• SpaceX will carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle 
as part of its April 2023 mission. (Space Machines Company)
    SpaceX will carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle as part of its April 2023 mission. (Space Machines Company)

Australian startup Space Machines Company (SMC) has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner to carry its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) to space as part of its April 2023 mission.

The Optimus OTV is reportedly one of the largest commercial spacecraft designed and manufactured in Australia. 

The 2023 mission is expected to demonstrate the 270kg Optimus OTV’s ability to deliver in-space logistics services and will aim to reinforce SMC’s strategy as a 'last-mile delivery services provider'. 

The Optimus spacecraft’s assembly and integration will occur at the SMC facility within the University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) Tech Lab.

"Logistics is the new frontier in space innovation," Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO of Space Machines Company said. "Space-based technology underpins a lot of the daily conveniences Australians have come to expect such as weather forecasting, emergency management, internet access and online banking.

"To support and fully commercialise the potential of in-space service delivery, the right logistics infrastructure needs to be in place.

"Space Machines is leading the development of Australia's capability in this critical area and we are thrilled to be taking the next step in the commercialisation of our service with SpaceX." 

Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government applauded Space Machines Company on its continued development and investment in Australian space and satellite technology.

“Space Machines is at the forefront of Australia’s space technology and the NSW Government is proud to support its work,” Ayres said.

“Having previously supported the company through our Going Global Space to the USA Export Program, and as part of a remote delegation for IAC 2021, Space Machines continues to demonstrate its global value proposition and ability to advance technologies that Australians have the privilege to enjoy every day.

“We rely on space and satellite technology to mitigate, manage and respond to natural emergencies, broadcast information, communicate with our loved ones, use the internet and control our finances. This latest mission sounds fascinating and I’ve no doubt that its work will help drive improvements and solutions that put Australia at the forefront of this critical need.”

More than 6,000 active and inactive satellites are currently in orbit, and by 2030, there will be more than 100,000. Space will increasingly need infrastructure and logistics services to support and manage the exponential growth in satellites and debris around the globe. SMC says its development of a local space logistics capacity aims to contribute to ensuring Australia can meet this growing challenge and manage its satellites in space.


The SpaceX deal follows SMC’s expansion to India, with the opening of new offices in Bangalore to foster technological collaboration between the two countries. 

comments powered by Disqus