Indian OceanSpace Machines Company has announced the successful completion of Optimus, Australia’s largest-ever private satellite and the company’s first Orbital Servicing Vehicle (OSV). The completion of Optimus marks a major milestone for Australia’s sovereign space capabilities and reinforces Space Machines’ commitment to developing innovative space solutions that are built on local soil.

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

“The successful completion of Optimus has been the culmination of many years of tireless work and close collaboration between our talented engineers and scientists, and also our esteemed local and international partners,” said Rajat Kulshrestha, Space Machines CEO.  “This unprecedented alliance has enabled us to push boundaries and open up new possibilities for how satellites are launched and operated. Together, we are paving the way to provide innovative services that extend satellite lifetimes, reduce space debris, and sustainably scale space activities for the benefit of all.”

Optimus carries groundbreaking technology payloads from partners and suppliers, including Advanced Navigation, which has developed a revolutionary Digital Fiber Optic Gyroscope (DFOG) Inertial Navigation System (INS).

Xavier Orr, Advanced Navigation CEO and co-founder said, “We’re honoured to join Space Machines on its journey to support the sustainable development of the space economy. Optimus will demonstrate Boreas X90’s highly precise navigation capabilities as it manoeuvres the OSV efficiently within and between orbits, saving on fuel and time, and optimising mission success.”

Leading global provider of on-orbit refuelling services, Orbit Fab, is supplying critical position and orientation data through its fiducial markers to ensure safe and reliable on-orbit operation. Orbit Fab Founder and CEO Daniel Faber said, “Orbit Fab is thrilled to equip the Optimus orbital servicing vehicle with our fiducial markers, which are providing critical in-space orientation data to support Space Machines Company with safe, sustainable space operations during its first OSV mission. This important mission and collaborative partnership marks an important step toward cooperative refuelling in space.”

ANT61, which is building the robotic workforce for space infrastructure deployment, maintenance and resource utilisation, is also joining the mission aboard Optimus. ANT61 will demonstrate the world’s first neuromorphic computer at the heart of the autonomous robotics technology enabling future in-orbit docking and refuelling missions, paving the way for the Sydney-based company and their partners to conquer the global $10B in-orbit servicing market and eventually deploying the construction workforce for the international lunar base and beyond.

Other innovative technology payloads from leading Australian and international customers aboard Optimus seeking to test and demonstrate technology capabilities include:

  • HEO Robotics’s space domain awareness camera for monitoring objects in space.
  • Esper’s hyperspectral camera for collecting detailed spectral images.
  • Spiral Blue’s in-space image processor.
  • Dandelions’s high-powered network processor.

Space Machines Company said it also appreciates the ongoing support from government agencies including Investment NSW, the Australian Space Agency, Defence Space Command, and the Government of South Australia. Space Machines’ Optimus will launch as part of SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission no earlier than March 2024 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

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