2 mins read 20 May 2022

Gilmour Fires Up 3D Printed Phoenix Rocket Engine

Gilmour Space Technologies has completed a 190-second test-fire of their new, 3D printed, liquid rocket engine. 

Test-firing of the 3D printed Phoenix liquid rocket engine. Credit: Gilmour Space Technologies.

Gilmour Space Technologies has unveiled a new 3D printed liquid rocket engine which will power the third stage of its Eris rocket to orbit. On May 17th, Gilmour shared a video of a successful 190-Second Mission Duty Cycle (or mission duration) test-fire of its new regeneratively cooled liquid rocket engine called Phoenix.  

Eris is a three-stage rocket being developed by Gilmour Space Technologies for launching small satellites into low Earth orbits (LEOs). The maiden launch of Eris is targeted to be at the end of this year from the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland, pending regulatory and other approvals.

"The first and second stages of Eris will be powered by Sirius, our large hybrid rocket engine which is undergoing qualification tests," said Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies. 

“The third stage of Eris will be powered by this new 3D printed liquid rocket engine, called Phoenix, which we developed to give us the extra performance needed to deliver substantially more payload to orbit." 

The phoenix rocket engine is a 3-D printed Liquid Oxygen/Kerosene liquid rocket engine and met its performance target with stable combustion during its test-fire. You can watch the test-fire in the video below:

Liquid rocket engines are used by most rocket companies around the world and are notoriously complex and expensive to develop. This test represents a major milestone as a demonstration of Australia’s sovereign launch capabilities. Gilmour hopes to be capable of launching 300 - 4,000 kilogram satellites and payloads into low Earth and other orbits. 

"With this key test, we're proud to say that Gilmour Space has demonstrated sovereign capability in two different rocket systems," said Mr Gilmour.

"The team has done exceptionally well to design, build, and test this new engine in just over a year while also scaling our main hybrid rocket engine, building out the rest of the vehicle, and pushing to develop a new orbital launch site in Australia" 

“Our goal has always been to provide an affordable and reliable option for accessing space, and we believe this unique engine combination will allow us to achieve that for our customers.".