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Two key deals speed up the countdown for Queensland's place in the space race


The Australian Space Agency and the Queensland Government will team up to explore opportunities in the great beyond.

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Australian Space Agency chief Enrico Palermo said an MoU between the agency and State Government “should signal to the local space industry our commitment to work across jurisdictions to achieve a Team Australia approach to industry growth”.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the strategy aligned with the agency’s national priority areas.

“The MoU also recognises our world-leading capabilities in hypersonics, robotics and automation, and respective research, development and commercialisation,” Miles said.

“Queensland’s space industry currently supports over 2000 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $760 million in annual revenue,” Miles said.

“And there’s a further $500 million in value added to downstream industries through the state’s world-class space-enabled services.

“We are launching the industry forward and this collaboration will support our aim to create new jobs in our space economy to contribute to Australia’s goal to reach 20,000 new jobs in the space sector by 2030.”

The deal came as Gilmour Space Technologies announced it had raised $61 million from global investors and now boasts investors like superannuation funds Hesta and Hostplus.

The Helensvale-based company said it believed the Series C raising was the biggest of its type for the fledgling Australian space sector and would allow it to ramp up towards the launch of its first orbital rocket next year.

A Series C round is generally used to scale up an already successful company. 

Chief executive and co-founder Adam Gilmour said the new investment would give the company “a runway to launch our first orbital rocket in 2022’’.

“It will help us develop multiple Eris vehicles, grow our team from 70 to 120 in the next 12 months, build our sovereign space manufacturing capability for rockets and satellites, and facilitate a commercial spaceport in Queensland, where we hope to launch the world’s first hybrid rocket to space,” Gilmour said.

A launch site has been proposed at Abbot Point, near Bowen

The company has also recently secured launch contracts with customers including US-based Momentus, Sydney-based Space Machines Company, and South Australia’s Fleet Space Technologies.

“My brother James and I started the rocket program in 2015 with the goal of one day sending humans to space,’’ Gilmour said.

“We always knew it would be a difficult journey, but it makes me proud to think that our ambition and progress have contributed to the tremendous growth of Australia’s new space industry.” 

“Today, we are growing an amazing team committed to providing affordable and reliable satellites and rocket launches to our global customers.’’




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