ABL Space Systems has announced the successful completion of the first stage of the RS1 rocket. This event is an important step towards the first orbital test of the carrier.
Fire tests of the first stage of RS1 took place on July 9 at the launch complex on Kodiak Island (Alaska). Within their framework, ABL Space engineers conducted a rehearsal of pre-launch operations, after which they performed a burn simulating its launch.
Now ABL Space plans to assemble the first and second stages of RS1, after which they will fully refuel the rocket and perform a rehearsal of the pre-launch countdown. If the tests do not reveal any problems, then the company will make the first orbital launch of the carriers. ABL Space has not yet named any approximate dates, but most likely it will not happen before autumn.
The RS1 rocket has a two-stage design and uses kerosene as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidizer. Nine E2 engines are installed on the first stage, which are the company’s own development. The second stage is equipped with one power unit. RS1 will be able to carry up to 1,350 kg of cargo into low orbits at an estimated cost of USD 12 million per launch.
It is worth noting that initially ABL Space promised to carry out the first launch of RS1 back in 2021. But since then it has been postponed several times. The reason for this was both the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and technical problems. So in January 2022, the second stage of the RS1 exploded during firing tests at the landfill.
You can also read about Virgin Orbit’s first night launch.
According to https://spacenews.com
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