Arianespace works on several opportunities with customers looking for direct GEO injection or specific LEO/MEO orbits. In order to provide the best and most cost-effective solution to this type of requests, Arianespace has always looked for new and innovative technologies and today intends to build partnership with Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) providers that will take in charge the last-mile-to-orbit delivery.
Space Machines Company, an Australian owned business providing in-space transportation capabilities, is developing a family of OTVs named Optimus. This space mobility platform enables multiple in-space services such as deployment of payloads to desired orbits, in a first step to perform inclination changes, orbit raising, or to allow for highly demanding missions such as exploration (cislunar and interplanetary) missions. In a second step, the Optimus vehicles will host additional functionalities allowing them to address in-orbit servicing applications.
In order to define the ground rules for any future collaborations, Arianespace and Space Machines Company decided to sign a MoU establishing the terms and conditions of their cooperation approach. Both companies agree to study the accessible options to ensure an optimal compatibility in-between the launchers operated by Arianespace and the OTV family developed by Space Machines Company for different mission scenarios. On this basis, Arianespace and Space Machines would then be able to collaborate on joint offers to customers looking for high quality of service and specific mission scenarios.
The announcement of the signature took place in Adelaide, hometown of Space Machines Company, during the French Space Tour organized by Business France in Australia.