Voyager Space (Voyager) and Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus), recently 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.
“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.”
In addition to the US entity, Starlab will have a European joint venture subsidiary to directly serve the European Space Agency (ESA) and its member state space agencies.
The implementation of the joint venture will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.