ABL Space Systems, an El Segundo, Calif.-small satellite company, and has been awarded two US DoD contracts and secured a large round of funding with a combined value of over $90m.
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 $44.5m over three years. Additionally, ABL has secured $49mm 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.
Founded in 2017 by Harry O’Hanley, CEO, and Dan Piemont, CFO, ABL Space Systems develops low-cost launch vehicles for the small satellite industry. Both the 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. Concurrently, ABL has begun testing an integrated RS1 upper stage with an E2 engine. E2 is developed in-house and powers both the first and second stages of RS1. Testing is conducted at Edwards Air Force Base under a CRADA with the AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division entitled “Testing of Additive Manufactured Liquid Rocket Components and Engines in a Rapidly Deployable Architecture for Future Responsive Launch Operations,” enabling ABL’s use of the Area 1-56 test site.