The launch of the first Australian rocket will take place in 2023

Gilmour Space company has announced plans to execute the first launch of the Eris rocket in April 2023. If successful, it will be the first Australian-made orbital launch vehicle.

 Assembling the Eris rocket. Source: Gilmour Space

Gilmour Space Technologies was founded in 2012. Like many other aerospace startups, it began its journey with the creation and testing of suborbital rockets. Their feature was the use of hybrid engines with the fuel printed on a 3D printer. In 2016, the company successfully launched the RASTA hybrid suborbital rocket. In 2019, the larger One Vision rocket was launched. It ended in failure. However, the management of Gilmour Space concluded that specialists have accumulated enough experience to move to the next stage and deal with the creation of an orbital launch vehicle. It was named Eris.

The Eris rocket has a three-stage design. Its height is 25 meters, the diameter of the main fairing is 1.2/1.5 meters (depending on the dimensions of the cargo), the weight (in the filled state) is 30 tons. The Eris first stage is equipped with five hybrid engines using liquid oxidizer and solid fuel. The rocket will be able to deliver up to 305 kg of payload to a 500-kilometer equatorial or sun-synchronous orbit.

 Eris rocket (concept). Source: Gilmour Space

In November, Gilmour Space engineers conducted successful fire tests of the hybrid engines, where they demonstrated a thrust of 115 kilonewtons. Currently, the company’s specialists are engaged in the production of two copies of the Eris rocket. They are expected to be completed by March 2023.

After that, experts will start preparing for the first launch. It will take place from the territory of the Australian Bowen Spaceport. As part of its first mission, Eris will attempt to launch a locally produced satellite into orbit. Its success would make Australia the 12th country to have the ability to launch cargo into orbit on its own.

Earlier, we talked about the plans of the aerospace startup Skyrora to make the first orbital launch at the end of 2023.

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