Optus forged an agreement with Australian start-up Space Machines Company (SMC) to develop new space capabilities covering the manufacture and delivery of on-orbit servicing of spacecraft from the nation.

In a statement, the companies explained they will combine SMC’s expertise in spacecraft manufacture, transport and servicing with Optus’ experience as a satellite owner to provide civil and defence applications over the short to medium term.

Ben White, MD of wholesale, satellite and strategy at Optus, stated the companies will provide the “public and private sector with an option to not only operate satellites from Australia, but now build them within our own borders”.

He added the work will make “space more accessible than ever before” for Australians.

SMC CEO Rajat Kulshrestha argued “logistics and orbital services are the new drivers in space innovation”.

“We want to see Australia not only have this sovereign capability, but to be a leader in the technology and services being deployed.”

The company provides orbital logistics and services to commercial and government clients.