Firefly Aerospace and Xtenti Collaborate to Conduct Responsive Space Demonstration Mission

Firefly Aerospace and Xtenti Collaborate to Conduct Responsive Space Demonstration Mission

Firefly Aerospace, an end-to-end space transportation company, announced a new agreement with Xtenti, an innovative space logistics company, to conduct a responsive space mission with Firefly's orbital vehicle, Elytra, and Xtenti's small satellite dispenser, FANTM-RiDE. 

Scheduled to launch in 2024, the mission supports Xtenti's follow-on study contract with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to demonstrate FANTM-RiDE's rapid payload reconfiguration capabilities prior to launching on Firefly's Alpha vehicle and performing multiple responsive on-orbit deployments on Elytra.

"Firefly is honored to support this critical mission that will further advance our nation's responsive space capabilities and debut Firefly's Elytra vehicle that's filling a void in the on-orbit servicing market," said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. "As the first of many missions utilizing multiple Firefly vehicles, this operation will lay the groundwork for Firefly's end-to-end mission services, proving our capabilities to rapidly launch, maneuver, and deploy satellites at a time and place of our customers' choosing." 

Upon launching on Alpha, Firefly's Elytra vehicle will utilize the FANTM-RiDE dispenser to first deploy commercial rideshare payloads in Sun-Synchronous Orbit, and then perform an on-orbit maneuver and stand ready to deploy U.S. government payloads on-demand. Formerly known as Firefly's Space Utility Vehicle, Elytra offers a more robust vehicle line to provide rapid on-orbit mobility, hosting, and services when and where customers need them.

"Responsive delivery of space capabilities to orbit needs a paradigm shift, and Xtenti is excited to demonstrate two of FANTM-RiDE's game-changing capabilities that enable responsive space," said Dan Lim, President and CEO of Xtenti. "FANTM-RiDE not only enables rapid launch with its Rapid Rideshare Reconfiguration (R3) capability that eliminates slow and costly analytical barriers to fast payload hot-swaps, but it also enables on-orbit pre-positioning of payloads already stored on orbit for quick deployment on demand."

Xtenti's Flight Agnostic Non-interfering, Tunable Mass Rideshare Dispenser Equipment (FANTM-RiDE) enables customers to add, replace, or remove payloads from a manifest within hours before launching without invalidating existing mission loads analyses. With a predetermined common interface, FANTM-RiDE also enables entire loaded dispensers to be quickly interchanged between launch vehicles. FANTM-RiDE further protects multiple payloads on orbit within a container that can open and close on demand.

As Firefly's second responsive space operation, the mission offers additional rideshare opportunities for commercial customers. Firefly is currently working to complete the final readiness milestones for its first responsive space mission for the U.S. Space Force before entering the stand-by phase and waiting for the 24-hour launch notice.

Click here to learn more about Firefly's Elytra Orbital Vehicles.

Click here to learn about Satellite Deployers from various manufacturers listed on SATNow. 

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013