Gilmour Space begins year with successful 90-kilonewton hotfire rocket test

Venture-backed Australian rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies has announced the successful hotfire test of what it says is the world’s largest single-port hybrid rocket engine, ahead of its planned first commercial orbital launch in 2022.

Gilmour CEO Adam Gilmour said the initial verification test of the main engine — which will be used in the first and second stages of its three-stage Eris rocket — generated 91 kilonewtons of thrust.

“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,” he said in a statement, adding that this would be a busy year — one in which they would build their rocket.

“Many of our Eris launch vehicle components have completed development testing, and the first flight articles are on the manufacturing floor ready for assembly.”

Gilmour announced its first Australian customer, Space Machines Company, in September last year, as well as a partnership with an MoU with US aerospace and defence giant Northrop Grumman in November.

The Gold Coast-based company says it is on track to begin taking commercial payloads into orbit next year.

Picture and video: Gilmour Space Technologies

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