WASHINGTON — Firefly Aerospace announced June 8 it has acquired Spaceflight Inc., adding its satellite transportation services to its portfolio of launch vehicles and spacecraft.

In a statement announcing the acquisition, Firefly said acquiring Spaceflight would help it offer “end-to-end” space transportation services, which includes the Alpha launch vehicle, Blue Ghost lunar lander and Space Utility Vehicle transfer vehicle.

“This acquisition is the result of Firefly’s business plan to strengthen the company though organic growth in addition to accelerating its capabilities with strategic acquisitions,” Bill Weber, chief executive of Firefly, said in a statement.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the acquisition. Firefly spokesperson Risa Schnautz told SpaceNews that the deal has already closed.

Spaceflight has been owned by a 50/50 partnership of Japanese companies Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa Co. for three years, after parent company Spaceflight Industries spun off its rideshare launch business as Spaceflight Inc. In February it hired Tiphaine Louradour, former president of International Launch Services, as its new chief executive.

Spaceflight Inc. was known as a leader in arranging launches of small satellites on small launch vehicles or as secondary payloads on larger launch vehicles, deploying more than 460 payloads. Spaceflight had also developed its own series of orbital transfer vehicles called Sherpa, using a mix of chemical and electric propulsion systems.

Spaceflight has worked with a wide range of launch providers, although at one point it ran afoul of one of its largest partners, SpaceX. However, Firefly said that Spaceflight’s services will, going forward, be used only with Firefly’s vehicles.

“We’re currently assessing the needs of our combined customers to meet their mission requirements with Firefly’s launch vehicles,” Schnautz said. “Firefly will honor Spaceflight’s current contracts but will not be aggregating payloads on other launch vehicles moving forward.”

“With a high market demand for our on-orbit services and rapid response missions, this acquisition uniquely positions Firefly to respond immediately to our customers’ needs,” Weber said in the statement.

Firefly plans to retain Spaceflight’s Bellevue, Washington, payload processing facility, using it to manufacture orbital transfer vehicles. Spaceflight’s entire workforce — about 90 employees, according to its LinkedIn page — will join Firefly. Schnautz said Firefly will “be assessing talent and roles and responsibilities in the coming months.”

AE Industrial Partners (AEI) acquired Firefly Aerospace in 2022 after Max Polyakov, the Ukrainian entrepreneur who acquired the assets of the former Firefly Space Systems out of bankruptcy in 2017, was forced by the federal government to divest his stake. AEI led a $75 million round in Firefly in March 2022 and brought in Weber as chief executive in September.

Firefly is preparing for the third launch of its Alpha rocket as part of a tactically responsive launch demonstration for the Space Force, carrying a satellite called Victus Nox. Part of the demonstration will require calling up the rocket for launch in just 24 hours.

Firefly announced a partnership with Northrop Grumman in August 2022 to develop a new first stage for Northrop’s Antares rocket, using engines Firefly is developing. The companies plan to offer that vehicle, designated MLV, to the Space Force for its National Security Space Launch Phase 3 competition.

The company has secured two NASA awards through the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program for lunar lander missions using its Blue Ghost lander. The first is scheduled for 2024 and the second, awarded to Firefly in March, will deploy a spacecraft in lunar orbit and land on the far side of the moon in 2026.

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...