Lockheed Invests in Smallsat Launch Vehicle Maker ABL; Rick Ambrose Quoted

Jeff Brody
Rick Ambrose

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has placed a strategic investment in ABL Space Systems to help accelerate the development and testing of the latter's first launch vehicle designed for small satellite missions.

ABL said Monday it will use a portion of the proceeds to demonstrate the RS1 rocket technology in the second half of this year through an integrated stage test.

The California-based company simplified the propellant, tank architecture and pressurization management systems of RS1, which is scheduled to launch sometime in 2020.

"It is clear that space has become a contested environment," said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed's space segment and a 2019 Wash100 winner.

"We recognize the growing importance of on-demand and flexible launch options as part of a suite of solutions necessary to counter this and other growing challenges," Ambrose added.

ABL increased the rocket's payload capacity by roughly 2,645 pounds and noted it plans to offer the vehicle at a price of $12M per mission.

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