Firefly Aerospace will collaborate with space technology developer Xtenti on a National Reconnaissance Office-led responsive space demonstration using the former’s Elytra orbital vehicle and the latter’s FANTM-RiDE small satellite dispenser.
Xtenti is under a follow-on study contract with NRO to showcase the rapid payload reconfiguration capabilities of FANTM-RiDE or Flight Agnostic Non-interfering, Tunable Mass Rideshare Dispenser Equipment technology, Firefly said Tuesday.
Firefly will use its Alpha vehicle to launch FANTM-RiDE in 2024 and enable the dispenser to conduct several responsive on-orbit commercial rideshare payload deployments on Elytra.
FANTM-RiDE is fitted with Rapid Rideshare Reconfiguration capability to allow for rapid launches, according to Xtenti President and CEO Dan Lim. “It also enables on-orbit pre-positioning of payloads already stored on orbit for quick deployment on demand,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly, commented, “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.”