Australia and India are collaborating on innovative space projects, with support from UTS Tech Lab.

Prof. Glenn Wightwick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise at UTS, Enrico Palermo, Head of the Australian Space Agency and  The Hon Tim Watts, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs at UTS Tech Lab.

Australia and India are collaborating on innovative space projects, with a newly launched grant program aimed at strengthening space industry partnerships between the two countries. 

Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Tim Watts announced a total of $18 million under the International Space Investment India Projects program, supporting three space technology companies, at an event hosted by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Tech lab.

UTS Tech Lab is a multidisciplinary research facility that supports bespoke industry-led partnerships designed to drive innovation in engineering and IT. UTS Tech Lab industry partner, Space Machines, received funding under the new program.

Rajat Kulshrestha, CEO & Co-Founder of Space Machines Company.

“Australia and India’s commercial space sector is developing fast, supported by complementary skill sets and investments, and we share a vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific, making us perfect partners in a domain critical to our shared future,” said Mr Watts.

“These grants and the activities they fund both reflect and extend the depth of the Australia India relationship and our commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and tackling the challenges of the future.”

Professor Glenn Wightwick, UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Enterprise, said UTS was proud to support the launch of this federally funded grant program aimed at fostering collaboration between Australia and India in space exploration.

“We’re really delighted to be working closely with Space Machines Company not only on solving research problems, but also to provide work integrated learning experiences for our students along with graduate opportunities,” said Professor Wightwick. 

“Currently more than 20 per cent of Space Machines Company employees come from UTS, and the company is on the cusp of effecting a critical step change to the Australian space industry. Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in Australia India space engagement.”

India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Gopal Baglay, at UTS Tech Lab.

India’s High Commissioner to Australia, Mr Gopal Baglay, was a special guest at the event, which was led by the Australian India Institute in collaboration with the Australian Space Agency.

Space Machines Company was awarded more than $8.5 million for Space MAITRI (Mission for Australia-India’s Technology, Research and Innovation) demonstrating advanced concepts such as on-orbit transportation and space debris mitigation. Space MAITRI will incorporate an Australian-built Orbital Servicing Vehicle, sent into space on a dedicated Indian launcher.

Space Machines tested and qualified their existing spacecraft using specialised equipment at Tech lab, including the multi-axial simulation table (MAST), to ensure it was able to withstand extreme forces and vibrations during launch.

The project include a number of Australian and Indian partners, building valuable commercial links with the Indian Space Research Organisation and the booming Indian space sector.

Read more news from the UTS newsroom.