Tuesday, 02 October 2018 07:46

Queensland space firm gets $19m funding to build low-cost rockets

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Gilmour Space co-founders James and Adam Gilmour. Gilmour Space co-founders James and Adam Gilmour. Courtesy Gilmour Space Technologies

Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies has secured $19 million in funding from the CSIRO's Innovation Fund, managed by Main Sequence Ventures, and Blackbird Ventures, to develop low-cost rockets, the Federal Government's Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews has announced.

Based in Pimpama, the company is building low-cost launch vehicles to put small- to medium-sized satellites into low earth orbit, a statement said.

The target date for the first commercial launch of the ERIS orbital launch vehicle for small payloads to low earth orbit is the last quarter of 2020.

“CSIRO’s Innovation Fund, part of the Coalition’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, has already invested in nine companies, creating over 100 jobs and opening up new industries so Australia can position itself as a leader on the global stage,” Andrews said.

“This investment into Gilmour Space is the 10th investment by CSIRO’s Innovation Fund."

Gilmour Space co-founder and chief executive Adam Gilmour said: “We see small satellite launches as a multi-billion dollar opportunity, and this funding will help us become a significant player in the global small launch market."

Martin Duursma, partner, Main Sequence Ventures, said Gilmour Space would soon be capable of launching satellites for both commercial and national benefit.

“This is a great example of the rise of innovation in the nation’s space sector. We are excited to support the company in its growth in Australia and beyond," he said.

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said the CSIRO Innovation Fund was ready to help local innovators.

“Australia is on the cusp of launching its own space industry, as outlined in CSIRO’s Space Roadmap, launched by Minister Andrews earlier this week,” he said.

“Building on more than 70 years of space research, CSIRO is excited to continue its journey from radar to Moon landing to Wi-Fi, to now investing in rockets."


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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