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Launch window designated for Firefly Aerospace rocket from Vandenberg SFB Wednesday morning

Firefly Aerospace

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif.– A 20-minute launch window has been announced for a Firefly Aerospace Alpha FLTA004 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Wednesday, Dec. 20 starting at 9:18 a.m.

Firefly Aerospace has designated 20-minute backup launch windows starting at 9:18 a.m. each day through Dec. 22 depending on local weather.

"At Vandenberg Space Force Base, our Space Launch Delta 30 Guardians and Airmen play a vital role in delivering robust spaceport capabilities that directly provide the “to” part of U.S. Space Force’s mission to secure our Nation's interests in, from, and to space," said U.S. Space Force Col. Bryan Titus, vice commander of Space Launch Delta 30. "Our commercial launch partners serve as our invaluable industrial base, enabling us to achieve robust national security objectives in support of the entire Joint Force.”

The Fly the Lightning mission is a commercial launch by Firefly Aerospace carrying an Electronically Steerable Antenna demonstrator on behalf of Lockheed Martin as well as a demonstration of the private end-to-end space transportation company's launch capabilities.

"What we're most excited about is that this mission features several firsts – a new payload, built rapidly in a new way, with Firefly as a new launch partner," detailed Bob Behnken, Director of Technology Acceleration for Lockheed Martin's Ignite organization. "This also marks the first of our self-funded technology demonstrations through Lockheed Martin's Ignite organization, created to accelerate development projects like this, push limits and expand capabilities for customers."

The secondary objective of demonstrating Firefly Aerospace's capabilities builds off of the success of the VICTUS Nox mission earlier this year.

"Through the VICTUS NOX demonstration, the Space Force proved the United States can rapidly respond to national security threats in space on an unprecedented timeline," explained Lt. Col. Justin Beltz, Materiel Leader and Chief of the Small Launch and Targets Division of the U.S. Space Force. "We're now focused on transforming Tactically Responsive Space from a groundbreaking achievement into a repeatable capability. By partnering with Firefly to observe Alpha FLT004, we can continue to build synergy with commercial industry and further define the training, infrastructure, and operational requirements for long-term repeatability."

Tune in live to watch the launch at the following locations: @FireflySpace or @NASAspaceflight YouTube channels 60 minutes before the launch or on Firefly Aerospace's Twitter/X account.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
Firefly Aerospace
Lockheed Martin
rocket launch
Santa Barbara
Space Launch Delta 30
Vandenberg space force base

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