A Gold Coast company has received funding from the State Government to help it develop new rocket propulsion technology – a move that could see commercial rockets being launched from Queensland into low orbit by 2020.
Gilmore Space Technologies received $50,000 through Advance Queensland to employ an engineering graduate from the University of Queensland for 12 months to help research, develop and test a hybrid fuel catalyst pack for commercial rockets.
The company is planning to launch two sounding rockets during the course of the 12-month development and testing program. An initial launch to an altitude of 70 km is planned for the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory and launch approvals. A second to an altitude of 100 km is slated for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Gilmour Space Technologies Director James Gilmour said: “This testing will help us perfect our fuel catalyst technology, allowing us to launch significantly larger rockets to much higher altitudes, and with cost savings that we can pass onto customers.
“The technology we develop over the next 12 months will also help us achieve our longer term goal of building vehicles capable of supporting human spaceflight and exploration.”
“This is a milestone in the development of a viable space industry for our nation,” said Queensland’s Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business Leeanne Enoch.
“Over the next decade we will see a huge increase in the number of commercial applications for small satellites and this research and development will help Queensland secure a niche in this evolving sector of the lucrative global space industry.”