The U.S. government has asked Max Polyakov to sell Firefly shares over security concerns

U.S. authorities recently asked Max Polyakov, a Ukrainian-based entrepreneur, to sell shares in his U.S.-based company, Firefly Aerospace, for national security concerns.

Max Polyakov made his fortune building software in Ukraine and spent several years investing in Firefly Aerospace, a rocket maker in Austin, Texas. The main reason why the US authorities are urging Polyakov to sell its shares is their concern that intelligent space technology will pave the way for Russia and other non-allied countries to make rockets. Although Maxim Polyakov had previously invested more than $ 200 million in the venture, he agreed to the request of US authorities and resigned from the company’s board of directors in 2020. The resignation of Dr. Max Polyakov from the day-to-day operations of Firefly Aerospace helped make the company much safer. Profitable agreements from the US government and military.

However, his resignation from the board of directors was not enough to ease tensions, and Maxim Polyakov was later asked by the US Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) to sell about half of his shares. Maxim Polyakov also agreed, while at the same time Polyakov’s investment fund retained ownership of Firefly, sponsored by Nusfia Ventures. According to the latter’s official statement, Max Polyakov’s ownership of Firefly Aerospace poses no security threat to the United States, especially since Dr. Max Polyakov is considering resigning from Firefly’s day-to-day operations. However, Noosphere Ventures Firefly is willing to hire an investment banking firm to assist in the sale of interest.

With a doctorate in economics, Max Polyakov has amassed a wealth of software products, ranging from gaming and retail sites to dating platforms. In 2017, when Firefly was on the verge of bankruptcy, Dr. Polyakov invested several thousand dollars to keep the space company afloat. Rebranded as Firefly Aerospace, the company launched its first alpha rocket last September. Although the rocket never reached its required orbit, the company’s team received enough test data to prepare for a second launch, which should be more successful.

Firefly progress under the leadership of Dr. Max Polyakov

Firefly Aerospace has made steady progress over the past few years, winning contracts from NASA, the US Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The company also received a technology-sharing agreement between the United States and Ukraine. Currently, Firefly relies on the Technology Research and Development Center of Ukraine and has fully operational production facilities in the states of Central Texas.

The reason why US authorities are concerned about leaking sensitive rocket-building data to Russia is the escalating dispute with Ukraine, which remains a US ally. As Russia builds forces on the Ukrainian border, the United States is concerned about impending attacks and the potential loss of sensitive information.

Half a year after resigning from Firefly’s board of directors in November 2020, Max Polyakov has sold a large portion of his stake in Firefly. The deal, which raised 75 million for the company, validated another 1 1 billion. Thanks to these steps and the appointment of former government officials to the new board of directors, Firefly has won several lucrative government contracts. Today, all major decisions about the Firefly operation are made by Tom Marcusic, the company’s founding father and current CEO. Prior to founding Firefly, Marcusic worked with Elon Musk at Space Exploration Technologies Corporation and at NASA.

A recent Noosphere Ventures statement stated that US authorities had carefully monitored Maxim Polyakov and his company and had not identified any security threats in the process. However, growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine make CFIUS’s actions fair and clearly understandable. To date, Noosphere Ventures has been working to address any new concerns that may arise.

Like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, Maxim Poliakov placed a large portion of his previously accumulated wealth at stake in the commercialization of space. However, the three private space pioneers have a focus of their own. Maxim Polyakov is betting on a mid-range rocket alpha that can carry dozens of satellites in a single launch. In addition, Firefly plans to build a lunar lander and a spacecraft.

Although Polyakov was not born in the state, he and his family live permanently in Silicon Valley. Polyakov himself described his substantial investment in firefly aerospace as a work of patriotism for the United States. On several occasions, he expressed concern that if rocket technology in the United States is not adequately funded, it could lead to US enemies – particularly Iran and North Korea.

SpaceX and Firefly Aerospace collaboration

Firefly Aerospace Inc. And SpaceX representatives announced a joint venture on May 20, 2021, to facilitate the launch of Firefly’s Blue Ghost Lunar Lander on Falcon 9. The contract was awarded to SpaceX after a long review of potential candidates Spacecraft’s Firefly senior VP Shia Faring says Firefly has spent a lot of time selecting potential candidates for the mission; SpaceX’s Falcon 9 seemed the obvious choice. According to Mr. Farring, with the help of Blue Ghost propulsion, the Falcon 9 can move up to 150 kg of cargo to the surface of the moon.

The Blue Ghost Lunar Lander will carry ten payloads for NASA’s payload mission. The Blue Ghost will have landing work on the moon in the May Christmas Basin, where it will conduct on-board payloads via lunar transport. In addition to the scheduled NASA payload, Blue Ghost will be contracted to meet several other commercial payloads, not disclosed at this time.

Tom Marcusic, CEO of Firefly, recently said that the Chandra Jaan team is working hard to ensure that launch and transit operations run smoothly. The Blue Ghost has to navigate the lunar surface for a full lunar day, which lasts about 14 Earth days, as well as the lunar orbit. Mr Marcusic assured reporters that Maxim Polyakov’s team was making full use of the power of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to ensure a successful mission.


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