Optus, Australia’s largest and most experienced satellite owner and operator, has announced a partnership with Australian-based in-space transportation and logistics provider Space Machines Company (SMC), exploring innovative ways to manufacture and provide on-orbit services of spacecraft from within Australia.
This partnership will leverage SMC’s spacecraft manufacturing, transportation and servicing proficiencies to deliver civil and defence applications in the short to medium term future.
This agreement can act as a cornerstone for Australian space companies to build a sustainable space ecosystem, with a thriving and diverse industrial base.
Ben White, Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy at Optus said, “Optus is committed to supporting the growth of the Australian space industry and increasing awareness of our country’s technology and space capabilities. Together, Optus and Space Machines Company will provide the Australian public and private sector with an option to not only operate satellites from Australia, but now build them within our own borders.
“We are delighted to work alongside industry pioneers and innovators Space Machines Company to lead the charge in making space more accessible than ever before to Australians. Space is the next frontier, and together we are exploring ways to harness its potential.”
Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO and co-founder of Space Machines Company said, “We are excited to be working with the leading satellite owner and operator in Australia and look forward to supporting Optus through this partnership. In-space logistics and orbital services are the new drivers in space innovation. We want to see Australia not only have this sovereign capability, but to be a leader in the technology and services being deployed.”
SMC is an Australian start-up that provides orbital logistics and services to both commercial and government customers and is dedicated to developing sovereign space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert satellites into LEO, GEO and cis-lunar orbits. Optus and SMC provide essential sovereign capabilities for Australia’s future space requirements in addition to products for the global space economy.
Optus provides satellite services to Australian and NZ Government departments, companies and broadcasters, in addition to services in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Optus works closely with global partners; is a member of international trade associations and continues to be at the forefront of utilising world-first space technology and employing, as well as training, highly skilled space talent.