Gilmour Space achieves 45-second milestone in latest hybrid rocket engine test fire
by Staff Writers
Gold Coast, Australia (SPX) Jun 25, 2020
Australia's leading rocket company has reached another milestone in its mission to launch small satellites to space by 2022.
Rocket engineers at Gilmour Space Technologies in Queensland, Australia, have completed the first in a series of major technology demonstrations this year: a successful 45-second 'hot fire' of their upper-stage hybrid rocket engine.
"This was our longest and most efficient test fire to date," said Gilmour Space CEO and co-founder, Adam Gilmour. "It's a key demonstration of our ability to produce repeatable, stable, and high-performance combustion over a long duration burn; and a significant achievement in hybrid rocket development," he added.
Unlike most commercial launch vehicles fuelled by solid- or liquid-propulsion engines, Gilmour Space is developing new cost-effective, safe and green hybrid-propulsion technologies.
"This engine will have the capability to power the upper stage of our Eris orbital launch vehicle, and deliver our customer payloads to required orbits," he explained. "Our next test will be a full duration mission duty cycle firing of this engine."
2020, the year of testing
Despite the challenges, however, the company is tracking to complete a number significant tests this year, including a series of low-altitude flight tests of their guidance, navigation and control systems, a thrust vector control system test, and a more powerful static fire of their first-stage rocket engine.
"With each test, we get closer to 2022 our goal of launching Australia and our customers to space."
Engine of recovery and growth
In December last year, the company signed a Strategic Statement of Intent with the Australian Space Agency to demonstrate its commitment to delivering 'Access to Space' as a civil priority area. In May, it signed a collaboration agreement with Australia's Defence Science Technology Group to work on technologies that will enable sovereign launch capabilities in Australia.
"Clearly, the momentum for launch is building here. With the right focus, investment, and hopefully a ready launch site by 2022, we believe that space could be a significant future industry for Australia - one that builds on our advanced manufacturing capabilities, and offers real opportunities for jobs, recovery and growth."
Northrop Grumman rocket boosters arrive at KSC for Artemis I mission
Promontory UT (SPX) Jun 16, 2020
Northrop Grumman reports that the segments for the two rocket boosters that will be used to help launch NASA's first Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artemis I mission have arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The booster segments will be the first elements of the SLS rocket to be stacked on the mobile launcher in preparation for the launch of Artemis I, and the completed boosters will provide more than 75 percent of the initial thrust for launch. "New technologies and materia ... read more
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