4 mins read 01 Sep 2021

Gilmour signs first European customer

Queensland-based Gilmour Space Technologies have added another customer under their belt, with an agreement with Exolaunch, to develop rideshare capabilities. 

The Exolaunch Reliant Orbital Transport Vehicle. Credit: Exolaunch.

Gilmour Space Technologies has added another customer to its growing list of clients after confirming it has signed an agreement with German rideshare services provider Exolaunch. The agreement will see the Queensland-based rocket company provide a number of services to Exolaunch to support their cutting-edge satellite deployment, including tailored launch and precise deployment using the Eris hybrid launch vehicle.  

“The need for sovereign launch capability is coming into focus for Australia,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO and Co-founder of Gilmour Space Technologies. 

“However, space is a global industry and we’re proud to be working with leading companies like Exolaunch to expand our launch services to global customers.”

Gilmour, who are hoping to set up a launch facility at Abbot Point, Qld, recently announced they are developing their own G-Class satellite buses, and are keen to add this capability which is in line with the Australian Space Agency’s national civil priority areas which include Access to Space, Position, Navigation and Timing, and Earth Observation. 

Utilising Australian Launch Capabilities

The Exolaunch EXOpod being integrated on the upper stage of a launch vehicle. Credit: Exolaunch.

Exolaunch, based in Berlin, provides launch services and small satellite deployment technologies for new space companies, space agencies and scientific institutions. The company has a number of products and offerings, including the EXOpod CubeSat deployer and CarbonNIX, a lightweight, scalable and shock-free microsatellite separation system. The EXOpod is a configurable deployment system able to accommodate CubeSats from 0.25U up to 16U.  

The aerospace company has a decade of flight heritage, having supported the launch of 170 satellites across 13 missions, with an impressive list of customers that include, PLANET, SWARM Technologies and ICEYE. They have used both Soyuz and Falcon-9 launches on past missions.

Now, adding Gilmour’s launch services to their portfolio will give the European company access to low-inclination missions and unique orbits from a southern hemisphere location, once their launch services commence in 2022. 

“Partnering with Gilmour is a worthy example of bridging progressive innovation with heritage,” said Jeanne Medvedeva, VP of Launch Services, Exolaunch. “Reinforcing novel launch architecture with state-of-the-art deployment and in-space logistics services will pave the way for reliable launch solutions. We look forward to launching customers’ satellites from Australia on the Eris rockets making space more accessible for the New Space industry.”

Earlier this year, Exolaunch announced they would be introducing an orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) or space tug to their suite of offerings. The tug, which will begin flight testing in 2022, is called Reliant and will provide flexibility in executing orbital maneuvers, providing a greater range of orbit possibilities for CubeSats. Reliant will be powered by an innovative “green” propulsion system and leverages technologies such as additive manufacturing and carbon fibre composites to create a lightweight and robust platform. 

It is hoped that the platform will be ready for commercial customers in 2023 and will have capabilities to support orbital debris removal.

Rocketing Growth for Gilmour Space Technologies

Adam (left) and James (right) Gilmour Credit: Gilmour Space Technologies.

It has been an exciting and productive year for Gilmour Space Technologies. The company has raised significant funding as part of its series C fundraise, received state government support for its Abbot Point, Launch site proposal, and announced numerous collaborations for its planned Eris launch vehicle, including, DEWC, Spacelink and Fleet Space Technologies.  

"We are really demonstrating that we are growing and that it is a really exciting time for us,” said Director and co-founder, James Gilmour earlier this year. 

The company continues to expand in both scope, clients and team, having not only outgrown their facility but on the lookout to hire more people to help deliver their goal of “All Orbits, All Planets”. 

“We'll continue to look to grow, and it's a really exciting time for people to register their interest on our website and hopefully look for an opportunity to play a part in literally taking Queensland and Australia to space. We need some electrical engineers. We need some harnessing people, and yeah, I think everybody can have an opportunity to potentially register their expression of interest. Come join team Gilmore,” concluded James Gilmour.