Gilmour Tests the ‘Most powerful rocket engine ever developed in Australia’

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Gilmour Tests the ‘Most powerful rocket engine ever developed in Australia’
Gilmour Space Technologies has completed a 75-second test-fire of its new rocket engine, which the company plans to launch in Queensland in the second half of 2022. According to the company’s CEO, Adam Gilmour, the procedure involved the main engine that will power the first and second stages of its three-stage Eris rocket.

“We achieved our expected full thrust of 110 kilo-newton (or 25,000 pounds-force), and our team will be moving on to the final engine qualification campaign next month,” he said.

The company, Australia’s largest sovereign space employer, was founded in 2013 by two brothers and focused on developing orbital-class hybrid propulsion technologies that are safer and less expensive than traditional rockets.

It has already agreed to support Juru Traditional Owners in Bowen, Queensland, as a rocket launch site later this year.

If everything goes according to plan, it will become Australia’s second long-term rocket launch site, after Whalers Way in South Australia, which competitor Southern Launch uses.

On the other hand, Gilmour claims that his rockets will be the most powerful ever developed in Australia, capable of launching 300- to 4,000-kilogram satellites and payloads into low-earth and other orbits.

“It is no small thing to say that we’ve developed Australia’s largest rocket engine; and that it could have significant flow-on benefits for the commercial, civil and defence space sectors,” he added.

“With timely assessments and approvals from relevant authorities, we hope to be able to launch Australia’s first sovereign-made rocket from Queensland sometime in the latter half of 2022.”

Last year, the company achieved several significant milestones. The Queensland Government committed to assisting Gilmour in developing the launch in May, and it secured $61 million in funding from venture capital investors a few months later.

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