Firefly Aerospace Inc., a U.S. rocket and space technology company owned by Ukrainian businessman Max Polyakov, has successfully performed pre-flight tests of its first Alpha rocket.
The four Reaver engines performed 35 seconds of thrust vector control maneuvers, challenging the flame deflectors to constrain all that Reaver power, the company’s press service said.
Firefly Aerospace Inc. said that this test was a major step in Firefly’s march to its first flight.
The launch of the rocket will be not only a big milestone for the company, but for the entire Noosphere, Polyakov said. He said that the company is building a large space vertical, which includes many companies, and it will soon be ready to provide the full range of services in the space industry – from launching payloads and manufacturing satellites, to control systems and data analysis.
In his opinion, the launch of this rocket will be an important event for Ukraine.
It will show, first of all, to the young generation that Ukraine is capable of producing an intellectual product, that space is not a dream, but a reality, he said. Polyakov said that he has invested a lot of efforts and funds in the development of science in Ukraine, and the company has already launched seven engineering schools and is planning to develop this sphere. He expressed the hope that the launch of Alpha rocket will motivate students.
The volume of state financing of the rocket and space industry of Ukraine in 2019 should amount to UAH 2.13 billion, which is 14% less compared to 2018. These parameters are stipulated in the country’s main financial law for 2019, which has been posted on the Verkhovna Rada’s website. State financing for the space industry from the general fund of the national budget of 2019 will amount to UAH 2.12 billion (99.5% of the budget).
In the total amount of funding for the industry through the general fund, UAH 1.47 billion (69% of the industry budget) should be used for servicing debt obligations on the loan raised under state guarantees for the implementation of the project “Creating the National Satellite Communications System.” In 2018, some UAH 1.55 billion (62.5%) was foreseen for this purpose.
Some UAH 78.5 million is foreseen for carrying out work on state targeted programs and government orders in the space industry in 2019, which is 9.8% less than in 2018, while UAH 344.8 million will be spent on management and testing space vehicles, or 14% less compared to 2018.
The launch of the Antares carrier rocket, created by the American Orbital ATK Corporation with the participation of Ukrainian enterprises, has been carried out from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in the United States, Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly has said. The Antares rocket is a successful example of interaction between the Ukrainian and U.S. space companies in the field of peaceful space exploration, the ambassador said on his Facebook page.
“Thus, the main construction of the first degree rocket was developed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau and manufactured at the Makarov Southern Machine-Building Plant in cooperation with the Ukrainian enterprises Khartron-Arkos, Khartron-UKOM, Rapid, etc. Ukrainian specialists took an active part in the tests of Antares, which were conducted in the United States,” Chaly said.
“It is this rocket that should deliver the Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station,” he added.
The ambassador recalled that in June 2018, the American company Orbital ATK, Ukraine’s partner in this project, became a division of one of the most powerful defensive corporations in the United States — Northrop Grumman Inc.