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Lockheed Martin Invests in ABL Space Systems

By Annamarie Nyirady | July 23, 2019
A model of ABL Space Systems' RS1 rocket. Photo: ABL Space Systems

A model of ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket. Photo: ABL Space Systems

ABL Space Systems, the California-based developer of the RS1 launch vehicle, revealed that it has closed a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures. The price value of the investment was not disclosed in the release.

Founded in 2017, ABL completed its first development vehicle in 2018. More recently, the company conducted a series of successful tests of the E2 bipropellant rocket engine at Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The investment follows ABL’s recent announcement of an improved 1,200 kilogram payload capacity and $12 million price of RS1. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance ABL’s development and test program, including a planned integrated stage test in the second half of 2019. ABL is planning a first launch of RS1 in 2020.

“The U.S. government is increasingly interested in responsive small launch vehicles and the distinct capabilities they offer,” noted ABL CEO Harry O’Hanley. “Lockheed Martin Space has been providing successful end-to-end solutions to the government for decades and its support offers an excellent opportunity for us to deliver ABL products at scale.”