Airbus Defense and Space and Voyager Space’s collaboration to build the next International Space Station (ISS) has taken a significant step forward as the two companies confirm the creation of Starlab Space.
Airbus and Voyager announced on January 9, 2024, that they have completed the transaction to create the new entity which will steam ahead to design, build, and operate the Starlab commercial space station.
Starlab is planned for launch in 2028 to ensure a continued human presence in low-Earth orbit (LEO) and ultimately replace the ISS.
“The International Space Station inspired global cooperation to a level never imagined possible in space,” Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Space Systems at Airbus, said. “Starlab will be no different. This joint venture solidifies our unwavering commitment to reimagining the future of commercial space alongside Voyager, anchoring Starlab to European and American ambitions and pioneering the future of humanity in space.”
News that Airbus and Voyager were forming a team to develop and operate the Starlab space station was announced in January 2023.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other space agencies and scientists will use the new space station to carry out research and collaborate with new technology.
“Our sights are set on powering the commercial space revolution, and it’s crystal clear we’re leading the way for commercial low-Earth orbit,” Matthew Kuta, President of Voyager Space, said. “Through our joint venture with Airbus, teaming agreements with Northrop Grumman and Hilton, and continued success in meeting critical milestones, Starlab is setting the new standard for commercial space.”
Today marks a major milestone: @VoyagerSH and @Airbus_Space have finalized a US-led transatlantic joint venture to design, build and operate the #Starlab commercial space station. We are officially Starlab Space, LLC. Read more: https://t.co/GC0WQDrjRl pic.twitter.com/zk6X1vv4Qx— Starlab (@Starlab_Space) January 9, 2024
Northrop Grumman will develop fully autonomous rendezvous and docking technology for its Cygnus spacecraft which is already used to transport cargo to ISS.
Starlab is also expected to have a European affiliated joint venture to directly serve the European Space Agency and its member state space agencies.
The ISS is scheduled to retire in 2030.