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Optus Strikes Deal With Australian Startup Space Machines Company

By Mark Holmes | September 22, 2022

The Space Machines Company orbital transfer vehicle. Photo: Space Machines Company

Optus, one of Australia’s biggest telcos and satellite operators, has signed a new deal with Space Machines Company (SMC) to explore options for developing sovereign space capabilities. Optus announced the deal, Sept. 21. SMC is an Australian startup that provides orbital logistics and services to both commercial and government customers and is dedicated to developing sovereign space transportation capabilities to cost-effectively insert satellites into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), Geostationary (GEO), and cis-lunar orbits.

This partnership will leverage SMC’s spacecraft manufacturing, transportation, and servicing proficiencies to deliver civil and defense applications in the short- to medium-term future. The companies said this agreement could be a cornerstone for Australian space companies to build a sustainable space ecosystem, with a thriving and diverse industrial base.

“We are excited to be working with the leading satellite owner and operator in Australia and look forward to supporting Optus through this partnership. In-space logistics and orbital services are the new drivers in space innovation. We want to see Australia not only have this sovereign capability, but to be a leader in the technology and services being deployed,” Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO and co-founder of Space Machines Company said in a statement.