NASA-Backed Starlab Project Takes Shape with Voyager-Airbus Agreement

NASA-Backed Starlab Project Takes Shape with Voyager-Airbus Agreement

(IN BRIEF) Voyager Space and Airbus Defence and Space have jointly announced a transatlantic agreement to develop and operate Starlab, a commercial space station intended to succeed the International Space Station. Voyager was awarded a $160 million Space Act Agreement by NASA, facilitating the creation of Starlab, a continuously crewed, free-flying space station serving NASA and global space agencies. The project aims to maintain human presence and American leadership in low-Earth orbit. The recent announcement follows the successful Systems Requirements Review milestone achieved in June 2023, advancing the project’s development. The joint venture will also establish a European subsidiary to serve the European Space Agency and its member states. Regulatory approvals will be sought for the implementation of the joint venture.

(PRESS RELEASE) DENVER, CO, United States, 2-Aug-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — Airbus Defence and Space (Airbus) (EPA: AIR), Europe’s largest aeronautics and space company, and Voyager Space (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, jointly announced a groundbreaking agreement today, setting the stage for a transatlantic partnership to develop, construct, and operate Starlab, a commercial space station aimed at succeeding the International Space Station. This transatlantic joint venture will unite top-notch space experts and foster collaboration between 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.”

In December 2021, Voyager was honored with a $160 million Space Act Agreement (SAA) by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through Nanoracks, a part of Voyager’s exploration segment. Under NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, this SAA marks the foundational step towards the realization of Starlab—a continuously crewed, free-flying space station designed to serve NASA and a global clientele of space agencies and researchers.

The primary objective of the Starlab program is to ensure a sustained human presence and maintain American leadership in low-Earth orbit (LEO). Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone following the disclosure of an agreement in January 2023, wherein Voyager chose Airbus to offer technical design support and expertise for the ambitious Starlab project.

“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. This 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.”

Alongside the US-based entity, Starlab will establish a European joint venture subsidiary dedicated to serving the European Space Agency (ESA) and its member state space agencies.

The recent announcement follows a crucial design milestone in Starlab’s development, known as the Systems Requirements Review (SRR). The successful SRR, conducted in June 2023 in coordination with NASA’s Commercial LEO Development Program team, has laid the foundation for the major space systems, ensuring technical readiness, and compliance with NASA’s mission and safety requirements.

“Today marks a major step forward for the future of commercial space destinations,” continues Kuta. “We are proud to have NASA’s trust to build the replacement for the ISS, a partnership that expands Starlab’s ecosystem to global space agencies, and a team that is mission driven and dedicated to reimagining the future.”

The implementation of this pioneering joint venture is subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, highlighting the commitment to adhere to established standards and protocols.

About Airbus

Airbus pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world. The Company constantly innovates to provide efficient and technologically-advanced solutions in aerospace, defence, and connected services. In commercial aircraft, Airbus offers modern and fuel-efficient airliners and associated services. Airbus is also a European leader in defence and security and one of the world’s leading space businesses. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions and services worldwide.

About Voyager Space

Voyager Space is dedicated to building a better future for humanity in space and on Earth. With over 35 years of spaceflight heritage and over 2,000 successful missions, Voyager is powering the commercial space revolution. Voyager delivers exploration, technology, and defense solutions to a global customer base that includes civil and national security agencies, commercial companies, academic and research institutions, and more.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” All statements, other than statements of historical fact, including those with respect to Voyager Space, Inc.’s (the “Company’s”) mission statement and growth strategy, are “forward-looking statements.” Although the Company’s management believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that such expectations are, or will be, correct. These forward-looking statements involve many risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s future results to differ materially from those anticipated. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which the Company operates; the uncertainty of regulatory requirements and approvals; and the ability to obtain necessary financing on acceptable terms or at all. Readers should not place any undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve these known and unknown uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects the Company’s current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. The Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

Media contacts:

Ralph Heinrich
Head of External Communications – Airbus Space Systems
Phone: +49 171 304 9751

Francisco Lechón
External Communications – Airbus Space Systems, Spain
Phone: +34 630 196 993

Jeremy Close
External Communications – Airbus Space Systems, UK
Phone: +44 776 653 6572

Guilhem Boltz
External Communications – Airbus Space Systems, France
Phone: +33 6 34 78 14 08



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