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Firefly Aerospace Launches 8 CubeSats for NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites Mission

Firefly Aerospace Launches 8 CubeSats for NASA's Educational Launch of Nanosatellites Mission - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Firefly Aerospace‘s Alpha rocket has deployed to low Earth orbit eight cubesats comprising a NASA-funded mission dubbed Educational Launch of Nanosatellites or ELaNa 43.

The launch service, dubbed Noise of Summer, was provided under a contract the space agency awarded through the Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 program, Firefly Aerospace said Thursday.

ELaNa 43 featured satellites from four universities, NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Ames Research Center and nonprofit group Teachers In Space, SpaceNews reported.

NASA selected the satellites through its CubeSat Launch Initiative, which provides low-cost space access to educational institutions and nonprofits.

“NASA is using CubeSat missions to demonstrate the capability of small rockets and build relationships with this new part of the U.S. launch vehicle industry,” said Hamilton Fernandez, mission manager for the space agency’s Launch Services Program.

Alpha lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Thursday after an earlier launch attempt was scrubbed because of a ground equipment issue.

Firefly Aerospace is now focused on the final testing phase for an upcoming commercial mission for Lockheed Martin and preparations for the responsive on-orbit Elytra mission.

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Written by Kristen Smith

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