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SOURCE: THE WEEK

Australia and India signed six new industry-to-industry memorandums for collaboration, with the aim to boost commercial space ties, at Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX).

The Australian delegation was led by the head of the Australian Space Agency (ASA), Enrico Palermo. “Our commercial space sectors are at similar levels of development, making us perfect partners. We also recognise the significance of India’s national space programme and are glad to be supporting the inspirational Gaganyaan human space flight mission,” Palermo said.

Space Machines Company (SMC), an Australian start-up developing space transportation capability to insert small satellites into desired LEO, GEO, and Cislunar orbits, will collaborate with Bengaluru-based aerospace and defence manufacturer Ananth Technologies on product integration, testing, technology development and joint-space missions.

Similarly, Australian start-up HEX20 will work with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace to provide launch services, spacecraft avionics and components to Australian space initiatives. This company builds satellite platforms, mission services, and their subsystems and closely works with government-funded defence systems, commercial projects, and academic space missions. They are associated with lunar and Mars missions.

HEX20 is one of the nine global space start-ups to join Australia’s first space dedicated incubator programme under the University of South Australia’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre (ICC) in the Venture Catalyst Space programme, supported by the South Australian Government’s Space Innovation Fund.

Another Australia-based company, QL Space, will partner with Skyroot Aerospace to further develop launch facilities in Australia and support joint mineral exploration missions in space. QL Space is based in Perth, known as Australia’s resources, mining and mining technology capital. QL Space aims to develop disruptive new space technology that transforms the sector through remote sensing satellites, sensors, data, and deep learning (AI+ML). They aim to bring transformative changes that benefit defence, mining, agriculture, the environment, and future space missions. This company has apparently a long-term vision to advance space mining, exploration of Near-Earth Objects (NEO), hyperspectral image processing and advanced sensors hosted on satellite.

QL Space will also partner with Chennai-based GalaxEye to develop a hybrid optic and radar payload to reduce the adverse environmental impact of critical mineral exploration in Australia and beyond. QL Space and Bengaluru-based SatSure will also work together to build satellite and AI-based solutions to support the agriculture, mining and defence industries, and apply this technology to the outer space environment.

Australia’s SABRN Health and Altdata and India’s DCube will work together on the development and integration of hardware, sensor technology and software to provide health support to astronauts. SABRN Health is looking at the development of a payload version of an emergency-surgical room, that can be used for faster extraction of injured personnel from austere environments (including the lunar surface).

Altdata uses data for building intelligent systems and aims to solve the inadequacy of real-world data with synthetic data. Its team specialises in technology that can generate accurate human error less metadata critical for training.