Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies has secured its first Australian customer for its maiden Eris rocket launch in 2022 – Space Machines Company has contracted to launch a 35-kilogram spacecraft to orbit, the largest payload announced to date by an Australian space company.
Space Machines Company is an Australian startup that is developing in-space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired low-Earth orbits (LEO), geostationary Earth orbits (GEO) and cis-lunar (moon) orbits.
Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space, welcomed the announcement, saying, "This could well be the first Australian payload to be launched to orbit on an Australian rocket, from an Australian launch site."
Space Machines Company co-founder and CEO, Rajat Kulshrestha, echoed the sentiment, saying, "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."
Despite being a late entrant into the commercial space market, Australia’s pace of growth has accelerated in recent years with the emergence of smaller, more agile commercial players looking to tap into the $500 billion-a-year global space economy.
"Start-ups like Space Machines Company are gearing up to launch their innovative new products and services to market. But getting to space is still a big challenge for small-payload customers, particularly if they need access to specific orbits or inclinations," said Gilmour.
To meet this global demand, Gilmour’s first Eris rockets will be launching payloads up to 305 kilograms into LEOs – 215 kilograms into 500-kilometre sun synchronous orbits or 305 kilograms into 500-kilometre equatorial orbits.
"We’ve closed two commercial launch contracts in the last few months, and are targeting 12 rockets a year by 2025. It's clear to us that the Australian space industry is ready for launch," Gilmour added.
Gilmour Space Technologies is a venture-funded Australian rocket company that is developing new hybrid propulsion rockets for more affordable and reliable small satellite launches into low earth orbits from 2022.
Space Machines Company, is an Australian startup developing space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired LEO, GEO and cis-lunar orbits, and provide essential sovereign capabilities for Australia’s future space requirements.
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