Gilmour Space successfully completes testing of Sirius rocket engine

Sirius hybrid rocket engine qualification test fire. Image supplied.

Queensland-based rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technology has completed the final qualification test fire of its Sirius hybrid rocket engine. 

The exercise brings Australia one step closer to its first orbital launch attempt for an Australian-made rocket, which is slated to take off in 2023. 

Gilmour Space is developing Eris, which is a three-stage rocket designed to deliver a cost-effective and greener alternative to traditional liquid and solid propulsion rockets. 

Sirius is a single-port hybrid rocket engine that leverages a liquid oxidiser and proprietary solid fuel. 

“What you see here is Sirius, our main hybrid rocket engine, five of which will power the first and second stages of our Eris rocket to orbit in the first half of 2023,” said Adam Gilmour, chief executive and co-founder of Gilmour Space.

The final qualification test evaluated the engine’s resilience to destruction to understand the limits of its design, the CEO said in a statement.

Any findings will help improve the performance of Gilmour Space’s future engines. 

During the test, the Sirius engine generated a record 115 kilonewtons (25,850 pounds of force) of stable and efficient combustion. 

“This is the most powerful rocket engine ever developed in Australia, and it achieved its mission duration requirement before failure,” Gilmour added. “All engines are now qualified for our orbital test launch next year.”

Gilmour Space Technology is Australia’s leading venture-backed space manufacturer of launch vehicles and satellite platforms. 

The company began its rocket program in 2015 and has since pioneered a new space ecosystem for commercial launch in Australia.