Lockheed Martin Backed Space Startup Suffers Failure During Maiden Mission

  • A rocket operated by California-based space startup ABL Space Systems' maiden RS1 rocket mission failed after it was launched on Tuesday from the Pacific Spaceport Center in Alaska, after delays late last year.
  • The RS1 rocket, according to the ABL Space Systems website, is designed to use less infrastructure than other rocket launching methods and is powered by RP-1 or Jet-A fuels. 
  • "After liftoff, RS1 experienced an anomaly and shut down prematurely," ABL said in a tweet.
  • The startup's previous attempt at launch was on Monday but was pushed to Tuesday due to high winds, Reuters reported
  • ABL faced delays due to weather and technical reasons late last year.
  • Lockheed Martin Corp LMT-backed ABL was founded in 2017 and raised $200 million in October 2021, valuing the startup at $2.4 billion.
  • As per a Reuters report, Amazon.com Inc AMZN chose Boeing Co BA-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance to replace ABL's contract for its first two prototype satellite launches early this year after delays over RS1 development.
  • Lockheed Martin inked a block-buy contract with ABL in 2021 for up to 58 rocket launches.
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