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Gilmour Space announces Australian Space Agency partnership

Max Blenkin

Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies has confirmed a partnership with the Australian Space Agency, with the aim of having an orbital vehicle ready for launch in 2021. 

Gilmour Space announces Australian Space Agency partnership
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Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews said the Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies specialised in rocket technologies, highlighting the exciting developments underway in Australia’s space sector.

“This new partnership shows the breadth of capabilities being developed in Australia, supporting our mission to develop and grow the Australian space industry over the next 10 years,” Minister Andrews said.

“Gilmour Space is an innovative local company attracting significant investment and overseas attention. The Gilmour team is already working on technologies with NASA to support future missions.”

Minister Andrews, who witnessed the signing between Gilmour Space and the Space Agency, added, "This new partnership shows the breadth of capabilities being developed in Australia. Gilmour's stratospheric growth in recent years is a terrific example of the economic and job opportunities in the space sector.

“Dynamic companies like this also will inspire our next generation of space entrepreneurs by championing the role of space here on our shores.

“When Aussie kids see Gilmour technologies being used by NASA astronauts, it will inspire them to dream big and get involved in space science and engineering.”

Gilmour Space Technologies chief executive Adam Gilmour said the company was proud to be a leader in the development of rocket technologies.

He said they understood the crucial need to work with government and industry.

“Growing the Australian space industry together is vital to its long-term success,” Gilmour said.

The government has committed more than $600 million to grow the space sector in Australia to $12 billion and create another 20,000 jobs by 2030.

Gilmour Space Technologies was founded in 2015 when Gilmour quit a 20-year banking career to pursue a lifelong passion for space.

It’s now one of Australia's leading space companies, with more than 40 employees.

Gilmour has developed a hybrid rocket with 3D-printed fuel, with the aim of developing a lower-cost satellite launch capability.

In July 2016, its prototype “reusable ascent separation article” (RASTA) reached a height of about 5,000 metres.

However, the test launch of the One Vision rocket from a property in outback Queensland at the end of July didn’t get off the ground when a component failed just before blast-off.

It was planned it would reach an altitude of 20-30 kilometres, about halfway to space and was intended as a flight test of the proprietary orbital class hybrid rocket engine and to demonstrate mobile launch capability.

Australian Space Agency deputy head Anthony Murfett agreed, saying, "Gilmour Space has raised the profile of Australia's space industry across the globe and inspired our children to get involved in space activities. The agency and Gilmour Space share the objectives of enhancing the capability, capacity and competitiveness of Australia's space industry while being globally responsible."

"It's been an exciting year for us and indeed for Australia," said Gilmour, who also sits in the Agency's Space Industry Leaders Forum. "There's a lot of work yet to be done, many more opportunities to be explored, and we certainly look forward to growing the space industry here, together."

The ultimate aim is to conduct lower cost commercial satellite launches.

Earlier this year, Gilmour’s achievements were recognised with the 2019 Advance Award for Advanced Manufacturing.

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