The Gold Coast-based company unveiled the rocket system and conducted a live demonstration of its automated mobile launcher, the first of its kind in Australia.
The nine-meter-tall rocket — which will be carrying payloads from universities in Australia and Singapore — is slated to launch from a private property in far north Queensland later this month.
Gilmour Space CEO and founder Adam Gilmour said, “One Vision is a scaled version of our Ariel sounding rocket, and its main objective will be to flight-test our proprietary hybrid rocket engine for commercial orbital launches starting in 2020. We’re in the final stages of obtaining launch approvals from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.”
The coming launch will also be a test of the company’s new mobile launch platform and ground control station.
“There are currently no commercial launch sites for orbital launches in Australia. What you see here today will enable us to launch from remote areas in Australia and elsewhere,” Gilmour added.
Members of the Queensland parliamentary committee inquiring into the job-creation opportunities from space were first to view the demo.
“I congratulate Gilmour Space for being such active and innovative entrepreneurs, really driving the development of the Queensland space industry. It’s so critical that other Queensland companies see that they too could be active participants in Space 2.0,” said the committee chairperson, Chris Whiting.
Gilmour Space believes that a dedicated commercial launch site in Queensland could form the cornerstone of upstream space manufacturing in Queensland and Australia.
“It’s becoming clear to everyone that space is a real business. It is an industry that is developing cutting-edge technology, attracting real investments, employing highly skilled talent within Australia, and bringing new and valuable skills into the country,” Mr Gilmour added.
The company plans to launch Eris-100 in 2020, a three-stage commercial vehicle capable of carrying 100 kilograms to LEO, followed by Eris-400 in 2021, a clustered-engine vehicle for payloads of up to 400 kilograms.
The Eris system provides orbital launch capacity (LEO) with an estimated launch price of US$25,000-38,000 per kilogram depending on the payload mass, with a max payload of 400 kilograms. Eris is a three-stage launch system propelled by eight of the G-70 hybrid rocket engines developed by Gilmour Space Technologies.
Mr Gilmour called for additional support from the Australian government, saying, “With stronger support from the government, I believe this growth could be nurtured and accelerated, helping us put Australia on the global space map.”
Gilmour Space plans to launch its first hybrid rockets to suborbital space in 2018, and to LEO in 2020-21.
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