3 mins read 27 Jan 2021

90 kilonewton Hotfire from Gilmour Space Technologies

Gilmour Space Technologies is ringing in the new year with a new record for their hybrid rocket.

Gilmour Space Technologies has truly rocketed into 2021 with a new test of their hybrid rocket. This rocket, developed by the Gold Coast company, is the world’s most powerful single-port hybrid rocket engine. The technology is part of Gilmour's Eris rocket which is set to launch in 2022, a three-stage rocket to launch small satellites into low-Earth orbit using hybrid fuel technology. This most recent hot-fire follows from their previous 45-second and 90-second testfires last year.

“We achieved a record 91 kilonewtons (or 9 tonnes-force) of thrust in this initial verification test of our main engine,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO and co-founder of Gilmour Space Technologies.

“This is the engine that will be powering the first and second stages of our Eris orbital vehicle as it launches to space," he explained. "I'm happy to report that all systems performed very well during this 10-second test. Our team will be going through the results and conducting longer duration and higher thrust tests in the weeks ahead."

Gilmour’s first Australian customer to launch an Australian payload on an Australian rocket is Space Machines Company. They have been contracted to launch a 35-kilogram payload to orbit in 2022. 

“We are delighted by this successful hot-fire test, which demonstrates Gilmour’s progress towards a successful orbital launch in 2022," said Rajat Kulshrestha, co-founder and CEO of Space Machines Company. "Together with Space Machines Company, important sovereign launch and in-space transport capabilities for Australia are becoming a reality."

Gilmour Space Technologies has also previously announced several other exciting partnerships, including their first international customer, and partnerships with the University of Queensland, Griffith University, Titomic, the Australian Defence Force, and the Australian Space Agency

The Gold Coast-based rocket company has also won a federal grant early this year. They are one of eight small businesses to share in \$3.4 million in grants as part of Australia’s efforts to grow it’s sovereign defence capabilities. Gilmour will be using their grant funding to upgrade their testing infrastructure. The Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority grant program is set to provide opportunities to make small businesses more competitive and Australia’s supply chains more secure. 

“Gilmour Space Technologies’ testing facility will ensure the safety and reliability of Defence platforms and vehicles across a range of domains, and enhance Australia’s sovereign ability to gain maximum benefit from our capability,” said the Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price.

With this new funding and a successful hot-fire completed, Gilmour Space Technologies is set to soar into 2021.

“Many of our Eris launch vehicle components have completed development testing, and the first flight articles are on the manufacturing floor ready to be assembled," said Mr Gilmour. "This is going to be a busy year for us; it's the year we build our rocket."