Gilmour completes longest Australian rocket test fire

By on 30 June, 2020

Gilmour Space Technologies’ hybrid upper stage rocket engine. Image provided.

Gilmour Space Technologies has completed a 45-second test fire of its hybrid rocket engine — long enough to launch a satellite into orbit. 

The successful 45-second ‘hot fire’ of the company’s upper-stage hybrid rocket engine is a milestone in its goal to launch small satellites to space by 2022, according to CEO Adam Gilmour.

“This was our longest and most efficient test fire to date. It’s a key demonstration of our ability to produce repeatable, stable, and high-performance combustion over a long duration burn; and a significant achievement in hybrid rocket development,” he said.

“This engine will have the capability to power the upper stage of our Eris orbital launch vehicle, and deliver our customer payloads to required orbits. Our next test will be a full duration mission duty cycle firing of this engine.”

The test fire of this upper-stage hybrid engine is the first technology demonstration for Gilmour this year, following impacts from the 2019/2020 bushfires and Covid-19 pandemic.

The company says that it plans to follow up with low-altitude flight tests for their guidance, navigation and control systems, a test of its thrust vector control system, and a more powerful static fire of its first stage rocket engine.

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