The Optimus OSV Spacecraft, the largest Australian-built commercial spacecraft, is to be qualified for space where it will deliver transport and service capabilities in orbit.
Space Machines Company is building the Optimus Platform which will now face rigorous test procedures to qualify for the space environment before heading to orbit in early 2024.
In in a new project, the iLAuNCH Trailblazer research programme is bringing together the company, The Australian National University (ANU) and the Institute for Space (InSpace).
The Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel Materials, Communications and Hypersonicsis (iLAuNCH) Trailblazer is a $180 million programme building Australia’s space capability.
iLAuNCH Trailblazer Executive Director Darin Lovett said: “For the entire history of space flight, we’ve launched our expensive technologically advanced satellites into orbit hoping they will survive for years, but totally unable to refuel or service them if problems occur.
“This partnership to develop in-space transportation and logistics services opens a new global market opportunity while setting up enduring partnerships within the Australian space ecosystem.”
The project aims to space qualify the Optimus Platform at technology readiness level eight (TRL 8) for flight readiness through the National Space Test Facility at ANU, the country’s largest space testing infrastructure.
Space Machines Company Co-founder George Freney said the company was on the cusp of changing the face of the global space industry.
Freney said: “Our business model delivers significant return on investment for satellite operators by providing a service like roadside assistance on Earth, but in orbit which improves the resilience and economics of satellite operations.
“The iLAuNCH project helps us to mature its design.”
Picture: Space Machines Optimus OSV Spacecraft