Gilmour Space Technologies
Pimpama Engineering Facility, June 2017
|Founded||July 17, 2012|
|Services||Orbital rocket launch|
Number of employees
Gilmour Space Technologies (also known as Gilmour Space, Gilmour Space Tech or GSpaceTech) is an Australian private space company with a subsidiary in Singapore. Headquartered in Queensland, Australia, the company is developing new hybrid-engine rockets and associated technology to support the development of a low-cost space launch vehicle.
Its stated mission is to provide affordable space launch services to the region's fast-growing small satellite industry – beginning with a commercial sounding rocket in 2019, and small satellites up to 400 kg to Low Earth Orbit by the end of 2020. Eventually, the company is also looking to provide low-cost space access for human spaceflight and exploration.
Gilmour Space was founded in 2012 in Singapore by former banker, Adam Gilmour. In 2013, the Australian CEO & Founder set up similar operations in Queensland, Australia with his brother James Gilmour.
The company's first project in 2013 was to design and manufacture high-fidelity spaceflight simulators and replicas for a number of space-related exhibits, and education centers, including Spaceflight Academy Gold Coast, Australia's first astronaut training center. It began its rocket development program in 2015; and within 18 months, successfully launched Australia and Singapore's first privately developed hybrid test rocket using proprietary 3D printed fuel. The Gilmour brothers have also met with NASA officials at the Kennedy Space Center to discuss launch opportunities.
Gilmour Space employs a proprietary hybrid rocket motor technology. A hybrid-propellant rocket utilises a mixture of solid and liquid fuel. Advantages of hybrid rockets include acceptably high specific impulse values with relatively very low complexity and associated risks. In general, hybrid rocket engines are the safest of the three major rocket engines  – e.g. as compared to a solid-propellant rocket which cannot be throttled or deactivated once ignited; and a liquid-propellant rocket which typically requires cryogenic fuel storage and complex turbine systems to provide sufficient combustion chamber pressure both for the fuel and the oxidiser (hybrid-propellant rocket only requires pressurising the oxidiser).
Gilmour Space was listed as a commercial launch vehicle provider when it successfully  launched its first test vehicle, at Westmar, Queensland on June 2016. The RASTA launch vehicle flew to an altitude of 5 km and was reportedly among the first successful demonstrations of 3D printed rocket fuel in the world.
Since then, the Queensland-based company has conducted a series of orbital-class engine test fires, including a 12-second test in May 2018 that recorded 75 kN (16,900 lbs) of thrust.
A second test launch is scheduled in third quarter 2018, and the engine is then expected to propel the ARIEL commercial sounding rocket in 2019. In the next phase, multiple engine will be combined in a multi-stage orbital launch vehicle called ERIS, which is expected to deliver payloads up to 400 kg to LEO by fourth quarter 2020.
Deep Space & Exploration Research
Gilmour Space has also supported a number of proof-of-concept technology projects related to the development of a long-term space habitat. An example is the M.A.R.S (Mars Aqua Retrieval System)  rover project, a collaborative educational project at SUTD which received an award at the 2016 ASME international student competition. and was featured in National Geographic’s Exploring Mars exhibit in Singapore.
The company is also working on an in-space cubesat propulsion system, which could potentially be used to send a 1U cubesat from Earth's orbit to that of other moons or planets in the solar system.
In Feb 2018, it signed a reimbursable Space Act Agreement with NASA to collaborate on various research, technology development and educational initiatives, including the testing of its MARS rover at Kennedy Space Center.
The company has earlier developed a number of unique high-fidelity spaceflight simulators and replicas, including a 6 degree-of-freedom space plane simulator, space capsule simulator, fighter cockpit trainers, low gravity climb, mission control simulators, and others.
In February 2017, the Design Business Chamber of Singapore awarded Gilmour Space with the Singapore Good Design Mark (SG Mark 2017) for excellence in design and quality of its simulators.
Funding and Awards
In fourth quarter 2016, its Singapore business was awarded a grant by the country's National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to develop aerospace-related additive manufacturing capabilities with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
In May 2017, Gilmour Space Tech secured AUD 5 million in Series A round funding to develop and launch a low-cost launch vehicle for the small payload market. The lead investor was Australian venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, with co-investors including global venture capital firm 500 Startups and other private investors.
In June 2018, it received the Australian Trade & Investment Commission Innovation Award by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore "for the individual or organisation that has demonstrated innovation through bringing progressive and new ideas to business in priority sectors".
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