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Australian startup to launch next-gen smallsats

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Image Courtesy: createdigital.org.au

Gilmour Space, an Australian NewSpace company founded in 2013, in Queensland, is among the pioneers in innovative hybrid propulsion. It is developing advanced capabilities for launching small satellites. The company’s initial launches will focus on the increasing number of small satellites looking to operate in low earth orbits over the next decade, be it for communications, earth observation, or enabling autonomous systems and IoT.

Gilmour Space launched Australia’s first privately developed hybrid rocket in 2016. It was also a world-first demonstration of a rocket launch using 3D printed fuel.

“We designed our first vehicle with the capability to launch replacement satellites for the current projected broadband constellations, and will be looking at Moon/Mars resupply missions, at making our launch vehicles partially reusable, and eventually at human spaceflight and exploration”, says Adam Gilmour, CEO, Gilmour Space Technologies.

Adam Gilmour, CEO, Gilmour Space Tech

The company aims to lower cost barriers and truly democratize access to space by keeping technology as simple as possible and using reusable launch vehicles and spacecraft.

Gilmour Space is also one of the first Australian companies to sign a Space Act Agreement to work with NASA.

“Our initial collaboration was around in-situ resource extraction of water using microwave technology. Beyond that we are looking at working on deep space propulsion, life support systems and space/STEM education”, adds Gilmour.

With the increasing availability of dedicated launch options for small satellites, the space sector is undergoing a rapid transformation and emerging technologies like AI and Iot would play a significant role.

IoT will open up new business opportunities on Earth that haven’t even been thought of. It’s also a very inexpensive way to track assets, believes Gilmour.

He further adds, “ongoing developments in the smallsat sector would be a prelude to greater advances in technology, similar to how the internet has enabled companies like Google (Alphabet), Facebook and AirBNB”.

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