Australian satellite launch vehicle developer Gilmour Space Technologies has struck an agreement with US-based Atomos Space in a deal the company says shores up its in-space services offering.
The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to a sharing of space launch services as Gilmour Space prepares for its first rocket payload to be launched this year.
Atomos Space, led by aerospace engineer Vanessa Clark, is an orbital logistics specialist that provides ‘last mile’ transportation services for satellite operators.
Under the partnership agreement, Atomos will contract Gilmour for launch services on its upcoming Eris low-earth orbit launch vehicle and future launches planned by the Gold Coast-based company.
Atomos’ Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTVs) will provide in-space transportation services to customers on Gilmour launch vehicles as well as aggregation services of multiple customer spacecraft.
“This new agreement with Atomos is an exciting opportunity for Gilmour,” says Adam Gilmour, the CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies.
“We look forward to exploring the possibility of leveraging Atomos’s orbital transfer capabilities to expand our services and the flexibility of access to space to new markets and customers.”
Gilmour Space says that while there has been a significant decrease in the cost of putting payloads into space, ‘some applications require access into difficult-to-reach orbits’.
“Atomos Space solves this problem by providing in-space transportation and orbit-raising services to satellites,” says the company.
“Atomos has a unique approach where, unlike similar systems under development, their OTVs reside in space and rendezvous with client satellites on-orbit.
“This allows the full launch mass and volume to be reserved for the payload, reducing costs to the customer and allowing launch vehicles, such as Eris, to be used for a wider range of missions.”
Clark, the Atamos CEO, sees the partnership with Gilmour Space as an important step to delivering a unique service offering to the space industry.
“By leveraging the strengths of each of our companies, we anticipate being able to provide unparalleled services to customers in the space launch and transportation industry,” she says.
Gilmour Space successfully completed the final qualification test-fire of its Sirius hybrid rocket engine in November last year, paving the way for the first orbital launch attempt of an Australian-made rocket, the Eris, later this year.
Gilmour Space co-founder James Gilmour ranked 21st in the 2023 Australia's Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs list.
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