skip to main content

Gilmour develops engine to increase defence payload capacity of Eris rocket

The test-firing of ‘Phoenix' liquid rocket engine by Gilmour Space. Phoenix will power the third stage of Gilmour's Eris rocket, which intends to carry military and commercial payloads to LEO towards the end of 2022. (Gilmour Space Technologies)

Australian rocket company Gilmour Space Technologies has developed a liquid rocket engine called ‘Phoenix' that will power “the third and final stage” of its Eris rocket to orbit, a spokesperson for the company has told Janes.

Phoenix is a regeneratively cooled, 3D-printed liquid rocket engine that “results in a more capable rocket” because it will enable the delivery of more defence and commercial payloads to space, the spokesperson added.

This includes a new surveillance satellite that Gilmour Space is developing for the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) that will be launched in one of the Eris rockets in 2023, the spokesperson noted.

Eris Block 1 comprises a series of rockets that will be partly powered by Phoenix, the spokesperson informed Janes. While the first rocket is scheduled to be launched towards the end of 2022, Gilmour Space intends to launch “two or three” more Eris Block 1 rockets in 2023.

The Phoenix technology has been developed “in-house”, the spokesperson said, adding that some of the manufacturing was outsourced to Gilmour Space's supply chain partners.

Gilmour Space demonstrated a 190-second mission duty cycle (MDC) test fire of Phoenix in a video uploaded on 16 May. During the test, Phoenix “produced over a tonne of thrust”, the spokesperson told Janes.

The primary engine for Eris powering its first and second stages is a single-port hybrid engine called Sirius, which is undergoing qualification tests, the company said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...