this week the American Firefly Aerospace Inc. (Firefly) Ukrainian businessman max Polyakov confirmed that he had filed an application to participate in the lunar program, NASA (CLPS). As stated in message, Firefly was designed by a private spaceship to complete the fourth task program CLPS for the supply of scientific instruments on one of the poles of the moon.
the deadline for submitting applications is early March, NASA is expected to sign contracts in April. Thus, companies will need about 2.5 years to complete the lunar mission, which is to begin in the second half of 2022.
Tom Markusic, CEO of Firefly, said that he sees the program CLPS similar plan by NASA in 2006 to encourage the development of private vehicles to the International space station. This program has provided several hundred million dollars to SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, which has led to the development of rockets, the Falcon 9 and Antares as well as supply Cargo ships Dragon and Cygnus.
Today, Firefly continues to develop as an Orbital Transport vehicle, or OTV, and lander Genesis for payload delivery to the lunar surface. The company partnered with Aerojet Rocketdyne, a leader in the field of space propulsion. The vehicle will use the engine Hall Aerojet XR-5, which have already been tested in space on an unmanaged space plane X-37 the air force.
it is Expected that Firefly OTV can deliver to the moon a few hundred kilogram payload over a two-month trip. The company will create a lander with U.S. components to make it suitable for NASA programs and other government contracts.
Like any other company in the world, Firefly in the last week struggling with the pandemic COVID-19. The company has restricted the movement of staff and went to work in two shifts, from 7:00 to 15:30 and 16:00 to midnight in order to reduce opportunities for social contacts. In between shifts, the objects are cleaned with disinfectant.
Firefly also carries a high-performance workstation computers in the homes of employees to work remotely. The company is preparing to launch its first space rocket alpha this summer, but warned that the outbreak of coronavirus can prevent these plans.