Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies, set to bring its first payload into low earth orbit next year, has announced plans for a rideshare mission in 2024 that will deliver multiple payloads into space in a single rocket.
Gilmour Space, which earlier this month signed an agreement with global mobile satellite group Inmarsat to support space launches from Australia, is expecting to deliver its first payloads into space next year.
The first Eris vehicle will be launched from the company’s Bowen Orbital Spaceport in north Queensland.
Gilmour Space has now announced plans to follow up its debut commercial launch with a dedicated rideshare mission, to be known as Caravan-1.
Rather than carrying a single payload, the rideshare launch is expected to deliver a host of customer payloads such as cubesats, microsats and other small spacecraft.
“This mission will provide affordable access to new space customers looking to launch into a mid-inclination orbit at the end of 2024,” says Adam Gilmour, the CEO and co-founder of Gilmour Space.
The Caravan-1 mission will be delivered by Gilmour Space’s upgraded Eris Block 2 rocket which will have a lift capacity of one tonne.
Gilmour says this represents ‘a significant upgrade in launch capability and capacity for our customers’.
“The next few years are going to be a very exciting time for the global space industry, and missions like this will allow us to support the growth of new satellite and in-orbit technologies that could benefit humanity on Earth, in space, and beyond,” he says.
Gilmour Space Technologies’ Eris rocket will be Australia's first orbital rocket and first orbital launch attempt from a commercial Australian launch site.
The agreement announced earlier this month with Inmarsat is aimed at supporting space launches from Australia using Inmarsat’s InRange system which provides launch telemetry from space rather than ground stations.
Inmarsat has already built new ground stations in Australia to receive and transmit satellite signals from space for its recently launched I-6 F1 satellite and for the mobile satellite giant's plans to deliver the JP9102 Australian Defence Satellite Communication System project.
Gilmour Space Technologies, founded in 2013, is one of Australia’s largest dedicated space companies which earlier this year was awarded $15 million to develop and launch a sovereign surveillance satellite for the Australian Defence Force.
Over the past few. years, the company has announced several collaborations with emerging aerospace industry players including Sydney-based Space Machines Company, electronic warfare sensor company DEWC Systems and US-based Momentus.
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