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Firefly Aerospace contracts with SpaceX to launch Blue Ghost Mission to Moon in 2023

In February, NASA awarded Firefly Aerospace approximately $93.3 million to deliver a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the moon.

CEDAR PARK, Texas — Firefly Aerospace Inc. announced Thursday it has contracted with SpaceX to launch its Blue Ghost lunar lander in 2023. 

Firefly said Blue Ghost will be carrying 10 payloads for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) task order 19D mission, in addition to separately contracted commercial payloads.

“Firefly is excited to fly our Blue Ghost spacecraft on the highly reliable Falcon 9, which will deliver NASA instruments and technology demonstration payloads that support NASA science goals and NASA’s Artemis program," said Shea Ferring, Firefly senior vice president of spacecraft. "The high performance of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle permits a lunar transit using minimal Blue Ghost propulsion resources, thereby allowing the lander to deliver more than 150 kg of payload to the lunar surface.”

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In February, NASA awarded Firefly Aerospace approximately $93.3 million to deliver a suite of 10 science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon in 2023. Firefly said its team has key long-lead items on order, production underway and is conducting regular vision navigation test flights at its one-acre Briggs, Texas, lunar landscape site.

“The Blue Ghost mission will include delivery of NASA payloads that will support scientific lunar research and will contribute to developing a sustainable presence on the Moon as part of the Artemis program,” said SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero. “We’re honored Firefly selected Falcon 9 for launch.”

Firefly's CEO, Tom Markusic, said they are "excited to leverage the performance and reliability of Falcon 9 to propel Blue Ghost on the first phase of its journey to the moon.”

Blue Ghost will land at Mare Crisium in the Moon’s Crisium basin and operate on-board payloads through lunar transit, during lunar orbit and on the lunar surface for a complete lunar day, which equates to nearly 14 Earth days.

WATCH: Firefly: Exclusive look inside Burnet County's rocket factory

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