One of the most awaited launches in the Space calendar includes the UK Pathfinder Launch Project. It is the first vertical satellite launch to take place from the UK soil. Following the grand project, Lockheed Martin took the initiative to contract the ABL Space Systems, El Segundo, California. The ABL Space Systems is a developer that deals with low-cost launches vehicles and systems. It mostly deals with the small satellite industry. It will supply the UK vertical satellite launch with a rocket and other launch services if things go as planned.
This project will become the first Vertical launch of a small satellite from the UK. It will launch from Scotland in 2022. The launch will also become the first UK commercial launch under the US-based ABL Space Systems’ latest RSI rocket.
Why did the company choose ABL? The main reason is its flexibility. Other than these facts, ABL includes an Integrated GSO launch system and the RSI rocket that delivers a rapid and cost-effective deployment. Not to mention, it has outstanding launch performance records over the years.
Lockheed Martin’s UK Pathfinder launch project is an open supporter of the UK Agency commercial spaceflight program. In October last year, UK space Centre, in a statement, confirmed Lockheed’s plan to take its program to the Shetland Space Centre. In January 2021, a different proposal came to the Space Launch facility regarding the same matter.
Taking ABL Space Systems onboard on the UK Pathfinder Launch program, Lockheed completes the team to develop the project. Reliable sources claim that the launching will take place from the Shetland Space Centre. The area is the most northern part of the United Kingdom region. After it arrives in the Earth’s orbit, its primary role is to release an orbital maneuvering vehicle. The vehicle will deploy at least six CubeSats, which will give a chance for the placement of small satellites with various missions.
For demonstration purposes regarding the CubeSats’ power, two of them will be part of Lockheed’s technology spacecraft. In 2019, ABL Space Systems, in a press conference, announced that Lockheed Martin gave a strategic investment. The investment’s main aim was to advance the launch’s development plans and the tests’ program.
There were different reactions from many people on the matter. However, from the announcement, many people are certain that the historic launch in the UK Space ventures will happen. With time, we are likely to learn more about the project’s progress from the UK Pathfinder Launch team. However, only time will tell when it comes to the results of the matter.