Lockheed Martin selects ABL rocket for Shetland launches

Lockheed Martin selects ABL rocket for Shetland launches

February 08, 2021

The vehicle, called the RS1, will be provided by ABL Space Systems of El Segundo, California.

If everything comes together, an inaugural flight could occur next year.

Lockheed is looking to stimulate the launch business in the UK to take advantage of a rapidly expanding market for small satellites.

These spacecraft, many no bigger than a shoebox, are all seeking more flexible and affordable ways of getting into orbit, and Lockheed believes it's putting together an attractive package.

"What we're trying to do here is establish an infrastructure," said UK regional director Nik Smith.

"We won't ourselves be launching the rockets; we have a partner for that in ABL. And we won't operate a spaceport; we again have a partner for that in the Shetland Space Centre (SSC) in this case. But if we can establish the infrastructure, bringing in other business, we can then become a customer ourselves, hopefully on preferential terms," he told BBC News.

Author : Emily


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