Australian Government And ISRO's Commerical Arm Sign $18M MoU

The Australian government has entered into an $18 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial division of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

What Happened: The MoU was unveiled on the opening day of the India Space Congress. The collaboration is centred around Space Machines, an Australian firm, which will deploy a satellite inspection and observation payload on ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) scheduled for 2026. According to Rajat Kulshrestha, co-founder of Space Machines, this will be the biggest satellite launched by Australia so far.

ISRO Chairman S Somanath expressed the organization’s intention to increase SSLV launches to 20-30 annually to meet the growing demand for small satellite launches. Australian High Commissioner Philip Green, who attended the event, emphasized that the agreement will allow Australian satellites to be launched from the Indian subcontinent.

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Pawan Goenka, chairman of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), disclosed that the privatisation of the SSLV is in progress, with six bidders currently identified. Once privatised, the SSLV will be manufactured and operated by the private sector.

The India Space Congress also announced forthcoming joint space conferences between ISRO and the Australian government, set for November, to promote deeper cooperation and knowledge exchange between the two countries’ space sectors.

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