Gilmour Space Technologies, a Queensland-based rocket company, has signed an agreement with Momentus, an in-space transport systems developer, to offer their respective customers a broader range of launch options – including to equatorial and lunar orbits.
Under the agreement, Momentus will gain access to low inclination and equatorial orbits using Gilmour Space’s Eris rocket, a small launch vehicle with a payload capacity of 300kg to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), whose maiden commercial flight is slated to take place in 2022. Meanwhile, Gilmour Space will be able to use Momentus’ Vigoride transportation service, which can propel satellites beyond LEO and also facilitate constellation deployments.
The agreement stipulates that Gilmour Space has the option to book up to three Vigoride charter missions for orbital transfer services from Momentus over the 2023-2025 period, while Momentus will purchase one dedicated Eris launch service from an Australian launch site.
“Momentus is proud to announce another partnership with the Australian space industry, shortly after sealing an agreement to launch Skykraft’s satellite in 2021,” said Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Momentus. ”We are looking forward to supporting ambitious projects in partnership with Gilmour Space, such as flagship missions with the Australian Space Agency and development of sovereign space capabilities with the local industry.”
This is Gilmour Space’s first international deal, and marks the second rocket the company has sold. Earlier this year in September, Gilmour Space’s first commercial deal was made with Space Machines Company, an Australian startup that is, like Momentus, focusing on in-space transportation. Space Machines is currently developing capabilities to cost-effectively insert small satellites into desired low earth orbits (LEO), geostationary earth orbits (GEO) and Cis-Lunar orbits, and will launch a 35-kg spacecraft on the Eris rocket in 2022.
“This is the first international contract we’ve announced this year, and a great example of how innovative companies are coming together to accelerate development and provide new access to space,” said Gilmour Space CEO, Adam Gilmour, who is looking to raise a next round of venture capital funding early next year in a Series C round. Its Series B round took place in 2018, when the company raised US$13.7 million.