Gilmour Space announces launch partnership with Momentus
Queensland-based hybrid rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies has confirmed a new agreement to provide launch and orbital transport services with US-based Momentus, a commercial space company offering in-space infrastructure services.
Under the agreement, Momentus will gain access to low inclination and equatorial orbits using Gilmour Space’s Eris launch services. With Momentus’ Vigoride transportation service, Gilmour Space will have the capability to expand the flight domain of the Eris rockets (the company has several larger models coming to market beginning in 2023) and enable constellation deployments and missions beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Gilmour Space has the option to book up to three Vigoride charter missions for orbital transfer services from Momentus over the 2023-25 period, while Momentus will purchase one dedicated Eris launch service from an Australian launch site.
“Momentus is proud to announce another partnership with the Australian space industry, shortly after sealing an agreement to launch Skykraft’s satellite in 2021. We are looking forward to supporting ambitious projects in partnership with Gilmour Space, such as flagship missions with the Australian Space Agency and development of sovereign space capabilities with the local industry,” said Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Momentus.
Gilmour Space is a venture-backed rocket company in Queensland that is developing new launch vehicles powered by lower-cost hybrid propulsion technologies. The Eris launch vehicle will debut its services in 2022 and offer lift-off capability to LEO in the 300-kilogram class.
A more capable variant, Eris Heavy, is intended to be commercially available in 2025 with a lift off capacity up to two tons. The Eris family of launch vehicles will launch from Australian and international launch sites, offering access to low inclination as well as Sun-synchronous orbits.
Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour, who is looking to raise a next round of venture capital funding early next year, added, “This is the first international contract we’ve announced this year, and a great example of how innovative companies are coming together to accelerate development and provide new access to space.”
Indeed, the news comes at a time of growing support from the federal government to develop Australia’s sovereign space industry capability in defence and manufacturing.
“With two rockets sold and a number of launches being negotiated now with other customers, I see this as further evidence that we can have a commercial space launch business in Australia,” Gilmour added.
As a first mover in building in-space infrastructure services, Momentus is at the forefront of the commercialisation of space. With an experienced team of aerospace, propulsion, and robotics engineers, Momentus has developed a cost-effective and energy efficient in-space transport system based on water plasma propulsion technology.
Momentus has in-place service agreements with private satellite companies, government agencies, and research organizations, and its first Vigoride transport and service vehicle launch is scheduled for early 2021.
Gilmour Space Technologies is a leading hybrid rocket company that is developing a new breed of lower-cost, reliable and dedicated rockets that will launch small satellites into low earth orbits from 2022.
Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.