Firefly Aerospace, an end-to-end space transportation company, was awarded a $112 million NASA contract to deliver multiple lunar payloads in 2026. As Firefly’s second task order won under NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload (CLPS) initiative, the company will use its Blue Ghost spacecraft in a two-stage configuration to first place a satellite into lunar orbit and then deliver two research payloads on the far side of the Moon.
The NASA-provided payloads Firefly is delivering will advance lunar research and infrastructure in conjunction with NASA’s Moon-to-Mars roadmap. Before landing on the Moon, the company’s Blue Ghost transfer vehicle will deploy the European Space Agency’s Lunar Pathfinder satellite into lunar orbit to provide communications for future spacecraft, robots, and human explorers. After touching down on the far side of the Moon, the Blue Ghost lunar lander will deliver and operate NASA’s S-Band User Terminal, ensuring uninterrupted communications for lunar exploration, and a research-focused payload that measures radio emissions to provide insight into the origins of the universe.
Along with the NASA payloads, Firefly’s mission is offering payload delivery and orbital services for additional government and commercial customers. The robust and versatile design of the company’s Blue Ghost transfer vehicle and its propellant reserve will enable a variety of mission opportunities, including lunar sample return to Earth, further exploration to nearby planets like Mars and Venus, and long-duration orbital services, such as communications and surveying.
Firefly’s first mission, Blue Ghost Mission 1, is on track for launch in 2024 and will deliver 10 NASA-sponsored payloads and two commercial payloads to Mare Crisium, a low-lying basin on the Moon’s near side.