The Australian defense department and private company Gilmour Space Technologies have entered into an agreement for the development of a new rocket that will launch small payloads and satellites.
The new partnership between Defence Science and Technology and Gilmour Space will research defense-related technologies including propulsion, materials and avionics technologies, to help develop a three-stage hybrid rocket that will launch small payloads and satellites.
“Technology advances have allowed rocket systems and launch service providers to offer access to space at a greatly reduced cost and infrastructure footprint,” Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said.
Defense industry minister Melissa Price said the agreement would open the door for Australian space companies to provide space capabilities to Australia’s defense force and commercial customers.
“Recent advancements in the capabilities of micro and nano-satellites, small satellite constellations and additive manufacturing present a unique opportunity for defense and Australian industry,” Minister Price said.
As a hybrid rocket launch provider, Gilmour Space Technologies is developing lower-cost, dedicated rockets to launch small satellites into low earth orbits.