Space race to bring Queensland jobs boom
A GOLD-Coast based company is one step closer to making its sky-high dreams a reality.
Gilmour Space Technologies will announce today it has signed a partnership with the Australian Space Agency.
The company, which is already working with NASA to create technology to support future space missions, has signed a statement of strategic intent which will put it at the forefront of Australia's efforts to become a player in the current space race.
Adam Gilmour, the Helensvale-based company's chief executive, said the statement came after months of talks with the agency.
"It says that we want to help out as much as we can in terms of launching different things into space from Australia," he said.
"It means more jobs and that we have a good partnership for the decades ahead.
"Next year we will be testing and improving our launch vehicle, with things like the rocket engine, avionics and control systems as well as structural tests.
"Every other week there is going to be a test of some kind."
Mr Gilmour said the company hoped to have an orbital vehicle ready for launch in 2021.
The partnership comes six months after the company attempted its first rocket launch in the state's far west.
While a technical fault led to the launch being aborted, the company says it learned much from the experience.
Gold Coast-based Federal Science Minister Karen Andrews said it would be critical to the growth of Australia's space industry.
"This new partnership shows the breadth of capabilities being developed in Australia, supporting our mission to develop and grow the Australian space industry over the next ten years," she said.
"Gilmour Space is an innovative local company attracting significant investment and overseas attention. The Gilmour team is already working on technologies with NASA to support future missions.
"Dynamic companies like this also will inspire our next generation of space entrepreneurs by championing the role of space here on our shores.
"When Aussie kids see Gilmour technologies being used by NASA astronauts, it will inspire them to dream big and get involved in space science and engineering."
The company, which was founded at Pimpama in 2014 has grown rapidly in recent years while working towards its aim of launching small satellites.
It now has a staff of 45, including senior Management and rocket scientists who have been recruited from around the globe.
The Gilmours last year received a $19 million funding boost which the company has used to further develop its low-cost rockets and launch vehicles to send small to medium-sized satellites into orbit.
A conference of space industry scientists was told last year that Australia's space industry would be worth $12 billion by 2030.
And Queensland is set to get a big slice of that with a Deloitte report released this year by the State Government revealing the our share would be about $6 billion.