Queensland startup Gilmour Space is working hard to boost Australia’s rocket launching credentials.
The company’s main aim is to provide affordable space launch services to the world's fast-growing small satellite industry. Australians already rely heavily on ‘everyday’ satellite technologies for GPS and enabling global payments (among others) and will benefit further from new satellite capabilities around early bushfire detection, better remote communications, new broadband services, and more. Local and overseas companies will soon use Gilmour Space’s rockets and launch facilities to send their satellites into space.
Founded by brothers Adam and James Gilmour in 2013, the company launched its first privately developed hybrid test1 rocket in 2015, reportedly a world-first flight demonstration of 3D-printed rocket fuel. Yes, 3D-printed fuel!
According to Gilmour Space, the company has since its first launch:
- set up space manufacturing on the Gold Coast
- successfully developed and tested different rocket engines
- signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA
- begun construction of an orbital launch site in regional Queensland
- expanded to locally develop low earth orbit satellites
- partnered with local companies and universities on new space technologies
- become one of the largest sovereign space employers in Australia.
The company is currently working on ‘Eris’, an Australian-owned and made rocket that offers low-cost dedicated small satellite launches into low earth orbits. Eris is expected to launch from the new Bowen Orbital Spaceport on Abbot Point State Development Area in North Queensland. The Spaceport will benefit local communities in tourism opportunities and respect the cultural heritage of the Juru Traditional Owners.
The future looks bright for Gilmour Space – they’re creating hundreds of jobs, developing sovereign space assets, and attracting business from overseas partners. Hostplus has invested over $3 billion2 in companies like Gilmour Space, that not only aim to help set you up for retirement, but to improve the world we live in. That’s a plus.
The information in this article is correct as at time of publication.
1. A hybrid sounding rocket engine uses a combination of a solid and a liquid or gas propellant. Gilmour Space developed a 3D-printed solid fuel and combined it with a liquid oxidiser to fuel their rocket engine. Source: Gilmour Space.
2 Source: Hostplus, as at 30 June 2022. Visit our website to read more about our approach to responsible investment.