Gilmour Space Technologies announced its new rocket engine, Phoenix, on Tuesday morning, as well as news that it had recently put the liquid-fuelled third-stage engine through a successful 190-second mission duty cycle test firing.
The Gold Coast-based company described Phoenix as 3D printed and regeneratively-cooled, and powered by liquid oxygen/kerosene. It will power the final stage or Gilmour’s Eris rocket, designed for low earth orbit transportation of payloads, which is planned for a maiden launch in late-2022.
According to Gilmour, the Phoenix was developed in “just over a year” while it also scaling its main hybrid rocket engine, building out the rest of Eris, and proceeding towards the planned launch from north Queensland’s Bowen Orbital Spaceport.
“The first and second stages of Eris will be powered by Sirius, our large hybrid rocket engine which is undergoing qualification tests,” said Gilmour Space’s CEO and co-founder Adam Gilmour.
The third-stage engine would, said Gilmour, “give us the extra performance needed to deliver substantially more payload to orbit.”
Gilmour Space plans to provide a launch service for small satellite operators.
Last week it was awarded a $15 million contract to develop and launch a new surveillance satellite for Defence.
In March, a Gilmour-led consortium – the Australian Space Manufacturing Network – was awarded a $52 million federal government grant to develop the Bowen spaceport, as well as a common test and manufacturing facility, and a separate site for building commercial rockets and satellites, anchored by Gilmour Space.
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