Space Machines’ Optimus satellite launched on SpaceX rocket


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

The foundation of the company’s future in-orbit satellite servicing opereations was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket during the Transporter-10 mission.

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

Weighing 270 kilograms, the launch of Optimus marks a major milestone for Australia’s sovereign space capabilities, according to the company.

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.

Space Machines Company CEO Rajat Kulshrestha said: “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.

“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.”

With intentions to grow its fleet of Orbital Servicing Vehicles, Space Machines Company is actively exploring opportunities with local and international partners to integrate and demonstrate new servicing capabilities in space.

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

The successful launch involved other Australian SMEs including Advanced Navigation and Orbit Fab, as well as collaborators CSIRO and the University of Technology Sydney.

Further reading:
Space Machines to launch its Optimus in-space orbital transfer vehicle

Picture: Space Machines/Render of Optimus separating from SpaceX’s Falcon 9

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