Showing posts with label StarLab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label StarLab. Show all posts

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Starlab Space Station to boost European Space Agency ambitions in low-Earth orbit

MoU between ESA, Airbus and Voyager Space outlines collaboration on post-International Space Station infrastructure and missions


The European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defence and Space, and Voyager Space have signed a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the ESA Space Summit in Seville, outlining their collaboration for the Starlab space station in the post-International Space Station era.

The MoU outlines that the parties intend to commonly foster science and technology development and explore the potential for collaboration in conjunction with post-International Space Station low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

The collaboration will initially focus on, but is not limited to, exploring opportunities for sustained access to space for Europe through the Starlab space station. These could include:
Access to the Starlab space station for ESA and its Member States, for astronaut missions and sustained long-term research activities as well as commercial business development.

Contributions to research projects on upcoming missions, leveraging European technology across various fields, including (but not limited to) advanced robotics and automation/artificial intelligence, and advancing European science priorities, such as health and life sciences.

Establishment of a complete ‘end-to-end’ ecosystem comprising the Starlab space station as a low-Earth orbit destination and a potential ESA-developed European transportation system (cargo and crew), leveraging standardised interfaces in the interest of an open access policy.

This agreement reflects ESA’s ambition to enable a smooth transition from the International Space Station towards the sustained exploitation of human and robotic infrastructures in low-Earth orbit after 2030, including through commercial services.

“ESA appreciates the transatlantic industry initiative for the commercial Starlab space station, and the potential that its strong European footprint holds for significant European industrial and institutional contributions to, and use of, said station,” said Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency. “Our teams are looking forward to working closely with the Starlab teams here in Europe and in the US.”

“This agreement with the European Space Agency is critical as we continue to foster international collaboration in the space domain and move towards succeeding the International Space Station with Starlab,” said Matt Kuta, President, Voyager Space. “We look forward to working with Airbus and ESA to extend Europe’s footprint in space and ensure they remain a leader in the new generation of commercial space exploration.”

“At Airbus, we are very pleased that ESA is continuing to look to the future and demonstrating such a keen interest in Starlab,” said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “Our collaboration on this next-generation space station builds on a long and successful partnership between ESA and Airbus in developing and operating a wide range of crewed and uncrewed spacecraft.”

In the past, Airbus has supplied ESA with iconic spacecraft such as the International Space Station Columbus Module, all five Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) and – most recently – the European Service Module (ESM) for Orion, Europe’s contribution to NASA’s Artemis missions back to the Moon.

In August 2023, Voyager and Airbus first announced an agreement to form a transatlantic joint venture to support a continuous human presence in low-Earth orbit and a seamless transition of microgravity science and research opportunities in the post-International Space Station era. Starlab is also expected to have a European affiliated joint venture to directly serve the European Space Agency and its member state space agencies.

Thursday 3 August 2023

Voyager Space and Airbus join forces to build and operate Starlab

Voyager Space and Airbus Announce Joint Venture to Build and Operate Starlab



Joint Venture to serve as a commercial successor for the International Space Station, ensuring continued US and European collaboration in space

 Voyager Space (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, and Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus), the largest aeronautics and space company in Europe, today announced 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. 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.

“We are proud to charter the future of space stations with Airbus,” says Matthew Kuta, President at Voyager Space. “The International Space Station is widely regarded as the most successful platform for global cooperation in space history, and we are committed to building on this legacy as we move forward with Starlab. We are establishing this joint venture to reliably meet the known demand from global space agencies while opening new opportunities for commercial users.”

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.