Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
Starlab: Airbus and Voyager’s Leap into the Future of Space
Voyager Space and Airbus have joined forces to create Starlab, a commercial space station. The continuously crewed, free-flying space station is intended to be launched in 2028 to replace International Space Station (ISS). ISS has served as the most successful space station for global cooperation and is scheduled to shut down in 2030.
In 2021, NASA awarded Starlab a $160 million Space Act Agreement (SAA) after selecting it as one of the three ISS replacements. Starlab aims to sustain human presence in low Earth orbit. Moreover, it will be a station for NASA and various space agencies and researchers. The station’s European joint venture subsidiary will serve the European State Agency (ESA) and its member state space agencies.
Voyager Space achieved a milestone by finishing the Systems Requirements Review (SRR) for Starlab in June 2023. This review includes the key space systems, their technical preparedness, and their capacity to fulfill NASA’s mission and safety prerequisites.
The NASA team responsible for the Commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Development Program collaborated in conducting the SRR. Furthermore, the global space exploration leader, Voyager Space, strategically aligned with Airbus in 2023, selecting them as a catalyst to provide technical design support and expertise for Starlab.
“With a track record of innovation and technological firsts, Airbus prides itself on partnering with companies that are looking to change history,” said Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at the largest European aeronautics and space company. “This transatlantic venture with footprints on both sides of the ocean aligns the interests of both ourselves and Voyager and our respective space agencies. This pioneers continued European and American leadership in space that takes humanity forward. Together our teams are focused on creating an unmatched space destination both technologically and as a business operation.”
The US-led joint venture will bring together world-class leaders in the space domain. Additionally, it will further unite American and European interests in pursuing space exploration. The execution of this joint venture will be subject to necessary regulatory approvals.