ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket aiming to launch today (Nov. 21)


ABL Space Systems might be getting ready for a fresh launch attempt of its new rocket Monday (Nov. 21) following an abort.

ABL attempted to launch its first-ever orbital mission on Thursday from Alaska’s Pacific Spaceport Complex Thursday (Nov. 17), but the first-stage engines shut down moments after lighting up. 

At the time, company representatives said they were considering Monday at 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) as the next opportunity, but there have been no updates since. The current launch window runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST daily (2200 to 0100 GMT). ABL isn’t webcasting the mission but is providing updates via Twitter.

Related: A history of rockets

“RS1 aborted terminal count during ignition. The vehicle is healthy, and the team is setting up to offload propellant for today. More information to come on our next opportunity,” company representatives said via Twitter on Thursday afternoon following an aborted launch attempt.

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The test flight for RS1 is scheduled to loft two shoebox-sized cubesats called VariSat-1A and VariSat-1B, which are slated to test marine data communications operations for VariSat LLC.

California-based ABL was founded in 2017 and can deliver up to 2,975 pounds (1,350 kilograms) to low Earth orbit on each $12 million mission. The rocket and ground system are designed to be easy to deploy from launch sites around the world.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).

This post was originally published on Space.com

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