Credit: Gilmour Space

Australian rockets are closer to launching off the Queensland coast following the approval of the country's first orbital launch facility licence under the Space (Launches & Returns) Act 2018.

Located within the Abbot Point State Development Area in north Queensland, the Bowen Orbital Spaceport is built and operated by local company Gilmour Space Technologies, which offers commercial orbital launch services - including satellite platforms and dedicated/rideshare launches - to Low Earth Orbits.

The licence, granted by Minister for Industry and Science (and Minister in charge of the Australian Space Agency), Ed Husic MP, is a vote of confidence in the company's technical capability and paves the way for the launch of Australia's first sovereign-made rockets to space... 'bridging Country to Sky'.

The Queensland-based company has also secured approval from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, enabling the operation of the spaceport at Abbot Point.

"Australia now has its own 'road' to space," said Gilmour Space Co-founder and CEO, Adam Gilmour. "The ability to launch our own satellites, on launch vehicles that we own and control, to key orbits in space from Australia, will be a significant capability for our global customers, as well as for our nation and allies."

Said James Gilmour, Co-founder and Head of Launch Operations at Gilmour Space: "It's been two years since we started the project, engaging with the Juru traditional owners and other stakeholders at the local, state and federal levels. We've seen these efforts lead to diversified business opportunities, jobs, and investment in Bowen and greater Whitsunday region; and it will be exciting to see 'rocket tourism' emerging to support the local economy."

Eris TestFlight 1 is targeted to launch in the coming months, pending approval of the launch permit by the Australian Space Agency.

Source: Gilmour Space

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.