Gilmour Space Technologies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Northrop Grumman to co-develop technologies to enhance Australia’s space capabilities.
Under the newly signed agreement, Northrop Grumman will join Gilmour on a Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) project aimed at developing composite fuel tanks for low-cost space transport, according to Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour.
“It is great to gain the support of Northrop Grumman who, through this investment, have further demonstrated their commitment to grow Australian space capability,” he said.
“With the right support, we will see innovative, well capitalised, and highly capable Australian space companies like Gilmour Space emerge as future Australian space primes. We look forward to working with Northrop Grumman as we work to launch our first commercial payloads to orbit in 2022.”
Other industry partners on the CRC project include Griffith University and Etamax Engineering, and will see the manufacture and testing of tanks up to two metres in diameter. The project is said to be the first collaboration with the US aerospace giant under the agreement, according to material released by Gilmour Space.
Chris Deeble, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, said that the firm’s approach was consistent with the government’s recently announced Modern Manufacturing Strategy to develop and manufacture space hardware in Australia.
“Northrop Grumman aims to lead industry support in developing Australian sovereign space capabilities to help meet the needs of defence and realise the Australian Space Agency vision,” he said.
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