Gilmour Space receives green light for Australia's first orbital spaceport

Gilmour Space receives green light for Australia's first orbital spaceport

Gilmour Space co-founders Adam Gilmour (left) and James Gilmour) at the Bowen Orbital Spaceport.

Fresh after raising $55 million in a Series D round led by the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space has received approval for the country's first orbital launch facility licence under the Space (Launches & Returns) Act 2018, granted by Federal Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic.

Located within the Abbot Point State Development Area in north Queensland, the Bowen Orbital Spaceport is built and operated by Gilmour, which aims to be able to offer orbital launch services for satellite platforms and dedicated/rideshare launches into low earth orbits.

The company describes the approval from Husic, who is also the minister in charge of the Australian Space Agency, as a vote of confidence in Gilmour's technical capability, paving the way for the launch of Australia’s first sovereign-made rockets, 'bridging Country to Sky'.

Gilmour Space has also secured approval from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, enabling the operation of the spaceport at Abbot Point.

"Australia now has its own ‘road’ to space," says Gilmour Space CEO Adam Gilmour, who co-founded the business with his brother James Gilmour in 2012.

"The ability to launch our own satellites, on launch vehicles that we own and control, to key orbits in space from Australia, will be a significant capability for our global customers, as well as for our nation and allies."

James Gilmour, who is also the company's head of launch operations, says it has been two years since the project began engaging with the Juru traditional owners and other stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels.

"We've seen these efforts lead to diversified business opportunities, jobs, and investment in Bowen and greater Whitsunday region; and it will be exciting to see ‘rocket tourism' emerging to support the local economy," he says.

Eris TestFlight 1 is targeted to launch in the coming months, pending approval of the launch permit by the Australian Space Agency. 

By the end of FY23 the company had more than 200 people employed, and with the latest investment the company is expected to lift its total headcount to more than 300 by mid-2027.

 

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