Gilmour Space Technologies

Australia’s First Locally Made Orbital Rocket Prepares For Historic Launch

The first locally made orbital rocket is set to take off from North Queensland soon, making Australia one of 12 countries that can build and launch rockets. 

The 23-metre rocket has recently been lifted into the vertical position for the first time. 

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The project, launched by brothers Adam and James Gilmour, co-founders of Gilmour Space Technologies, has been in the works for nearly a decade. 

On today’s The Briefing, we talked to LiSTNR journalist Courtney Thomas to discuss why the launch is so significant, and why the small town of Bowen, south of Townsville, has been chosen for the launch site.   

Thomas said that the project was first founded with a small team of 12 people, the company now employs nearly 200 professionals who have spent three years building the 30,000-kilogram Eris rocket, costing over $100 million.

Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies, said: “Historically, the first launch never gets all the way to space. It’s generally a test launch that you try to get as far as you can… So we’re not expecting one to go away.”

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“We are going to keep pulling rockets, and we plan to build larger rockets in the future and that will allow us to take just more satellites up into space,” he added.

Mr Glimour said this would make Australia the only 12th nation with access to space launch technology.

“So, it’s a big deal…These are Australian-made and Australian-owned rockets, and it puts us in this kind of esteemed company of 11 other countries.”

The final authorisation from the Australian Space Agency is still pending, with the anticipated launch scheduled for early next month.

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