Project Kuiper Announces Plans and Launch Provider for Prototype Satellites

RS-1 rocket (Credit: ABL Space)

Amazon’s Project Kuiper will launch two satellites by Q4 2022 on ABL Space Systems’ all-new RS1 rocket.

SEATTLE (Amazon PR) — Amazon continues to make progress on Project Kuiper, a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation that will provide fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This is a major, long-term initiative, and today we’re excited to share plans to launch and deploy our first satellites.

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ABL Space System Signs Deal with Port of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Port of Long Beach PR) — The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Thursday approved an agreement with ABL Space Systems to build a spacecraft processing facility at the Port of Long Beach and use waterfront area for the delivery and shipping of its cargo.

Founded in 2017, El Segundo-based ABL Space Systems will take over 8.06 acres of land and 1.31 acres of submerged land at the Navy Mole on the Port’s Pier T, which was formerly part of the Long Beach Naval Station.

“We welcome ABL Space Systems to the Port of Long Beach family. It’s exciting to add yet another tenant in the rapidly growing spacecraft technology industry,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Steven Neal. “We look forward to what we know will be a mutually beneficial relationship with our newest tenant.”

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ABL Space Systems Raises $200 Million Series B Round

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems has closed a $200 million expansion of its Series B investment round, bringing the company’s valuation to $2.4 billion. The round was led by and comprised of ABL’s existing investor syndicate. ABL has now raised a total of $420 million since founding.

ABL is serving a large manifest of active contracts with fourteen distinct customers across the commercial, defense, intelligence, and science sectors totaling over 75 launches, not including non-binding memoranda or letters of interest.

The funding will be used to scale production of the RS1 launch vehicle and to conduct research and development of future systems.

About ABL Space Systems

Founded in 2017, ABL develops low-cost launch vehicles and launch systems for the small satellite industry. ABL is headquartered in El Segundo, California, U.S. To learn more, visit www.ablspacesystems.com.

ABL Space Selected to Launch NASA Cryogenic Demonstration Mission

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 LHoperations.  ABL will also advance RS1 with a hydrogen-compatible fairing and payload support systems. 

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Lockheed Martin Expands Quick, Affordable Launch Capability With ABL Block Buy of 58 Flights

RS1 integrated stage test (Credit: ABL Space Systems)

DENVER and EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 5, 2021 (Lockheed Martin/ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems will provide Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] with routine launches of RS1 rockets to accelerate payload technologies into orbit. Lockheed Martin will purchase up to 26 vehicles through 2025 and then up to 32 additional launches through 2029. Launches could use a network of U.S. and international launch sites, including Vandenberg Space Force Base, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and in the United Kingdom.

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ABL Space Raises $170 Million Growth Equity Round Led by T. Rowe Price Funds

RS1 integrated stage test (Credit: ABL Space Systems)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 25, 2021 (ABL Space Systems PR)– ABL Space Systems has closed a Series B investment round of $170 million at a valuation of $1.3 billion. The round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Participation in the round included existing ABL investors and new investments by Fidelity Management & Research LLC and an unnamed third global investment management firm.

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ABL Space Systems Performs Integrated Stage Test of RS1 Launch Vehicle

RS1 integrated stage test (Credit: ABL Space Systems)

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.

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National Security Space Association Adds Influential Leaders to Board of Directors

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.

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ABL Space Systems Begins RS1 Stage Testing, Reaches $90 Million in Funding

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.

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AFRL, ABL Space Systems Collaborate on Next-Gen Rapid Launch Systems

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory and ABL Space Systems are collaborating to develop and test rocket propulsion elements for use in launch vehicles thanks to a 3-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) both organizations have agreed to.

The CRADA, which was finalized July 10, 2019, focuses on research and development collaboration efforts that will transform the standard methods for rocket testing and launch operations and mature the technology base for more dynamic, robust and rapid launch operations.

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ABL Completes E2 Rocket Engine Test Campaign

UPHAM, NM (Spaceport America PR) – ABL Space Systems, a company founded by former SpaceX engineers, recently completed a successful test campaign of its E2 rocket engine at Spaceport America.

“Spaceport America provided the perfect location and support staff for us to test the E2 rocket engine,” explained ABL CFO Dan Piemont. “Our team did a great job rapidly activating our deployable test site, and we are happy with how E2 performed. This campaign was an important step toward bringing the RS1 launch vehicle to market.”

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Lockheed Martin Ventures Invests in ABL Space Systems

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., (ABL Space Systems PR) — ABL Space Systems Company, the California-based developer of the RS1 launch vehicle, announced today that it has closed a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures.

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.

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ABL Space Systems Signs Lease to Begin Operations in Camden County

ST. MARYS, Ga. (Camden County JDA) — This afternoon, at the site of the former St. Marys airport, ABL Space Systems (ABL), the City of St. Marys, and the Joint Development Authority of Camden County (JDA) agreed to terms on a lease that will allow ABL to begin business in Camden County, Georgia. The ABL lease agreement signals another step toward establishing Camden County as the Commercial Space Center of the United States.

Under the terms of today’s agreement, the Camden County JDA will lease the former St. Marys airport property from the City of St. Marys along with a former aircraft hangar adjacent to the airport from a private owner. The JDA will make minor improvements to the sites and sub-lease both properties to ABL.

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Camden County Signs MOU with ABL Space Systems

WOODBINE, GEORGIA, (Camden County PR) – Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden Project lead announced today that ABL Space Systems has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with Camden County officials to explore future launch operations at Spaceport Camden. The MOU outlines how ABL Space Systems will work with Spaceport Camden to test, manufacture, assemble, and launch orbital vehicles in Camden County. The MOU is a precursor to a larger definitive agreement to be negotiated and signed no later than July 31, 2019.

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