Queensland-based rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies is preparing for its next launch, again from outback Queensland, perhaps in the next week.
This will be Gilmour’s second launch – in July 2016 the prototype “reusable ascent separation article” (RASTA) reached a height of about 5000 metres.
This launch will feature the proprietary single stage “One Vision” rocket which will reach an altitude of 20-30 kilometres, about halfway to space.
"We've spent the last few months integrating new software into our mobile launch system, and expect to be rolling out very soon for the test launch," said Gilmour chief executive officer Adam Gilmour.
The company carried out a final ground engine test run last week.
“We are completing the final dress rehearsal before we had from here out to the launch site. This is a flight test and it is important for us because there is a really big difference between testing a rocket motor on the ground and putting it into a vehicle and sending it up.
“We can take everything we need and launch pretty much from anywhere in Australia.”
Gilmour Space Technologies has big plans. Next it will launch a three-stage commercial vehicle capable of launching a 250-kilogram payload to low earth orbit.
That will be followed a clustered-engine vehicle for payloads of up to 600.
The actual site for this launch hasn’t been disclosed, other than that it’s from a property south of Mount Isa.
For this launch, the One Vision rocket will be tracked by Cingulan Space, a company which specialises in providing satellite ground terminal services.
The company is based in Yass, NSW, a town better known for its fine wool production.
“Cingulan is a ground segment as a service company. We are 100 per cent Australian-owned and we are proud that we have Australia’s Space 2.0 east coast and west coast satellite tracking stations,” said founder and chief executive officer Keith Rosario.
“Based on our expertise, we also provide engineering consultancy services to our customers to try and help them achieve their space mission. Their success is ours.
Cingulan ground stations are located at Yass and south of Perth, western Australia. The company also has a mobile capability.
Mr Rosario said Cingulan had been working in support of Gilmour Space Technologies for their upcoming test flights.
“We have been providing radio frequency engineering test and field support to that team. For launches, that’s launch tracking and range telemetry. For that we have to be relatively close to the launch site.”
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