The US-based launch vehicle start up firm ABL Space Systems has reported that it has received two US Air Force launch contracts – one as a technology demonstration contract and one for three subsequent launches in 2022 – worth US$44.5 million. In addition, it has announced that it has secured a further US$49 million in private funding allowing it to complete construction of its mobile-launched two-stage RS-1 small launch vehicle. The private funding is reported to be from Venrock, New Science Ventures, Lynett Capital and Lockheed Martin Ventures.

RS-1 rocket. Courtesy: ABL

The RP-1 Kerosene/LOx (liquid oxygen) powered RS-1 rocket can carry US$12 million equating to US$10,000 per kg for the SSO payload, ABL plans to make a first flight of the RS-1 in March 2021 with two further test launches later in the year.