Australian rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies has ushered in the New Year with a successful hotfire of the world’s largest single-port hybrid rocket engine.
“We achieved a record 91 kilonewtons (or 9 tonnes-force) of thrust in this initial verification test of our main engine,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO and co-founder of Gilmour Space, a Queensland-based company that is developing a three-stage rocket capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbits.
“This is the engine that will be powering the first and second stages of our Eris orbital vehicle as it launches to space," he explained. "I'm happy to report that all systems performed very well during this 10-second test. Our team will be going through the results and conducting longer duration and higher thrust tests in the weeks ahead."
Gilmour Space is preparing to launch its first commercial payloads from Australian companies Space Machines Company and Fireball International.
“We are delighted by this successful hotfire test, which demonstrates Gilmour’s progress towards a successful orbital launch in 2022," said Rajat Kulshrestha, co-founder and CEO of Space Machines Company. "Together with Space Machines Company, important sovereign launch and in-space transport capabilities for Australia are becoming a reality."
“Many of our Eris launch vehicle components have completed development testing, and the first flight articles are on the manufacturing floor ready to be assembled," Gilmour said. "This is going to be a busy year for us; it's the year we build our rocket."