• Render of Optimus separating from SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
Credit: Space Machines Company
    Render of Optimus separating from SpaceX’s Falcon 9. Credit: Space Machines Company

Space Machines Company has announced the successful launch of Optimus, Australia’s largest-ever private satellite and the company’s first Orbital Servicing Vehicle (OSV). 

Optimus departed at 9:05 AM AEDT on the 5th of March from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket during the Transporter-10 mission.

“The successful launch of Optimus opens up new possibilities for how satellites are launched and operated. We believe it will transform the economics of space infrastructure," said Rajat Kulshrestha, Space Machines Company CEO.

"As the foundational asset in our architecture of servicing vehicles designed to repair, refuel, upgrade and relocate other satellites, Optimus enables us to provide services to extend satellite lifetimes, reduce space debris and sustainably scale space activities.”

Following its successful liftoff, the 270 kilogram Optimus OSV will prioritise reaching its orbital slot where it will then commence its full testing campaign. 

The company described Optimus as heralding the beginning of a new era in space sustainability, as the first Australian commercial satellite capable of providing existing space infrastructure and satellites with life-extension services, inspections and assistance on-orbit.

 The OSV is a collaborative effort, equipped with Advanced Navigation's Boreas X90 navigation system, Orbit Fab's fiducial markers, solar cells made by CSIRO and HEO's camera.

“We are thrilled that our vision of robotic satellites sustaining our space infrastructure is one step closer to becoming a reality,” Kulshrestha said. “And this is just the beginning.”

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