South-East Queensland space company, Black Sky Aerospace, has been given the go-ahead to manufacture Solid Rocket Motors (SRM).
Once production is up and running, Black Sky will be the only manufacturer of SRMs in Australia, and can then provide solid fuels for orbital and sub-orbital vehicles.
SRMs are attractive to rocket and launch companies due to their simplicity cost-effectiveness. The fuels are also able to be stored for months to allow for flexbile and responsive access to space.
According to director of Black Sky, Blake Nikolic, the approval closes a loop in space manufacturing.
“Our propulsion arm is integral to the bigger picture for us; without fuel, the industry stalls. Our SRM manufacturing provides industry with accessible rocket boosters, made right here in Queensland.”
The addition of SRMs broadens Black Sky’s offer to market, which will now involve fuels, testing and launch, and can simplify the logistics of sending payloads into lower earth orbit for local companies and institutions.
“This also allows us to continue with our testing and launch capabilities that we carry out at our facility in Goondiwindi,” said Nikolic.
Director of strategy and sustainability of Logan City, which takes in Black Sky Aerospace’s headquarters in Jimboomba, David Hanse, highlighted the impact this announcement would have on the region.
“The direct economic impact means more jobs for Logan, but it also puts the city on the international map as a reputable base for the future of the aerospace industry.”
Hanse also highlighted how the ongoing relationship between the company and the local government enabled the growth of the business.
“Council sponsored Black Sky’s maiden commercial rocket launch last year and has worked closely with the business to assist in managing growth and to help accommodate the company’s expanding operations.”
According to a statement from Black Sky, the first batch of SRMs will be ready for delivery before the end of 2019.