Kodiak’s next commercial rocket launch set for early December

a rocket in Kodiak
ABL Space Systems’ RS1 rocket on the launchpad at Kodiak’s Pacific Spaceport Complex, November 2022. (ABL Space Systems)

California-based aerospace company ABL Space Systems has pushed back the window for launching its RS1 rocket from the Kodiak Pacific Spaceport Complex to early December.

ABL Space Systems, which is based out of El Segundo, California, scrubbed its third launch attempt in less than a week from Kodiak’s Narrow Cape on Nov. 21. 

According to the company’s social media account, the Nov. 21 launch was aborted with less than two seconds before liftoff. 

If successful, a launch from Kodiak’s Pacific Spaceport Complex would be a first for ABL’s rocket. According to the company’s website, the RS1 is designed to be packaged in standard-size shipping containers and readied for launch in less time by fewer people. 

Kodiak has seen one successful launch already this year in March, when California-based aerospace company Astra sent its first rocket into space that included a commercial payload from the Pacific Spaceport Complex.

ABL Space Systems’ President Dan Piemont said via email on Tuesday that the first launch was scrubbed last week due to a leaky valve.

The other two were aborted as expected in the final seconds before liftoff to ensure the rocket is functioning normally. 

“These aborts are part of the expected process of launching a new rocket,” Piemont said. “They’re used to ensure the rocket is operating as expected prior to liftoff.”

Piemont also said they’ve appreciated community support they have received as the company gets closer to its first launch.

“Many of us have spent the bulk of 2022 here, and we’ve come to appreciate how our launch activity interacts the rest of the island community,” said Piemont. “We know that our development testing this year, particularly over the summer, made our activities less predictable. We’re working with the spaceport to carefully manage closures to be only as needed going forward. We’re excited to continue growing our operations here in the years to come in a productive and predictable way.”

ABL Space Systems’ next launch window is scheduled to open on Wednesday, Dec. 7. 

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