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One small step for Gilmour, one giant leap for Australia

Manufacturing News

Excitement is building as Gold Coast based Gilmour Space Technologies prepares its Eris rocket for its inaugural flight into space.

The company has been teasing the public for weeks about the planned date for the historic launch – the first of a fully Australian developed and manufactured rocket capable of reaching Low Earth Orbit.

Australia’s first satellite Wresat 1 was sent into orbit in 1967 from the Woomera rocket range aboard a British rocket, but Gilmour’s promises to be a fully Australian technology achievement.

Eris is a three stage rocket 23 metres tall and 1.5 metres in diametre capable of launching a 305kg payload to equatorial orbit 500 kilometres above the Earth.

Powered by Gilmour’s proprietary hybrid rocket engine, Eris has involved dozens of Australian SMEs, many of whom will achieve critically important proof of capability for their components in space for the first time.

The 35 tonne rocket has been assembled and will be erected at the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in North Queensland.

Gilmour plans two test flights then a third, commercial flight carrying Australian satellites into space.

The Queensland Deputy Premier Cameron Dick compared the Eris rocket to Bowen’s Big Mango, joking that the rocket was twice the length of the local tourist attraction.

Dick said: “The Queensland Space Industry Strategy I released in 2020 outlined our plan to create even more jobs in more industries for Queenslanders.

“We wanted to see Queensland boldly go where no state has gone before, and Gilmour Space Technologies is now doing just that.

“Never before has an Australian-made, Australian-owned rocket launched into orbit anywhere in our nation, and it’s Queenslanders – backed by the Miles Labor Government – making history.”

Further reading:
New space strategy to guide industry development
Gilmour Space begins work on Eris rocket – video

Picture: Gilmour Space Technologies/Eris rocket at Bowen Orbital Spaceport

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