Australian rocket manufacturer and launch provider Gilmour Space Technologies has announced that it has signed a deal with Inmarsat to use the UK company’s space-based telemetry services.
Gilmour plans the maiden launch of its Eris rocket, which would be the first Australian orbital rocket, for early in 2023. A statement from the company on Thursday described Inmarsat’s InRange service as providing “rapid, responsive and cost-effective launch telemetry from space” rather than relying on terrestrial infrastructure.
Inmarsat is currently an Australian Defence Force supplier, has built ground stations in Australia, and is part of the Northrop Grumman-led bid to provide the JP9102 satcom program for defence.
“Inmarsat has a long and storied partnership with Australia and the opportunity to support the nation’s ambitions in launching satellites from Australian soil with Gilmour Space Technologies enables us to continue to grow our presence and partnership still further,” CEO Rajeev Suri said.
CEO of Gilmour Space Adam Gilmour added that Eris would be the nation’s first orbital launch attempt, as well as the first orbital launch attempt from a commercial Australian site.
“We are also developing the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in north Queensland, and it’s been fantastic to work with Inmarsat as a well-established partner to help us demonstrate space-based telemetry for our first and future Eris launches from Australia,” he said.
Gilmour leads a consortium that was awarded a $52 million grant in March this year to build three new facilities in Queensland: a common test and manufacturing facility, a facility for building commercial rockets and satellites, and the orbital spaceport at Abbot Point near Bowen in North Queensland.