(30 March 2021 – Gilmour Space, Fleet Space) Two of Australia’s New Space pioneers — Queensland rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies, and South Australian nanosatellite manufacturer for the Internet of Things (IoT), Fleet Space Technologies — are joining forces to launch small satellites to orbit.
(courtesy: Gilmour Space, Fleet Space)
“We have signed a contract to launch six Fleet Space Centauri nanosatellites on our Eris rockets in 2023,” said Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space, which is tracking to launch its first commercial payloads to orbit next year. “It is a great example of how homegrown space companies are scaling and partnering to meet the world’s growing demand for innovative small satellite applications and affordable launch,” he added.
“This launch is going to involve an Australian-built payload in an Australian-built satellite, on an Australian-built rocket,” said Flavia Tata Nardini, CEO of Fleet Space, which is building a global digital nervous system to power the next industrial revolution. The company 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.
“Today’s announcement is the beginning of an ongoing launch service relationship as we work towards our planned constellation of 140 satellites,” she added. “We are building a strong portfolio of launch service partners, and we are very excited to have Gilmour Space as one of them.”
Commercialising Space, Down Under
The news 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.
“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,” said Ms Tata Nardini.
Mr Gilmour agrees. “Covid has shown how important it is to have access and control over the technology that we rely on. Sovereign satellite and launch capability will allow us to protect our assets in space and our way of life.”
Gilmour and Fleet were the first New Space start-ups to raise venture capital funding in Australia, well before the formation of the Australian Space Agency. They were seeded by Sydney-based venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, which has since invested in subsequent rounds.
Said Blackbird partner, Rick Baker: “Gilmour and Fleet are leading the way forward through great technology and big ambitions. We’ve been impressed with both companies’ traction and see this partnership as a milestone for the maturing space industry in Australia. It’s fantastic to see leaders like Adam and Flavia joining forces to scale further and raise our collective ambition.”
About Fleet Space Technologies
Fleet Space Technologies is an Australian satellite company building a global digital nervous system to power the next industrial revolution, with 5 nanosatellites currently in LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Backed by Blackbird Ventures, Horizons Ventures and Mike Cannon-Brookes, the company was founded in South Australia in 2015 and made history by launching Australia’s first commercial nanosatellites in 2018, the beginning of a planned constellation of 140 LEO nanosatellites that will connect billions of digital sensors already transforming critical industries from energy and utilities to mining.
About Gilmour Space Technologies
Gilmour Space Technologies is a leading Australian space company based in Queensland that is developing a new breed of lower-cost hybrid rockets that will launch small satellites into Low Earth Orbits from 2022.