One small step for man, one giant leap for Queensland
NASA astronaut Mae Jamison once said, “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination – and never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
Gilmour Space Technologies are proof that what we imagine can lead to sky-rocketing success when supported by the right mindset.
Founded by two brothers in 2013, this Queensland startup is now one of Australia's leading space companies pioneering new and innovative hybrid propulsion technologies that offer lower cost access to space.
Earlier this year, the Gold Coast- based business achieved one of the longest hybrid rocket engine test firings in the world – a 110-second mission duration burn of its upper state engine, more than double the duration of their last 45-second test fires.
Gilmour Space Technologies’ CEO and Co-Founder, Adam Gilmour said the test was a significant milestone for the company.
"With space now opening to commercial players, we are seeing an explosion of innovation in the global space industry. However, there are still big challenges for small satellite players in terms of launch costs and availability,” Mr Gilmour said.
“Gilmour Space is committed to providing our customers with more cost-effective and reliable access to space.
“We are pioneering new hybrid propulsion technologies that will be significantly cheaper, greener and safer to operate than traditional liquid and solid propulsion rockets.
“We have conducted over 100 test firings that demonstrate our engine’s performance, on-orbit manoeuvring capability and potential for surface landings on the Moon or Mars.”
Since starting its rocket program in 2015, Gilmour Space Technologies have received backing from the Queensland Government – something that Adam believes will be crucial to their success and the future of Queensland’s space industry.
“With support from Advance Queensland, local companies like ours could soon be heralding in new advanced manufacturing and sovereign space capabilities, high-STEM jobs, and a significant future industry for Queensland and Australia,” Adam said.
“In 2017, we got our first boost in Queensland through the Advance Queensland Knowledge Transfer Partnership with $50,000 to support some of our early work on rocket fuel, allowing us to hire a graduate from the University of Queensland, who is now a valued senior member of our team.
“During 2019, thanks to a $300,000 Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship, we also partnered with the University of Queensland on some rocket system development.”
Looking to the future, Gilmour Space Technologies say they want to help Queensland become the epicentre of the Australian space industry.
“In 2020, State Development launched the Queensland Space Industry Strategy, which we believe will be the blueprint that will position Queensland as Australia’s launch pad to space. In fact, the first step has already been taken with the identification of a potential orbital launch site at Abbot Point,” Adam said.
“We’re very proud of our world-leading achievements in hybrid rocket technologies and of our 55-strong team on the Gold Coast who are working hard to launch Australia and Queensland into space – and it’s our vision to lead Queensland in becoming the Space Coast of Australia.”
Visit Gilmour Space Technologies to learn more.