Author Topic: Gilmour Space Technologies  (Read 18429 times)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Gilmour Space Technologies
« on: 05/30/2017 04:33 am »
Gilmour Space Technologies has raised AU$5M of funding from Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups! They aim to have first launch in 4qt 2020 of their Eris launch vehicle. Launch price is $8M. I think that makes this effort a bit more real and deserving of its own thread. This is joint Australia/Singapore venture.

http://www.afr.com/technology/blackbird-shoots-for-the-moon-and-mars-with-gilmour-space-investment-20170526-gwe9rq

They've updated their website and the configuration of the launch vehicle.

http://www.gspacetech.com/

The launch vehicle is three stages, each using HTP (high test peroxide) in a hybrid motor with a propriety high performance fuel. They also plan to launch a suborbital vehicle called Ariel in 4qt 2018.

Ariel: $9,000/kg, 130 kg, 150 km altitude
Eris: $23-38,000/kg, 370 kg, 350 km orbit.

G-70 Hybrid Engine: 70 kN at Sea Level

1st Stage: Eight G-70 motors, Isp 235 s, 560 kN SL
2nd Stage: Four G-70 motors, Isp 300 s, 357 kN Vac?
3rd Stage: One G-70 motor, Isp 320 s, 80 kN Vac
« Last Edit: 05/30/2017 04:37 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #1 on: 05/30/2017 04:39 am »
Here's their press release announcing the news.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #2 on: 05/30/2017 05:28 pm »
Hopefully with such a name, they will soon launch missions to The Dark Side of the Moon.   ;)

But what they need first is learning to fly
« Last Edit: 05/30/2017 05:33 pm by Archibald »
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Offline Lars-J

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #3 on: 05/30/2017 05:31 pm »
An all-hybrid propulsion launch vehicle? Good luck.  :)

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #4 on: 05/31/2017 01:06 am »
An all-hybrid propulsion launch vehicle? Good luck.  :)

With HTP as the oxidiser. Ya know, for extra low performance. Still, all-solid-stage launch vehicles have been done a few times and hybrids typically beat the performance of solids. The problem is scale. Big solids have their own problems but at least they work. Big hybrids, not so much.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #5 on: 05/31/2017 06:54 am »
The problem is scale. Big solids have their own problems but at least they work. Big hybrids, not so much.

I believe that's why Gilmour is using multiple small hybrid engines.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #6 on: 05/31/2017 04:05 pm »
The problem is scale. Big solids have their own problems but at least they work. Big hybrids, not so much.

I believe that's why Gilmour is using multiple small hybrid engines.
70kN is still fairly large, although not unmanageable. SpaceShipOne engine was 76kN and then upgraded to 88kN
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Offline CameronD

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #7 on: 06/01/2017 12:25 am »
Gilmour Space Technologies has raised AU$5M of funding from Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups! They aim to have first launch in 4qt 2020 of their Eris launch vehicle.
...............

Well.. at the rate RocketLab and Stratolaunch are progressing, if GST don't hurry up a bit, there may not be much of a market left for them to capitalise on.

I wonder if Stratolaunch has the range to cross the Pacific?  ;)

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #8 on: 06/01/2017 02:18 am »
Gilmour Space Technologies has raised AU$5M of funding from Blackbird Ventures and 500 Startups! They aim to have first launch in 4qt 2020 of their Eris launch vehicle.
...............

Well.. at the rate RocketLab and Stratolaunch are progressing, if GST don't hurry up a bit, there may not be much of a market left for them to capitalise on.

I wonder if Stratolaunch has the range to cross the Pacific?  ;)

Stratolaunch is only doing the plane, their rocket plans have all fallen through, so they're not a threat.  But Virgin Galactic is serious about air launch.

And then there are the two 800 pound gorillas in the room, SpaceX and Blue Origin.  They don't need to target the small launch market explicitly to dry it up with ride sharing on reusable large launch vehicles.

