Joint-venture announced to build and operate Starlab
To serve as a commercial successor for the ISS
Voyager Space (Voyager), a global reference in space exploration, and Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus), an aeronautics and space company in Europe, announced yesterday an agreement paving the way for a transatlantic joint-venture to develop, build, and operate Starlab, a commercial space station planned to succeed the International Space Station (ISS). The US-led joint-venture will bring together world-class leaders in the space domain, while further uniting American and European interests in space exploration.
Voyager was awarded a $160 million Space Act Agreement (SAA) from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in December 2021 via Nanoracks, part of Voyager’s exploration segment. Part of NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, this SAA sets the foundation to create Starlab, a continuously crewed, free-flying space station to serve NASA and a global customer base of space agencies and researchers. The program’s mission is to maintain continued human presence and American leadership in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Today’s announcement builds on an agreement made public in January 2023, where Voyager selected Airbus to provide technical design support and expertise for Starlab.
In addition to the US entity, Starlab will have a European joint-venture subsidiary to directly serve the European Space Agency (ESA) and its member state space agencies.
This announcement follows a major design milestone in Starlab’s development, the Systems Requirements Review (SRR), which baselines the major space systems, technical readiness, and ability to meet NASA’s mission and safety requirements. The Starlab SRR, was completed in June 2023 in coordination with NASA’s Commercial LEO Development Program team.
The implementation of the joint-venture will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency