Trans-Atlantic joint venture aims to build new ‘international’ space station

Artist's illustration of the planned Starlab space station.

Enlarge / Artist’s illustration of the planned Starlab space station. (credit: Voyager Space)

Voyager Space, one of several US companies formulating concepts for new commercial space stations, has established a joint venture with Airbus to co-develop an Earth-orbiting research outpost called Starlab.

The companies announced the joint venture Wednesday, saying they plan to field a successor to 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,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

Voyager has been managing the development of a privately-owned space station called Starlab for several years. The Starlab station concept was one of three selected by NASA for funding in 2021, alongside with projects from separate industry teams led by Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman. Voyager’s proposal took home the largest NASA funding award—$160 million—to go toward design and engineering work for the Starlab station through a cost-sharing public-private partnership arrangement.

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