In-space logistics provider Space Machines Company (SMC) has announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to test the deployment of nanosatellites from Fleet Space Technologies, Adelaide's nanosatellite manufacturer for the Internet of Things (IoT).
The first mission will analyse the suitability of SMC's Orbital Transfer Vehicle, Optimus, to deliver Fleet's satellites in its orbit.
The MoU allows Fleet to trial SMC as an in-space logistics provider. The Adelaide-based company has launched six satellites since 2018 and has plans to launch batches of new satellites in 2022.
"Partnering with SMC will give us the option to speed up the build time of our space infrastructure, meaning our low-cost satellite-based communication system for Industrial IoT will be available to our customers sooner," Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said.
"The MoU is a testament to the rapid growth of Australia's space industry and an opportunity to work with one of the most innovative companies in the country," SMC CEO Rajat Kulshrestha said.
The launch is expected to happen at the end of 2022.
Space Machines Company has also signed a contract with Leaf Space to utilise its Leaf Line solution, which will employ Leaf Space's global ground station network to support the launch of SMC's Orbital Transfer Vehicle next year.
“We are excited to announce this partnership with Space Machines Company as it highlights the growing need for precise in-space logistics as we see more and more satellites go into orbit, each with specific mission requirements,” Jai Dialani, Managing Director at Leaf Space said. “Leaf Space is looking forward to providing our fast, reliable and flexible ground station solutions to support Space Machines Company’s Optimus-1 mission next year.”
Leaf Space provides ground segment services for both satellite operators and launch providers throughout the entire lifecycle of their operations, beginning with launch and early operations (LEOP), ongoing mission operations, and extending through decommissioning of the space asset.