Southern Launch, ATSpace Australia, Asension and Inovor Technologies have signed an MoU to launch electronic warfare equipment from Whalers Way.
Four of South Australia’s leading space and technology companies entered a memorandum of understanding during the South Australian Aerospace and Information Warfare Forum in Adelaide this week, hoping to launch local military technology into space from the Whalers Way launch site.
Under the agreement, the companies will explore launching ATSpace’s “Kestrel I” launch vehicle into sub-orbit from Southern Launch’s Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex, carrying Inovor’s spacecraft that will interface with Asension’s electronic warfare payload.
According to Matt Tetlow, founder and chief executive officer of Inovor Technologies, the partnership marks a turning point in the Australian space industry.
“The teamwork on display by the companies signing this MoU has been incredible,” Dr Tetlow said.
“This collaboration is providing multiple opportunities that are crucial to continue the upward trajectory of the Australian commercial space sector including gaining flight heritage and giving our talented engineers and staff the chance to be hands-on with and learn from a real local mission.”
The companies are currently awaiting approvals from the Australian Space Agency.
It is hoped that the collaboration will prove a turning point for Australia’s domestic space industry, providing an opportunity for Inovor Technologies’ spacecraft to integrate with Asension’s electronic warfare payload.
The sub-orbital flight will also allow Inovor Technologies to test its communications protocols.
Meanwhile, the agreement hopes to mature the launch capabilities of ATSpace’s “Kestrel I” from Southern Launch’s Whalers Way site ahead of future launches.
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According to Asension’s chief executive officer Ian Spencer, collaboration between leading Australian companies is essential to develop Australia’s sovereign space industry.
“In South Australia, we are very fortunate to not only be home to the Australian Space Agency but to also have a growing ecosystem of space companies dedicated to the establishment and operation of a world class and sovereign space industry capability,” said Spencer.
“The space industry community within South Australia is vibrant, strong and collaborative in nature – this launch will demonstrate the power of this ability to collaborate and rapidly deploy Australian payload to space in Australian spacecraft from Australian soil.”