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Space Machines Company signs collaborative agreement with Ananth Technologies and inaugurates first Australian space tech R&D center in India

06 September 2022

India and Australia enjoy a thriving economic relationship that is only getting stronger through bilateral policy measures such as the IES which includes a $25 million expansion of the International Space Investment (ISI) initiative, as well as multilateral strategic forums such as QUAD. The Indian government’s encouragement for private participation in the space domain is a significant and timely boost in unlocking the power of collaboration between the two nations.

SMC is committed to spearheading the collaboration across the Indian and Australian space ecosystems towards achieving outcomes in areas that are a mutual priority. To that end, Space Machines Company Pty Ltd announced a Memorandum of Agreement with Ananth Technologies Pvt Ltd to establish collaboration across missions, integration and test, technology development and supply chain.

Additionally, SMC’s India office in Bangalore was inaugurated by the Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo, alongside Mr Vish Padmanabhan, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, India & Middle East Investment NSW and Mr Michael Costa, Deputy Consul General, Australian Consulate[1]General, Chennai.

Ideally located close to ISRO’s test facility - ISITE, this new headquarters where a growing team of 10 staff is leading the Research & Development Department of the company, has been instrumental in the development of Space Machines’ first mission and will be key in the development of further collaboration between our countries.

During the ceremony, Mr. Palermo also released the mission patch for SMC’s first technical demonstrator mission. SMC’s Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle is due to fly on a SpaceX rideshare mission in Q2 2023.

Enrico Palermo, Head, Australian Space Agency congratulated the SMC and ATL on cementing the collaboration between the two countries.

“It is great to see growing engagement between Australian and Indian space firms.”

“India is an important space partner for Australia and I am extremely pleased to witness these announcements, a year after the Australian Space Agency and the ISRO signed an MoU.

“Space Machines is developing unique space capabilities in Australia, and with a team in India, is a thriving example of the great potential of collaboration between our countries.”

New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Alister Henskens said, "NSW is proud to support such an exciting business like Space Machines Company. A partnership with Ananth Technologies in India positions Space Machines to develop their product in one of the world's fastest growing space sectors".

"The Australia-India bilateral relationship is growing from strength to strength following the recent Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement. Building on this momentum, through its India-based trade and investment team, is helping exporters like Space Machines Company enter the Indian market, while also supporting Indian investors as they expand their businesses in NSW."

Rajat Kulshrestha, Space Machines Company CEO and Co-Founder, said these announcements are critical steps in consolidating the space cooperation between our countries. “Since the company creation in early 2019, we have been building a strong, complementary team across both countries, to enable our first mission in 2023 and demonstrate how we can facilitate multiple projects and missions including with the support of our space agencies, local businesses and research organisations”.

Dr Subbaro Pavuluri, CMD, Ananth Technologies Private Limited said, in light of the landmark India[1]Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IAECTA) signed in April this year, the collaboration between space-companies Ananth, India and SMC, Australia, would be mutually beneficial in hitech areas such as Space. “Under this collaboration, SMC and Ananth will draw the mission road map defining overall objectives and milestones; arrive at the framework for design through joint workshops; explore opportunities of hosting payloads from Ananth and others, work for qualifying the Optimus OTV for flying n board the Indian launch vehicles, namely PSLV, SSLV and GSLV.”