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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Rocket science!

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THE LONG-awaited (and twice cancelled) first space launch from Bowen is now planned for next March.

Gilmour Space Technologies’ launch operations supervisor Adam Williams told a small crowd at a Bowen meet-and-greet, on Friday, that the space exploration company now had its sights set on a March date for its first launch.

Mr Williams was at the PCYC to explain to locals how the company worked and to also ensure locals benefitted from Gilmour’s arrival.

“We have spent the past six years on research and development. We’re just about there (for a launch) and the rocket will come here in three sections,” he said.

There will be 40 people on-site to put the rocket together and then another 60 people in flight teams and technicians getting it to lift off. All up, Gilmour has 174 workers, mostly technicians.

Mr Williams said the company needed long-term accommodation and food as basic prerequisites and all the flow-ons needed to make the business of space flights successful.

“We want to know what’s here in Bowen and what we can get from Bowen businesses. We don’t want to have to travel to Mackay or Townsville if we don’t have to,” he said

“We want to get to know people and spend time with people. We want to access local businesses wherever we can. We don’t want to over-promise and under-perform.

“We need electricians, plumbers and other tradespeople, food stalls to feed the technicians, we need to educate children to look at engineering jobs in the future.”

He said the company had long-term plans for Bowen – some are nearly happening now – and Australia had a big future in space technology, and Bowen would be at the forefront.

Mr Williams said if Bowen got 10 per cent of the 150,000 visitors who went to Cape Canaveral for the recent failed Artemis take-offs, tourism would be a big winner.

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