Even if Gilmore executes perfectly, their chances are slim in such a competitive environment.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #9 on: 06/01/2017 02:41 am »
Even if Gilmore executes perfectly, their chances are slim in such a competitive environment.
IMO its a ridiculously noncompetitive environment.  Everyone is years and years late entering commercial services despite big claims. For a healthy market you want dozens of providers globally, right now there are none. "Threats" keep coming and going with very little actually materializing. There is loads and loads of room for any new entrant to come and actually launch a business

- SpaceX is busy colonizing the universe. I'm sure they'll allocate tons of time taking care of nanosat needs. Because its somehow in their interests to crush tiny competitors ?
- Blue Origin has not been able to fly a single paying customer payload even suborbitally. Plans on colonizing the moon
- Splashy team like Firefly with all the people, tech and funds needed came and went in an eyeblink
- Defense industry has botched two programs ( Super Strypi, ALASA ) in the short few years
- Virgin has been achieving two things: spinning out more companies and killing people
- There are a bunch of 3-4 people companies around with websites, presentations, fiberglass mockups and conference talks, that seem more in a showbusiness rather than space launch

There is absolutely zero certainty in how this space is going to shape up in the next few years.  But that's more of a rant for this thread

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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #10 on: 06/01/2017 03:53 am »
Even if Gilmore executes perfectly, their chances are slim in such a competitive environment.
IMO its a ridiculously noncompetitive environment.  Everyone is years and years late entering commercial services despite big claims.

Whether they are later than they initially planned is irrelevant.  Numerous companies are way ahead of Gilmore.  Rocket Lab just launched and failed to reach orbit, but got past stage separation.  There's certainly plenty of reason to believe they'll reach orbit before Gilmour, even if Gilmour doesn't slip at all.  Virgin Galactic is well on their way in building their orbital launcher.  Blue Origin has already reached space, but not yet orbit, with its reusable vehicles.  Falcon 9 often flies to orbit.  Many other small launch start-ups are operating and have been for longer than Gilmour.  Sure, many will likely never make it to orbit, but the same is true of Gilmour.

For a healthy market you want dozens of providers globally

Not at all.  There are only two providers of wide-body airliners, but the market is very healthy, with cut-throat competition.

A lot of markets just don't make sense to have dozens of providers.  That doesn't mean they aren't healthy or competitive.

, right now there are none.

Not true.  Many small satellites have already launched on Falcon 9.  There's a whole company whose business it is to buy Falcon 9 launches and fill them with small satellites.

"Threats" keep coming and going with very little actually materializing. There is loads and loads of room for any new entrant to come and actually launch a business

- SpaceX is busy colonizing the universe. I'm sure they'll allocate tons of time taking care of nanosat needs. Because its somehow in their interests to crush tiny competitors ?

No, it's in their interests to sell services to anyone who buys those services, and there's a company that is already booking Falcon 9 flights just for large loads of small satellites.  These flights are already booked today.

- Blue Origin has not been able to fly a single paying customer payload even suborbitally. Plans on colonizing the moon
- Splashy team like Firefly with all the people, tech and funds needed came and went in an eyeblink
- Defense industry has botched two programs ( Super Strypi, ALASA ) in the short few years
- Virgin has been achieving two things: spinning out more companies and killing people
- There are a bunch of 3-4 people companies around with websites, presentations, fiberglass mockups and conference talks, that seem more in a showbusiness rather than space launch

Those are all in various states of development.  Individual ones might or might not make it.  But they are all further along than Gilmour.

There is absolutely zero certainty in how this space is going to shape up in the next few years.  But that's more of a rant for this thread

Uncertainty doesn't mean a high chance of success for Gilmour.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #11 on: 06/01/2017 04:10 am »
For a healthy market you want dozens of providers globally

Not at all.  There are only two providers of wide-body airliners, but the market is very healthy, with cut-throat competition.

