Gilmour Space Technologies, a rocket company based in Australia/Singapore, has just announced it is on track for its first suborbital test launch scheduled for the third quarter of this year.
This is after the company completed a longer duration test-fire of its proprietary hybrid rocket engine, which achieved a 12-second static fire of what will be its first-stage orbital rocket engine. The test demonstrated stable thrust, and peaked at 75 kN (16,900 pounds) of force, up from the 70kN it achieved in March this year.
Said the company’s CEO and Founder, Adam Gilmour, “75 kN marks a new record for this engine, and is more than what we will need for our coming suborbital and orbital launches.”
The company is currently working with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to approve the upcoming launch from a remote private property in Queensland. The launch pad will be a mobile launch platform, which will also be tested for the first time this year.
Added Gilmour, “The next launch will be the flight test of a full-scale engine, which we plan to use in the first stage of our Eris orbital rocket.” ‘Eris’ is the company’s three-stage hybrid rocket dedicated to launching small satellites (up to 400 kg) to Low Earth Orbit by 2020.
“It will also be a test of our mobile launch platform, which we’ve designed to enable rapid and low-cost launches from remote locations,” he added. “Interestingly, this capability for responsive launch is one that other countries like the US, Europe and UK are trying very hard to develop right now.”