Space company’s SA expansion seeks final frontier

20 Nov 2023
Space Machines Company will expand its Adelaide-based mission command centre, creating more jobs and greater investment for the South Australian economy. 

The Australian orbital servicing organisation with operations in Adelaide, Sydney and India; announced its plans in Bengaluru, India, with Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion.

Space Machines Company founders Rajat Kulshrestha and George Freney said plans to grow their Adelaide footprint came amidst growing interest in collaboration between South Australia and India. 

The new expansion will create up to 10 new jobs for mission control engineers and support staff, who would play a role in command and control of Australia’s biggest satellite, Optimus. 

The prospect of a greater partnership between South Australia’s space industry and the Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) follows recent announcements that India will send an astronaut to the Moon by 2040 and send a space station into orbit by 2035. 

Isro also recently launched rockets to study the moon and test flights of the Gahanyaan spacecraft, a precursor for astronaut flight by 2025 – and became the first country to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s South Pole. 

Space Machines Company’s state-of-the-art mission control centre is strategically located in Adelaide, on North Terrace next to Lot Fourteen. 

The announcement was made at a South Australian Government-led ‘critical technologies roundtable’ in Bengaluru, which forms a key component of Minister Champion’s India trade mission. 

The roundtable’s aim was to promote trade, research and development collaboration and investment from India’s top technology firms into South Australia, crucial in building strong connections to advance the State’s economic ties with India. 

It is particularly significant considering the implementation of Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, which provides Australian businesses with a competitive advantage for expanding into the Indian market.