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Space Machines Company partners with Arianespace to explore In-space logistics services

Space Machines Company (SMC), the Australian in-space transportation and logistics startup, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Arianespace, a leading global launch services company, and the largest European launch provider, agree to study the accessible options to ensure an optimal compatibility between the launchers and the OTV family for different mission scenarios.


Through its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV), one of the largest commercial spacecrafts designed, manufactured, and assembled in Australia, SMC is building the future of in-space transportation and logistics.


SMC’s space capability also addresses the future challenge of inactive satellites and space debris, designing solutions to help customers manage their satellites in space. SMC’s spacecraft are designed to provide future capability for in-orbit logistics services, including spacecraft inspection, servicing, maintenance and removal.


SMC is the only Australian organisation focussed on in-space transportation and logistics, a key foundation service required for Earth orbits, Lunar transport and beyond. Just as different modes of transportation and logistics have unlocked tremendous economic value on Earth, SMC believes that in-space transportation is the next frontier.


Launching in the second quarter of 2023, the company’s “Roll Out” first mission will carry Australian customers’ payloads, reinforcing SMC’s position as a “last-mile” services provider. In order to maximise its offering, SMC aims to make the Optimus OTV compatible with as many launchers as possible worldwide, which includes the new Ariane 6 and Vega-C vehicles, operated by Arianespace.


“Arianespace has launched eight satellites for Australia since 1987 and will launch the next-generation Optus 11 into orbit. The whole SMC team is very excited to enter into this MoU with a leading launch provider, especially following the announcement in September of SMC’s partnership with Optus, in order to leverage SMC’s local spacecraft manufacturing expertise. The Australian space industry is growing fast, and we need strong international partnerships on the global market to succeed, as a new space-faring nation” said Rajat Kulshrestha, Space Machines Company’s CEO and Co-Founder.


“In order to provide the best and most cost-effective solution to customers, Arianespace has always looked for new and innovative technologies and today intends to build partnership with Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) providers that will take in charge the last-mile-to-orbit delivery”, said Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace. “In order to define the ground rules for any future collaborations, we decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Space Machines, a key start-up in a key country, Australia, establishing the terms and conditions of our cooperation approach.”

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