ABL Space tells about the reasons for the fall of its rocket

ABL Space Systems has published a report. It contains information about the causes and consequences of the accident of its RS1 small rocket

RS1 was launched on January 10, 2023, from the launch complex on Kodiak Island (Alaska). There was a pair of OmniTeq CubeSats on board. The rocket flew away from the launch pad and began to rise, but after a while it fell on the territory of the cosmodrome.

According to the report, the failure that destroyed the small carrier occurred 10.87 seconds after launch. The first stage completely lost power, which led to the shutdown of all nine engines. At that moment, the rocket was at an altitude of 232 meters. The rocket, which lost its thrust, continued climbing for another 2.63 seconds, after which it fell to the ground less than 20 meters from the launch pad. At that moment, approximately 95% of the initial fuel supply was on board.

So far, ABL Space has not published any photos of the fall of the rocket, nor pictures of its wreckage. The report stated that the fall of the rocket led to a powerful explosion that caused damage to nearby equipment and structures. The launch pad, as well as tanks, communication equipment and a fabric hangar with integration equipment were affected. According to the company’s statement, there were no people in the area at the time of the impact, and all the fragments of the rocket scattered within the pre-designated danger zone.

The first stage of the RS1 rocket. Source: ABL Space

As for the reasons for the power outage in the first stage of the rocket, the company is still investigating this issue. Preliminary data suggest that a fire may take place in the RS1 engine compartment, damaging the avionics and causing a system-wide failure. This is indicated by non-standard pressure surges and temperature rise recorded by sensors a few seconds after launch, as well as visual signs of fire and smoke.

ABL Space also published an image of the stages of the second copy of the RS1 rocket. The company claims that by the time its tests are completed, the repair of the launch pad will be completed, which will allow organizing a new launch attempt. However, ABL Space has not yet named any dates for its holding.

According to https://spacenews.com

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time