South Australian companies QuantX Labs and Fleet Space Technologies have been announced as beneficiaries in the Australian Space Agency’s Demonstrator Mission Grants under the Moon to Mars Initiative.

A total of ten Australian projects will share in close to $40 million, giving them a boost to get their technologies space-ready and value-add to a range of other industries.

Defence technology firm, QuantX Labs, received $3.7 million to support a consortium of industry and academia in the KAIROS mission that will see a next-generation optical atomic clock launched into space.

QuantX’s Managing Director Professor Andre Luiten said the grant will help to see further investment in the technology.

“This $3.7 million grant will unlock a much larger investment that will soon see globally-leading Australian quantum hardware in space,” said Professor Luiten.

“We believe that this technology will eventually prove to be of benefit to all Australians by providing new navigation and timing services from space.”

The launch of the technology is scheduled for late 2025.

Meanwhile, local space manufacturer Fleet Space was awarded $3.9 million to deploy a miniature three component seismic station on the lunar surface to record continuous seismic data for up to two weeks.

The success of this project will demonstrate the ability to produce miniature geophysical devices for future lunar and Martian geophysical exploration missions.

Chief Exploration Officer and Co-Founder Matthew Pearson said the funding will support the company in their pursuits of innovations to improve the space industry.

“With this significant contract from the Australian Space Agency, we are poised to be the first Australian technology to touch down on the surface of the Moon, supporting humanity’s efforts towards colonisation and aligning with NASA’s Artemis program, with a future vision of Martian exploration supporting the hunt for life beyond our planet,” Mr Pearson said.

Head of the Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, said these investments help position companies around the country to be part of future global space missions.

“These space projects will make a big impact, including to NASA’s Artemis Program,” said Mr Palermo.

“They will develop capability and experience in mission launch and space operation activities.”

Read more about the QuantX project

Read more about the Fleet project

Read more about the Demonstrator Program recipients