the infrastructure for ongoing lunar operations and planetary exploration.”
The NASA-provided payloads Firefly is delivering will advance lunar research and infrastructure in conjunction with NASA’s Moon-to-Mars roadmap. Before landing on the Moon, the company’s Blue Ghost transfer vehicle will deploy the European Space Agency’s Lunar Pathfinder satellite into lunar orbit to provide communications for future spacecraft, robots, and human explorers. After touching down on the far side of the Moon, the Blue Ghost lunar lander will deliver and operate NASA’s S-Band User Terminal, ensuring uninterrupted communications for lunar exploration, and a research-focused payload that measures radio emissions to provide insight into the origins of the universe.
Along with the NASA payloads, Firefly’s mission is offering payload delivery and orbital services for additional government and commercial customers. The robust and versatile design of the company’s Blue Ghost transfer vehicle and its propellant reserve will enable a variety of mission opportunities, including lunar sample return to Earth, further exploration to nearby planets like Mars and Venus, and long-duration orbital services, such as communications and surveying.
“Firefly’s ability to provide additional capabilities to multiple customers on the same mission lowers costs, further expands space exploration, and provides a win-win for everyone involved,” said Jana Spruce, Vice President of Spacecraft at Firefly Aerospace. “We welcome additional partners to join us on this historic mission as our society embarks on a new era of commercial development in cislunar space and beyond.”
Firefly’s first mission, Blue Ghost Mission 1, is on track for launch in 2024 and will deliver 10 NASA-sponsored payloads and two commercial payloads to Mare Crisium, a low-lying basin on the Moon’s near side.
Customers interested in payload delivery and orbital services available on Blue Ghost can find more information at https://fireflyspace.com/blue-ghost-mission-2/.
About Firefly Aerospace
Firefly Aerospace is an end-to-end space transportation company developing a family of launch vehicles, in-space vehicles, and services to provide industry-leading affordability, convenience, and reliability to government and commercial customers. Firefly’s small- to medium-lift launch vehicles, combined with its spacecraft, such as the Space Utility Vehicle (SUV) and Blue Ghost lunar lander, provide the space industry with a single source for missions from LEO to the surface of the Moon and beyond. For more information, visit www.fireflyspace.com.