“This could well be the first Australian payload to be launched to orbit on an Australian rocket, from an Australian launch site.”
– Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space.
Homegrown rocket company, Gilmour Space Technologies, has secured the first Australian customer for its maiden Eris rocket launch in 2022. Space Machines Company has contracted to launch a 35-kilogram (kg) spacecraft to orbit, the largest payload announced to date by an Australian space company.
“This could well be the first Australian payload to be launched to orbit on an Australian rocket, from an Australian launch site,” said Adam Gilmour, co-founder and CEO of Gilmour Space, a Queensland-based company that is building new hybrid rockets to meet the world’s growing demand for small rocket launches.
More details about Space Machines Company and its in-space transportation service will be announced in the coming months, however, Mr Kulshrestha revealed: “At 35 kg, this will be one of the largest spacecraft developed and tested by an Australian space company.”
The New Space Age
Despite being a late entrant into the commercial space market, Australia’s pace of growth has accelerated in recent years with the emergence of smaller, more agile commercial players looking to tap into the $500 billion-a-year global space economy.
“Startups like Space Machines Company are gearing up to launch their innovative new products and services to market. But getting to space is still a big challenge for small-payload customers, particularly if they need access to specific orbits or inclinations,” said Mr Gilmour.
To meet this global demand, Gilmour’s first Eris rockets will be launching payloads up to 305 kg into low earth orbits – 215 kg into 500 kilometres sun synchronous orbits or 305 kg into 500 km equatorial orbits.
“We’ve closed two commercial launch contracts in the last few months, and are targeting 12 rockets a year by 2025,” he added. “It’s clear to us that the Australian space industry is ready for launch.”
(Main Image: Contract signing by the chief executive officers of Gilmour Space and Space Machines Company. Left: James Gilmour, Adam Gilmour, Peter Kinne from Gilmour Space. Right (on screen): Rajat Kulshrestha from Space Machines Company.)