ABL Space’s RS1 Booster Experiences Abort at Ignition

RS1 booster on the launch pad. (Credit: ABL Space Systems)

ABL Space Systems’ second attempt to launch its RS1 rocket for the first time was aborted at the last second on Thursday.

“RS1 aborted terminal count during ignition. The vehicle is healthy, and the team is setting up to offload propellant for today. More information to come on our next opportunity,” the company tweeted.

It was the company’s second attempt to launch the two-stage rocket from Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska on Kodiak Island. ABL Space said it scrubbed an attempt on Monday due to a leaking valve in the pressurization system.

ABL Space did not announce a new launch date. The company has daily launch windows that last from 1:00 – 4:00 AKST (5:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST/22:00 – 01:00 UTC) through Monday, Nov. 21. The company will not webcast the launch.

RS1 is a two-stage booster with a maximum capacity of 1,350 kg to low Earth orbit. The rocket is designed to be transported in shipping containers and launched rapidly with minimal set up. ABL plans to charge $12 million per launch.

Payloads on the first flight are the VariSat-1 and VariSat-1B 6U CubeSats, which will test a HF marine data communications system. The spacecraft are equipped with inter-satellite links.