ISRO's SSLV to Launch Australia's Heaviest Satellite

Mission, part of Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India's Technology, Research and Innovation), marks a significant milestone in strategic partnership between India and Australia in space.

·         Space Machines Company has signed a Launch Service Agreement with New Space India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

·         Agreement will see the launch of Space Machines Company’s second Optimus spacecraft aboard NSIL’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in 2026. Weighing 450kg, Optimus will be the largest Australian-designed and built spacecraft so far.

·         The mission, part of the Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation), marks a significant milestone in the strategic partnership between Australia and India in the space domain.

·         Space Machine Company is located in South Australia’s start-up hub, Lot 14. It has a manufacturing facility in Sydney and an R&D facility in Bengaluru.

·         Skykraft has been awarded (AUS) $3.7 million to propose and validate a new Position, Navigation and Timing system.

 

[ABS News Service/09.07.2024]

Australian in-space servicing startup Space Machines Company has signed a Launch Service Agreement with New Space India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The agreement will see the launch of Space Machines Company’s second Optimus spacecraft aboard NSIL’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in 2026. Weighing 450kg, Optimus will be the largest Australian-designed and built spacecraft so far. Space Machines Company focuses on debris management and sustainability and helps promote responsible space operations and mitigate the growing threat of space debris.

The mission, part of the Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation), marks a significant milestone in the strategic partnership between Australia and India in the space domain, fostering closer ties between commercial, institutional, and governmental space organisations from both nations, the company has stated.

“This collaboration with Space Machines Company exemplifies the spirit of international cooperation in space and highlights the strategic partnership between Australia and India,” says Radhakrishnan Durairaj, NSIL Chairman and Managing Director.

“As a Launch service provider for the Optimus spacecraft, we are not only fostering the growth of our respective space industries but also contributing to the sustainable exploration and utilisation of space.”

In April 2024, Space Machines Company announced the Space MAITRI project had received an 8.5 million Australian Dollar grant from the Australian Government through the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment India Projects (ISI India Projects) programme.

“The Space MAITRI mission and our collaboration with NewSpace India Limited represent a significant leap forward for Australia’s space industry. By combining our innovative spacecraft capabilities with India’s proven launch expertise, we are not only strengthening the ties between our nations’ space sectors but also demonstrating our shared commitment to sustainable space operations,” says Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO and Co-Founder of Space Machines Company.

The Space MAITRI mission involves several Australian and Indian partner companies collaborating with Space Machines Company, including Ananth Technologies, Digantara, The University of Adelaide, The University of Sydney, The University of Technology Sydney, LeoLabs, Advanced Navigation, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Space Machine Company is located in South Australia’s start-up hub, Lot 14. It has a manufacturing facility in Sydney and an R&D facility in Bengaluru. In addition to the Space Machine Company, the Australian government has also funded two other Australian firms in collaborative space projects between Australia and India. While LatConnect60 has been awarded almost (AUS) $5.8 million to develop and build a Low Earth Orbit satellite in Australia to collect information on carbon emissions at a very high resolution with the satellite launch to happen from India, Skykraft has been awarded (AUS) $3.7 million to propose and validate a new Position, Navigation and Timing system.

All three projects include a number of Australian and Indian partners, including ISRO.