EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 16, 2021 (ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems announced that is has been selected as the launch provider for the NASA Cryogenic Demonstration Mission. Developed under a NASA Tipping Point contract awarded in 2020, the Cryogenic Demonstration Mission will launch in 2023 and demonstrate in-space transfer of cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2), the most challenging but highest-performing propellant for lunar and deep space exploration. The mission will help demonstrate numerous novel cryogenic propellant management technologies and help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the moon and beyond.
In support of the mission, ABL will leverage the flexibility of the GS0 deployable launch system, which is purpose-built to rapidly activate new launch sites and support unique customer missions. The GS0 functionality will be extended to meet NASA’s mission need for LH2 operations. ABL will also advance RS1 with a hydrogen-compatible fairing and payload support systems.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 17, 2021 (ABL Space PR) — ABL Space Systems announced its fourth contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). ABL was awarded “Responsive Launch II” by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a DoD organization that aims to strengthen U.S. national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology across the military and growing the national security innovation base. This award builds on ABL’s growing portfolio with the Department, which includes over $50M+ in active contracts.
Responsive Launch II is a multilateral effort between various DoD launch stakeholders, including DIU, the Space and Missile Systems Center Rocket Systems Launch Program, and the DoD Space Test Program. Within this Area of Interest, DIU sought solutions that increased flexibility to place payloads in their “mission-designated orbits” with minimal delay. This capability is key to achieving “responsive space access, mobility, and logistics” as outlined by the United States Space Force.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 (ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems has completed integrated stage testing of the RS1 small satellite launch vehicle. Testing was performed on the RS1 second stage with the in-house designed E2 liquid rocket engine at the Area 1-56 test site on Edwards Air Force Base.
Critical aspects the campaign included handling of the propellant tanks, operating pressurant management systems, and refining the stage arming and engine startup sequences, all of which were accomplished successfully. This test campaign builds on the successes of eighteen months of extensive component, engine and stage testing.
ARLINGTON, VA (NSSA PR) — The National Security Space Association (NSSA), a U.S. trade association devoted solely to the U.S. defense and intelligence space enterprise, added 8 new members to their Board of Directors today. Each appointee is a highly regarded member of their respective organization and will bring their individual experience to NSSA’s commitment to the preservation and protection of the National Security Space Community. These additions follow last month’s appointment of General (Ret.) Lester Lyles and Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan to the Board of Directors.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 3, 2020 (ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems has begun stage testing of the RS1 small satellite launch vehicle, and has been awarded two US DoD contracts and secured a large round of funding with a combined value of over $90 million. ABL’s awards and funding are key to the rapid development of the RS1 launch vehicle and GS0 deployable launch system, with a demonstration launch slated for Q1 of 2021.
ABL’s DoD contracts, awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX, with participation from the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, total $44.5 million over three years. Additionally, ABL has secured $49 million of financing led by Ethan Batraski at Venrock with participation from New Science Ventures, Lynett Capital, and Lockheed Martin Ventures. The recent round closed on March 31st, and fully funds ABL through a three launch demonstration campaign in 2021.