ABL Space has never launched a rocket, but it just landed a huge contract

ABL’s mobile launch system can be deployed at multiple locations.

Enlarge / ABL’s mobile launch system can be deployed at multiple locations. (credit: ABL Space Systems)

A California company that has yet to even attempt a rocket launch has nonetheless inked a major deal with Lockheed Martin for dozens of missions over the next decade.

Under terms of the block-buy agreement between ABL Space Systems and Lockheed, the aerospace giant will purchase “up to” 26 launches through 2026 and as many as 32 additional launches through 2029. If the terms are fulfilled, this would come to 58 launches over the next eight years for ABL Space. In an industry where even a single launch contract often produces a news release, a contract for five dozen launches is unprecedented for a private company.

Officials with ABL Space declined to offer specific financial terms of the agreement. However, ABL said the contract comes with a “significant” minimum commitment beginning in 2022, plus additional paid options in each future year.

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