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Lockheed Martin And ABL Strike Long-term Agreement


Image via Lockheed Martin

Just a few weeks ago low-cost launch operator ABL Space Systems became the latest unicorn after raising $170 million at a $1.3 billion valuation. With the company fully funded through its first mission, ABL co-founder and CEO Harry O’Hanley said the the funds will help them scale to meet demand they're seeing for 2022 and beyond.


Lockheed Martin announced yesterday it has signed a long-term agreement with ABL to accelerate its quick and affordable launch capabilities as it prepares for dozens of launches this decade. The agreement will see ABL provide routine launches of RS1 rockets to accelerate payload technologies into orbit using a network of U.S. and international launch sites.


The agreement will also see Lockheed Martin purchase up to 26 of ABL's rockets by 2025 and an additional 32 by 2029. Lockheed Martin says its laying the ground work for future larger efforts, such as earth observation, global ubiquitous communications and climate monitoring, by using ABL's lower-cost launch vehicle.


"This long-term agreement with ABL solidifies our strategic partnership for the future," Lockheed Martin Space executive vice president Rick Ambrose said. "Having this assured access to space will accelerate our ability to demonstrate the spacecraft and associated payload technologies we are developing to the meet the future mission needs for our customers."


The long-term agreement with Lockheed Martin is the latest boost to ABL as it continues to build momentum in the booming market for space launch capabilities.


"We designed RS1 with flexibility in mind. We can serve a wide array of missions from many different launch sites using RS1's large payload capacity and deployable ground systems," O'Hanley said. "We're excited to support Lockheed Martin's launches, providing a unique end-to-end capability to the most important U.S. space missions."


With money pouring into all things space, it may not be long before ABL becomes the latest space-related stock to hit the public markets.

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