ABL Space Systems Success Story: Accessing space doesn’t need to be expensive

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Aerospace, a term used for collectively referring to the atmosphere and outer space, comprises a multitude of commercial, military, and industrial applications.

The aerospace industry is one of the largest and most powerful industries, especially in the United States while supplying five markets- missiles, military aircraft, general aviation, space, and commercial airliners. Since, the US aerospace sector is considered the largest across the world, more and more companies are establishing their business to leverage growth opportunities in the US aerospace market.

ABL Space Systems is one such company that specializes in building rockets and launching satellites. Read further to know more about the company- its startup story, patents, funding, competitors, and other important details.

ABL Space Systems – Company Highlights

  • Company Name-ABL Space Systems
  • Headquarters-El Segundo, California, United States
  • Primary Industry-Aerospace
  • Founders-Harry O'Hanley, Dan Piement
  • Founded In-2017

ABL Space Systems - About

  • ABL Space Systems is an American, privately-held company that specializes in launch vehicle and launch systems technology development with the help of CNC and 3D printing and minimized launch operations. The company manufactures the components in the division located in the United States.
  • The vehicle and launch systems provided by it are innovative and enable space resiliency. Whether it’s for natural resource management, exploring the solar system, or global communications, the company’s affordable and reliable launch systems can be activated anywhere in the world.

ABL Space Systems - Industry

  • The aerospace industry consists of companies either involved in designing and developing prototypes, manufacturing or assembling complete aircraft or rockets and their parts, and launching them into space.
  • The global aerospace market was estimated at $261.12 billion in 2022 and grew to $278.43 billion in 2023. This implies that the industry grew at a CAGR of 6.5% during this period. However, the aerospace industry was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the chance of global economic recovery is further disrupted by the Russia-Ukraine war, at least in the short term.
  • Major companies operating in this industry are Lockheed Martin Corporation, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, Rostec State Corporation, and Airbus.

ABL Space Systems - Founders and Team

Harry O’Hanley and Dan Piemont are the founders of the company.

Harry O’Hanley

  • Working as a Founder and CEO of ABL Space Systems, Harry O’Hanley graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Research Assistant. He formerly worked at SpaceX.

Dan Piemont

  • Dan Piemont graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in Bachelor of Science (B.S.), in Physics. He worked in the Product + BD Department before holding the role of Founder, President, and CFO at ABL Space Systems.
  • Presently, the company is employed with nearly 280 employees.

ABL Space Systems - Startup Story

  • Harry O’Hanley and Dan Piemont founded ABL Space Systems in 2017. They developed two-staged RS1 for the high-cadence, no-fuss future of orbital launches. This rocket offers a maximum capacity of 2,980 lb to low earth Orbit (LEO).
  • The company signed a lease with Camden Country, Georgia in 2018 for future operations in Spaceport Camden. It is in 2019 that it leased a facility at Port of Long Beach for building a spacecraft processing division.
  • Furthermore, it also secured a contract with Spaceport America for locating some ABL testing operations and facilities in New Mexico. However, as of October 2022, no mention of this location s made by ABL Space Systems in their facility list.
  • Moreover, the company developed a transportable launch system model that could send a rocket to space from any location and also it geared up for its first-ever liftoff in 2022.

ABL Space Systems - Mission and Vision

  • The company believes that accessing space need not be expensive, difficult, or complicated. Therefore, it focuses on building the systems, CONOPS, and organization to prove the same.

ABL Space Systems - Name, Tagline, and Logo

  • The tagline of the company at present is – “A Better Way to Build.”

ABL Space Systems - Products and Services

  • ABL Space Systems provides the services required for building rockets and launching satellites. Moreover, the company offers two products- RS1 and GSO – as smooth launch systems.

ABL Space Systems - Challenges Faced

  • The company made headlines with its first orbital launch on 10 January 2023; however, it failed soon after the launch. The RS1 rocket’s first stage shut down simultaneously due to power loss and thus, it hit the launch pad and was destroyed.

ABL Space Systems - Funding and Investors

  • ABL Space Systems has undertaken 4 funding rounds in which it raised a total of $419 million. It raised $200 million in the latest funding round - Series B Round which was held on 25 October 2021. The company is funded by 7 investors and Fidelity Management and Research Company and T. Rowe Price are the recent ones.

ABL Space Systems - Subsidiaries

  • Headquartered in El Segundo, ABL Space Systems has four more divisions. The largest facility is located at the Port of Long Beach, California which conducts vehicle processing, payload integration, and maritime operation.
  • Two facilities in Mojave, California are focused on R&D and running test operations on E2 engines, launch equipment, and integrated stages. The premises in Seattle, Washington used to be responsive to customer needs across geographies.

ABL Space Systems - Patents

  • The intellectual property of the company includes a total of 9 patents worldwide and these belong to 3 unique patent families – Aircraft, Aviation, and Cosmonautics. Out of 9 patents, ABL Space Systems has 7 active patents which are filed in the US, Europe, Australia, and Canada.

ABL Space Systems - Growth

  • The annual revenue of ABL Space Systems in 2021 is estimated to be $75.6 million per year ($264,450 per employee) with its current valuation standing at $2.4 billion (2021). In addition, its employee count increased by 79% last year.

ABL Space Systems - Competitors

The company is ranked 1st among its 4 active competitors. Some of its main competitors are:

  • iRocket
  • Simera Sense
  • Beyond Earth
  • Hermes Aviation
  • Aeros
  • Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems
  • Systems Technology
  • Innoflight
  • Zee Aero


What does ABL Space Systems specialize in?

  • ABL Space Systems specializes in the development of launch vehicles and launch systems technology.

How does ABL Space Systems' technology contribute to space resiliency?

  • ABL Space Systems' technology contributes to space resiliency by providing reliable and innovative launch systems, which enable the deployment of space assets, enhance mission assurance, and reduce launch costs.

Has ABL launched a rocket?

  • ABL Space Systems (ABL) launched the debut flight of the RS1 launch vehicle on Jan. 10, 2023.

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