CEDAR PARK, Texas - It’s history in the making! Nine U.S. companies are now eligible to bid on new NASA delivery services to the moon, Firefly Aerospace located in Cedar Park, Texas is one of those companies.
The contracts have a combined maximum value of $2.6 billion.
"It's a high vote of confidence to have the US government entrust a payload where you want to go to the moon any company would be proud to get this type of contract." Leslie Kovacs has been in the business of aerospace for more than 30 years.
He’s the VP of Business Development at Firefly Aerospace.
Here’s a list of other companies nationwide that are eligible to bid as well:
- Astrobotic Technology, Inc.: Pittsburgh
- Deep Space Systems: Littleton, Colorado
- Draper: Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Firefly Aerospace, Inc.: Cedar Park, Texas
- Intuitive Machines, LLC: Houston
- Lockheed Martin Space: Littleton, Colorado
- Masten Space Systems, Inc.: Mojave, California
- Moon Express: Cape Canaveral, Florida
- Orbit Beyond: Edison, New Jersey
Kovacs says, "You're seeing a bow wave of a revolution actually. You've seen an industrial revolution, agricultural revolution, a computing revolution. You're seeing one that's occurring in space right now. Companies want to go to space and they want to exploit resources in space and want to see habitats put up in space, space tourism, companies wanting to go to the moon, extract minerals, bring minerals back. Asteroids with precious metals people will be interested in those."
It's opening up an entirely different level of commerce that did not exist before. Kovacs says this will change the way mankind lives. Previously, only big governments could afford to do this. But now companies like Firefly are putting plans in motion to make this happen.
“It's a lot of pressure because it's technically very difficult. The vast majority of rockets if they fail it has to do something with the engine. The engine could blow up. We cannot get this wrong or part of the rocket would end up at the bottom of the ocean. The nation is depending on the company to deliver this capability to the surface of the moon,” Kovacs says
The launch sites are in California and Florida.
And for clarification there won’t be people on these rockets, just satellites and rovers. "To put it into perspective we can probably put something into space that's about twice the size of your refrigerator,” he adds. There are about 170 employees at Firefly Aerospace. Each week the company will hire 1 to 3 more employees with plans to expand.
Firefly says they hope to launch by late 2019.