President of Ukraine Visited Maxim Polyakov's Firefly Research Center in Dnipro
Max Polyakov's Firefly is an aerospace company which opened its research center in Dnipro, Ukraine. On May 17, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, visited the center where Max Polyakov presented him the unique developments of Firefly and other members of Association Noosphere.
Image credit: Noosphere (Facebook)
On May 17, a President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko visited the research center of Max Polyakov's Firefly, as a part of his official working visit to Dnipro. Firefly Aerospace is a private company founded in 2017, after the acquisition of Firefly Space Systems' assets by Max Polyakov, Managing Partner at Noosphere Ventures. The company's goal is to open space for interested persons by reducing the cost of launches and administrative matters.
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What do we know about Firefly?
The main office of Firefly is in the United States, and the Ukrainian branch is its only representation outside the USA. The research center in Dnipro is equipped with the latest modern technologies: here is the largest industrial 3D printer in Ukraine, designed for automated production of large size high-quality metal products. The capabilities of the research center allow to design and manufacture not only structural elements for light-duty missiles, but also ground launch systems and test benches.
This year, Firefly announced that the launch of their first launch vehicle is scheduled for 2019. Max Polyakov shared that two missiles, Alpha and Beta, have already passed the development stage at the moment.
Firefly Alpha is a small two-stage missile that is capable of bringing a payload of up to 1,000 kg to the low Earth Orbit (LEO), and up to 600 kg to a heliosynchronous orbit (SSO). Max Polyakov plans that Alpha will become a breakthrough in the market of small and medium-sized satellites, due to significantly lower launch costs relative to competitors.
Firefly Beta is an upgraded version of the Alpha, a 2.5-stage rocket capable of delivering up to 4,000 kg to the LEO and up to 3,000 kg to the SSO, which also have the ability to achieve a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).
In the future, Max Polyakov & Firefly are going to reach the level of mass production and carry out up to 24 launches per year. Customers will be able to book a flight in advance according to the schedule of launches and will be able to either fully buy out the start-up for their cargo or occupy part of the space in the compartment.
Image credit: Noosphere (Facebook)
How did the President’s visit go?
During his visit, Petro Poroshenko noted the high technological level of the Firefly research center, saying that it is one of the most technologically advanced centers not only in the region, but throughout Ukraine. Evaluating the uniqueness of the company's developments, the State Head showed the greatest interest in the possibilities of applying the latest space technologies in the agricultural sector.
In a friendly atmosphere, Max Polyakov and Petro Poroshenko discussed other projects. The President was interested in the developments of other Association Noosphere member companies, such as ArtOS (artillery fire control complex), MyPol (application for communication of citizens with law enforcement agencies), and others. Despite the limited time, the President paid enough attention to all projects, communicating with their leaders, as well as engineers and developers.
At the moment, Firefly is negotiating with the US government, and as Max Polyakov said, for the first time the government is ready to consider cooperation in space exploration with a private company whose R&D center is outside the US. This gives Ukraine an excellent chance to fill a new page in the history of the domestic space industry.
Firefly Aerospace is connected with Ukraine not only by the research center, but also by participation in the initiatives of Association Noosphere, of which the company is a member. In December, the company together with Noosphere organizes an international space summit - Noosphere Space Summit, where Max Polyakov invited everyone to discuss on the development of the aerospace industry.
Max Polyakov calls Noosphere's mission - the dissemination of scientific knowledge and increasing the interest of citizens and businesses to scientific developments. It remains to wish him and his association to successfully continue their business of introducing science and technology into the global business environment.