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Voyager Space and Airbus announce joint venture to build Starlab

Starlab image. Credit Starlab Space LLC

London, 3 August 2023.- Voyager Space and Airbus Defence and Space announced on the 2nd of August a new agreement to pave the way to develop, build, and operate Starlab, a commercial space station planned to succeed the International Space Station. The US-led joint venture will bring together players 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 NASA in December 2021 via Nanoracks, part of Voyager’s exploration segment. The 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). The new agreement builds on a previous one made public in January 2023, where Voyager selected Airbus to provide technical design support and expertise for Starlab. 

Starlab will have a European joint venture subsidiary to directly serve ESA and its member state space agencies. 

“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 Airbus. “This transatlantic venture with footprints on both sides of the ocean aligns the interests of both ourselves and Voyager and our respective space agencies. These 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 Starlab Systems Requirements Review (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. 

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