EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today ABL Space Systems announced design updates to its RS1 launch vehicle, an increase in payload capacity, and a decrease in price.
The upgraded RS1 has a larger, six-foot diameter, and is powered by a new family of gas generator engines, E1 and E2. The vehicle's design capacity is 1,200 kilograms to 200-kilometer, low inclination orbit, or 875 kilograms to 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. RS1 is priced at $12 million per launch, or as low as $10 thousand per kilogram.
"In both engineering and manufacturing, small launch vehicles are fundamentally simpler than large launch vehicles, and there are many opportunities for efficiency gains," said ABL CEO Harry O'Hanley. "We've worked swiftly to prove out innovative, low-cost manufacturing methods that have dramatically lowered our costs and we're excited to pass along the gains to our customers."
Founded in 2017, ABL recently completed its first development vehicle and conducted a successful tanking test.
"Proven architectures, strict process control and a robust supply chain make us confident we can execute our development timeline," said O'Hanley.
ABL is planning an RS1 stage test in the second half of 2019, with a target first launch in 2020.
"The global launch vehicle market is still missing a truly low-cost option in the 500-1,500kg capacity range," said ABL CFO Dan Piemont. "We're confident RS1 fills an important role in the market for a variety of mission profiles, including bulk deployment of cubesats, deployment of three to five larger, more capable satellites, or dedicated launch of satellites with aggressive mission requirements."
More details on the RS1 vehicle architecture, mission capability, and launch operations can be found in ABL's recently-released RS1 Payload User's Guide, which is available at ablspacesystems.com.
ABOUT ABL SPACE SYSTEMS:
ABL Space Systems was founded by former SpaceX engineering leaders in 2017 to develop low-cost launch vehicles for the small satellite industry. ABL is headquartered in El Segundo, California, where it has 30,000 square feet of facilities for research, development, and production. ABL is a team of over 20 world-class aerospace engineers with experience at SpaceX, Virgin Orbit, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Pratt + Whitney, and elsewhere. ABL is a privately-owned corporation backed by a premier group of private equity investors. To learn more, visit ablspacesystems.com
SOURCE ABL Space Systems Company