Queensland-based rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies has secured the first Australian customer for its maiden Eris rocket launch scheduled for 2022.
Adelaide-based Space Machines Company has signed on to launch a 35kg spacecraft to orbit, marking the largest payload yet announced 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 Technologies.
Though little is widely known about Space Machines Company, it is described as developing in-space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired low earth orbits, geostationary earth orbits and Cis-Lunar (Moon) orbits.
“We are delighted to be supporting Gilmour’s first commercial flight and being part of this important milestone in the development of Australia’s space industry,” said Space Machines Company co-founder and CEO Rajat Kulshrestha.
Australia has been a late entrant into the commercial space market, though increased investment in small, agile companies and the recent formation of the Australian Space Agency are helping domestic players get a piece of the $500 billion-a-year global space economy.
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,” said Adam Gilmour of Gilmour Space. “It’s clear to us that the Australian space industry is ready for launch.”
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