It didn't start with two competitors, and it certainly isn't moving as fast as in the early years with far more entrants. But we are far off topic.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #12 on: 06/05/2017 09:45 am »
The Mars Society Australia gave a presentation from James Gilmour of Gilmour Space Technologies Sunday evening. Some technical specs were given. They are using 87% to 91% HTP with polyethylene fuel. A new 3D printer is being built which can handle 40+ cm motors. They recently bought 10 t of HTP from Germany for $125K or $12.50/kg. They plan on making their own HTP to reduce cost. 3D printing helps with the slumping problem (heat causing the fuel to sag resulting in uneven an inefficient thrust). An MGO catalyst is being used to decompose the HTP. This is presumably Magnesium Oxide. The tanks and fuselage will be filament wound. I asked about the use of differential thrust vector control (TVC). That hasn't been finalised yet. They are also looking at traditional TVC.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #13 on: 06/07/2017 08:19 am »
They recently bought 10 t of HTP from Germany for $125K or $12.50/kg. They plan on making their own HTP to reduce cost.

Totally not surprising to me. The HTP plant will most likely also come from Germany.
I wonder how Gilmour is related to Nammo and other European companies. Has anyone info?

Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #14 on: 06/08/2017 07:16 am »
They recently bought 10 t of HTP from Germany for $125K or $12.50/kg. They plan on making their own HTP to reduce cost.

Totally not surprising to me. The HTP plant will most likely also come from Germany.
I wonder how Gilmour is related to Nammo and other European companies. Has anyone info?

Mostly funded from Singapore I think
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #15 on: 06/11/2017 08:21 am »
Mostly funded from Singapore I think

Most of their funding now is from venture capital firms here in Australia and the US. As indicated in my post above, they recently raised AU$5M in funding from Blackbird Ventures (Australia) and 500 Startups (US).
« Last Edit: 06/11/2017 08:23 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline savuporo

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Offline LooksFlyable

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #17 on: 08/04/2017 10:46 pm »
Very cool what they are doing with their cubesat propulsion. That's an exciting area. Hope they pull it off.

As far as their launchers, am I reading correctly that their bigger, more capable rocket, will actually cost more per kg? How can that be a good strategy? Typically you're trying to lower the cost per kg with your bigger rockets.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #18 on: 08/06/2017 08:39 am »
From the article

"In its recent test, the CubeSat In-Space Propulsion System generated 1,800N of thrust, with an estimated total delta-V (change in velocity) of over 4 km/s. Low-cost and safe, the engine uses hydrogen peroxide and proprietary 3D printed fuels, and will hopefully be fully tested by the end of the year."

1800 N sounds quite high for a cubesat. Say 1 kg for the cubesat and 2 kg for the propulsion system, that gives an acceleration of 600 m/s² or 61g! Attached is their press release.

“Initial results from this test suggest that our mini hybrid system could produce sufficient delta-V (or change in velocity) for a 1U CubeSat in Low Earth Orbit to accelerate and then ‘slingshot’ itself, using the Earth’s gravity well, to the Moon or even Mars,” explained Mr. Gilmour."
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Gilmour Space Technologies
« Reply #19 on: 09/24/2017 05:37 pm »
http://www.spacetechasia.com/interview-gilmour-space-technologies/

Quote
Gilmour Space Technologies is a space startup headquartered in Queensland, Australia, with a subsidiary in Singapore. Founded in 2015, the company aims to provide low-cost access to space by developing a sounding rocket, Ariel, and an orbital launch vehicle, Eris. Both will be powered by their proprietary hybrid rocket engine and 3D-printed fuel. Gilmour Space is also developing a CubeSat for deep space missions, propelled by a smaller version of the same engine.

Quote
Michelle: We’ll start launching our sounding rockets at the end of next year.

EDIT: i gotta say it's a good interview, well worth a read in length
« Last Edit: 09/24/2017 05:42 pm by savuporo »
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