Queensland rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies, and South Australian nanosatellite manufacturer, Fleet Space Technologies, are joining forces to launch small satellites to orbit.
The launch follows the release of the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy and Space National Manufacturing Priority Roadmap, which seeks to develop sovereign capabilities in space manufacturing, including satellites and launch vehicles.
CEO of Gilmour Space, Adam Gilmour, said the project was a great example of how Australian companies are partnering up to compete on a global scale.
“We have signed a contract to launch six Fleet Space Centauri nanosatellites on our Eris rockets in 2023,” he said.
Fleet Space launched Australia’s first commercial nanosatellites in 2018 – and its fifth just last week – with their technology already transforming critical industries from energy and utilities to mining.
Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said the company was building a strong portfolio of launch services.
“This launch is going to involve an Australian-built payload in an Australian-built satellite, on an Australian-built rocket,” she said.
“Today’s announcement is the beginning of an ongoing launch service relationship as we work towards our planned constellation of 140 satellites,” she said.
“As a country, we are highly reliant on space technologies from other nations and it’s time to realise that we can have critical sovereign capabilities in satellite development and launch here in Australia.”
Gilmour Space and Fleet Space were the first two Australian space start-ups to raise venture capital funding in Australia. Formed before the Australian Space Agency, the companies were seeded by Sydney-based venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures.