Firefly Aerospace in Cedar Park aiming to launch rockets

Firefly Aerospace gave a 40-second demonstration of a rocket engine test during a tour of its Briggs facilities March 13.

Firefly Aerospace gave a 40-second demonstration of a rocket engine test during a tour of its Briggs facilities March 13.

[gallery ids="320240,320241,320242,320243"]

A Cedar Park-based business said it plans to launch rockets into space.

Firefly Aerospace is in the process of developing small satellite launch vehicles. Previously called Firefly Space Systems, the company’s assets, intellectual property and patents were purchased by Dr. Max Polyakov in 2017 and rebranded as Firefly Aerospace.

Until March, Firefly kept most of its operations under wraps. Led by Co-founder and CEO Thomas Markusic, on March 13 tours of Firefly’s facilities were given to industry professionals, members of the media and attendees of the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals. The company also held a booth at the SXSW Trade Show, with models of a rocket and engines, Chief Operating Officer Leo Sipich said.

“Firefly has reached a level of technical maturity in our program and facilities, and we felt it was appropriate to let people see what we’ve accomplished so far,” said Eric Salwan, the company’s director of commercial business development. “We very much believe that technology should be demonstrated, not talked about.”

Firefly has conducted around 150 rocket engine tests, but so far no rockets have been launched. The company plans to launch its first rocket in the third quarter of 2019, Salwan said.

The company’s first model is called the Firefly Alpha. Salwan said Firefly’s products are intended for NASA and the private industry to deploy single or multiple satellites.

“There are thousands of satellites planned for small satellite constellations, and Firefly Alpha can be used to deploy the initial constellation or to replenish satellites as needed,” he said.

Firefly employs 120 people and operates its headquarters within Cedar Park, where it designs and manufactures the missiles. Testing is performed at the company’s test site location in Briggs.

“We are looking forward to continuing to grow our footprint and workforce in Cedar Park,” Salwan said.

Firefly Aerospace
By Abby Bora

Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.


This sign was on the front door of Russo's on Jan. 23. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Cedar Park has closed

Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Cedar Park closed Jan. 20, according to a sign on the location’s front door.

Rick Beverlin attended his first Leander 
City Council meeting Dec. 5. (Courtesy city of Leander)
Moving from Galveston, Leander’s newest city manager brings experience in tourist communities

Leander’s new city manager, Rick Beverlin, came to Leander from Galveston, where he had served as the assistant city manager since 2016

Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Central Health will explore minimum wage bumps for its employees

The health care district is considering increasing its minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Director of operations Joseph Nguyen. (Marisa Charpentier, Community Impact Newspaper)
Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails brings modern southern food to Avery Ranch

After serving locals and tourists alike at its downtown location for more than 15 years, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill opted to open a new location in 2018. Now just over a year old, the Avery Ranch location—called Moonshine Comfort & Cocktails—is bringing the same Southern comfort food and atmosphere to North Austin communities with a slightly modern flair.

speed limit 50 mph shutterstock stock image
Speed limit to be reduced on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Leander

The speed limit on a 1-mile stretch of Ronald Reagan Boulevard in Leander is being reduced from 65 mph to 50 mph.

(Courtesy Peace Lutheran Church Preschool)
Peace Lutheran Church Preschool on FM 620 celebrating 20th anniversary

Peace Lutheran Church Preschool is celebrating its 20th anniversary this academic year.

Travis County commissioners participated in budget hearings during the fiscal year 2018-19 budget process. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis Central Appraisal District board will host in-person meetings for informal protests in 2020

The Travis Central Appraisal District board of trustees voted to bring back in-person meetings for informal protests this year.

Residents can expect mailers to arrive by mid-March requesting they participate in the 2020 census. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
Austin-Travis County officials establish nonprofit to raise funds to support complete census count

Officials in Austin and Travis County have formed a complete count committee to support the 2020 census effort.

Cedar Park, Leander prepare to reap more hotel tax revenue in 2020

As Cedar Park’s annual hotel occupancy tax, or HOT, revenue is expected to top $1 million in fiscal year 2019-20—and Leander begins receiving HOT revenue with the opening of its first hotel—city officials say they are considering how to best allocate funding to deserving entities.

Leanderthal Distilling founder Scott Calame (right) raises a glass with bartender Jim Nunn. (Brian Perdue, Community Impact Newspaper)
Leanderthal Lounge opens to showcase small-batch liquors

In three years, Leanderthal Distilling founder Scott Calame has seen his business evolve.

Cedar Park transit study offers possible future public transit options

The purpose of the Cedar Park transit study is to “identify available transit options and to evaluate options based on cost efficiency and effectiveness."

Back to top