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This rocket is ready to launch in Queensland

Bowen Orbital Spaceport, the site of Australia’s first orbital rocket launch, officially opened  April 4th in Abbot Point State Development Area in North Queensland.

Gold Coast-based Gilmour Space Technologies, which operates Bowen Orbital Spaceport, has built a 23-metre, 35-tonne Eris rocket that’s capable of launching small satellites into low earth orbits — and it’s assembled, ready, at the launch pad.

Designed to carry satellites into space, the Eris has been in production since Gilmour’s rocket program began in 2015. It’ll be the first locally made rocket to lift-off from Australian soil.

Gilmour SpaceTechnologies is one of only three launch providers in the world to have its own dedicated launch site, ensuring a consistent launch cadence once the rocket has successfully reached orbit. 

The project was boosted by raising $55 million from investors including Queensland Investment Corporation and superannuation firms Hostplus and HESTA which will cover at least four launch attempts.

At the opening, Gilmour Space Technologies founder and CEO Adam Gilmour thanked investors, partners, the Queensland Government and local Juru people and community of the region for their vision and support, saying Australia will soon bridge “Country to Sky”.
“The Bowen Orbital Spaceport will provide valuable access to space from Australia, enabled by rockets and satellites developed, manufactured, and launched right here in Queensland.

“It will be a launch pad for our global customers to deploy their satellite technologies, such as for communications, earth imagery, disaster resilience, water management, border protection and Defence.”

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said Queenslanders, backed by the Miles Labor Government, were making history.

“Since our original Business Investment Fund investment through the Queensland  Investment Corporation in 2021, Gilmour Space has created more than 100 jobs from their homebase on the Gold Coast, supported by a local manufacturing supply chain.

“At more than double the height of Bowen’s Big Mango, the 23-metre Eris rocket could also become the next big tourism drawcard for the Whitsunday region.” 

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace said the space sector is increasingly recognised as critical for sovereign capability in defence, telecommunications, industry innovation and competitiveness, climate change, and in everyday technology everyone uses.

“Queensland is ready to harness this enormous potential and build an even stronger space industry for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

The Queensland government supported the project through its Industry Partnership Program.

Eris Test Flight 1 is slated to launch in coming weeks when its launch permit is approved by the Australian Space Agency. 

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