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Skykraft, in partnership with XTEK, awarded Australian Space Agency Grant

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

17 June 2020

Skykraft and its project partner XTEK Ltd (ASX: XTE) have been awarded the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment: Expand Capability grant opportunity to design and qualify a launch adaptor system that deploys constellations of up to 30 SmallSats into low earth orbit from low cost rockets. The launch certification and validation will be carried out in collaboration with New Space India Limited who are the commercial provider of India’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).

This is a signficant step forward for Skykraft who are developing a constellation of 210 spacecraft for the delivery of space-based Air Traffic Management services. The ability to launch up to 30 SmallSats from a dedicated launch vehicle enables our constellation to be fully deployed in the shortest possible time, decreasing time to market and increasing the commercial value of space-based global services.

The International Space Investment grant accelerates the path towards an improved global air traffic management system that will provide global monitoring of air traffic and instant communication. The result will be safer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable air travel as we emerge from the current pandemic.

Skykraft’s Managing Director, Mr James Prior, said: “This new capability builds on Skykraft’s existing SmallSat constellation design and manufacturing expertise, by providing the ability to deliver large numbers of Smallsats into orbit in a safe and economical way.

A critical factor in any launch is the weight of both the spacecraft and the launch systems used to release the spacecraft into orbit. Skykraft’s focus is to maximise the available weight for the spacecraft and minimise the weight of the launch system. To achieve weight savings while retaining rigidity and strength, Skykraft has partnered with XTEK to utilise their advanced manufacturing capabilities through their XTclave™ technology. The launch system will be fabricated using high-quality, void-free, lightweight structural composite material that is ideally suited for space applications”.

Dr. Adriano Di Pietro, XTEK Chief Technology Officer, said: “This project will provide an excellent platform for XTEK to demonstrate and grow our light-weight, composites design and manufacturing capabilities that are uniquely accessible to the Space sector. We look forward to working together with Skykraft on the exciting new launch system and shift the game on space launch and satelitte systems.”

About Skykraft (

With a specialty in global spacecraft constellations, Skykraft is a SmallSat design and manufacturing business that delivers commercially viable services to the end user.

Skykraft’s capabilities include designing, building, testing and operating novel SmallSat constellations for a wide variety of applications, such as, Air Traffic Management, Defence (Tactical Data Links and secure satellite communications from LEO orbits), Internet of Things (IoT), maritime surveillance and border protection, agricultural monitoring and communications.

Constellations of affordable SmallSats open up many new applications that demand global, 24/7 coverage and the rapid delivery of data and services to the end user – anywhere, anytime.

Contact: Mr James Prior Managing Director, Sykraft Pty Ltd


Phone: 0450 906 941

About Xtek (

XTEK is a Canberra based company focused on high tech materials and technologies for frontline and frontier applications. XTEK has already started work on a lightweight carbon fibre launch structure that will be produced using XTclave™ composite curing technology delivered from its manufacturing facility in South Australia.

XTEK is developing lightweight composite solutions for a number of defence, space and frontline applications leveraging unique technical advantages of its XTclave™ composite manufacturing technology. The ultra-high pressure process reduces plastic outgassing, lightens structures and increases performance, which is often considered a limiting factor for lightweight composite use in space.

Contact: Dr Adriano Di Pietro Chief Technology Officer, Xtek Ltd


Phone: 0415 836 813

Skykraft Media Release - ISI grant - 17 June 2020
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