Firefly Aerospace, the company founded by Ukrainian entrepreneur Max Polyakov, successfully tested its Alpha rocket engine and announced that the company's first test launch is scheduled for September 2.
The video published on Twitter shows how the 29-meter Alpha rocket successfully passes hot-fire tests, during which the engine was fired for 15 seconds, while the rocket continued to remain on the ground.
Fire tests are one of the key stages in checking how ready a rocket is for the actual launch. Therefore, if the tests end up being successful, it means that Firefly Aerospace can launch its rocket soon.
Alpha will have to deliver a set of non-technical and technical payloads from 7 different countries into orbit during its first launch. They were selected through a global competition back in 2019.
Among other things, non-technical payloads include children's drawings and photographs of previous space flights, the company's website says. The technical payload ranges from 3U to 27U satellites supplied by renowned universities and non-profit organizations worldwide.