Author Topic: Voyager & Airbus Starlab commercial space station joint venture  (Read 6560 times)

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https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2023-08-voyager-space-and-airbus-announce-joint-venture-to-build-and

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02 August 2023
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


DENVER – 02 August, 2023 - 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.

“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.”

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.

This announcement follows a major design milestone in Starlab’s development, the Systems Requirements Review (SRR), which baselines the major space systems, technical readiness, and ability to meet NASA’s mission and safety requirements. The Starlab SRR, was completed in June 2023 in coordination with NASA’s Commercial LEO Development Program team.

“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 the joint venture will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

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.

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https://twitter.com/starlab_space/status/1686699343514906624

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Coming soon to a low-Earth orbit near you...@VoyagerSH and @AirbusSpace have signed an agreement to pave the way for a transatlantic joint venture to develop, build, & operate Starlab. Together, we will unleash the nextgen of commercial space stations 🚀

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/voyager-space-and-airbus-announce-joint-venture-to-build-and-operate-starlab-301891189.html

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

NEWS PROVIDED BY
Voyager Space
02 Aug, 2023, 07:00 ET

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

DENVER, Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

"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."

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.

This announcement follows a major design milestone in Starlab's development, the Systems Requirements Review (SRR), which baselines the major space systems, technical readiness, and ability to meet NASA's mission and safety requirements. The Starlab SRR was completed in June 2023 in coordination with NASA's Commercial LEO Development Program team.

"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 the joint venture will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

Offline Danderman

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https://starlab-space.com/

A new website for this venture.

You may notice that the configuratión of the station has changed.

Offline Yiosie

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Belated update:

Northrop Grumman to join Voyager Space commercial space station project [dated Oct. 4]

Quote from: SpaceNews
Northrop Grumman will drop plans to develop its own commercial space station and instead assist a competing effort led by Voyager Space, the companies announced Oct. 4.

Under the new partnership, the companies will cooperate on the development of fully autonomous docking systems for Northrop’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, allowing it to dock with Voyager’s Starlab space station. The companies also said they will “further explore opportunities to strengthen the development of Starlab” that could include Northrop providing engineering design services for that station.

<snip>

The Voyager-Northrop statement did not discuss the future of Northrop’s proposed station. However, NASA said in a separate statement that Northrop will withdraw from its agreement. The company has received $36.6 million out of a total $125.6 million for achieving certain milestones in that agreement.

The agency spun the partnership as a positive development. “Northrop Grumman has determined that its best strategy is to join the Nanoracks team, and NASA respects and supports that decision,” said Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA Headquarters. Nanoracks is part of Voyager Space. “We continue to see a strong competitive landscape for future commercial destinations, and I am pleased that Northrop is staying with the program.”

Offline Eric Hedman

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Does anyone know the dimensions of the big cylindrical section of the station?  One of the drawings seems to show three circular decks.  Any guess at which launch vehicle would put this in orbit given it probably has a fairly healthy diameter?

Offline Yiosie

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Does anyone know the dimensions of the big cylindrical section of the station?  One of the drawings seems to show three circular decks.  Any guess at which launch vehicle would put this in orbit given it probably has a fairly healthy diameter?

https://phys.org/news/2023-08-airbus-partners-voyager-space-iss.html

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Neither Schoellhorn nor Voyager Space CEO Dylan Taylor would specify their exact stake in the project.

Starlab is slated to be launched into orbit in 2028. Its diameter of eight meters will be almost twice that of the ISS, although its volume will be about half as the ISS has several modules, according to Taylor.

Seems like Starship would be the only available option in that timeframe.

Offline Zed_Noir

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<snip>
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Starlab is slated to be launched into orbit in 2028. Its diameter of eight meters will be almost twice that of the ISS, although its volume will be about half as the ISS has several modules, according to Taylor.

Seems like Starship would be the only available option in that timeframe.
Provided there is no teething issues with the Vulcan Centaur. A hammerhead payload fairing with interior diameter of slightly wider than 8 meters could be fitted to launch Starlab.

Of course there is the commercial SLS option. ;D  Just kidding, the cost to launch with the orange stack exceeds the manufacturing cost and several years of operating cost of a Starlab unit.

Offline edzieba

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<snip>
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Starlab is slated to be launched into orbit in 2028. Its diameter of eight meters will be almost twice that of the ISS, although its volume will be about half as the ISS has several modules, according to Taylor.

Seems like Starship would be the only available option in that timeframe.
Provided there is no teething issues with the Vulcan Centaur. A hammerhead payload fairing with interior diameter of slightly wider than 8 meters could be fitted to launch Starlab.

Of course there is the commercial SLS option. ;D  Just kidding, the cost to launch with the orange stack exceeds the manufacturing cost and several years of operating cost of a Starlab unit.
There's also the un-faired or partially-un-faired options, as used by Skylab and Salyut.

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https://twitter.com/voyagersh/status/1734622790836162891

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Testing is currently underway for two new @Starlab_Space missions! The #Starlab team is kicking off demonstration missions for an alternative urine processor + a free-space optical link. Check out our blog to learn more about how critical these demos are for #Starlab:

https://voyagerspace.com/insight/announcing-two-starlab-demo-missions/

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December 7, 2023
Announcing Two Starlab Demo Missions

We are excited to share two new milestones for the Starlab space station. As part of our Space Act Agreement with NASA, our team is kicking off demonstration missions for an alternative urine processor (AUP) and a free-space optical (FSO) link. These demonstrations are critical in validating capabilities needed for Starlab.

Reliable access to potable water is essential for human life no matter where you live. On a daily basis, humans require more water by weight for drinking, cooking, and cleaning than oxygen and food combined. Starlab is expected to supply over 7000 kg (15,435 lb) of potable water annually to support crew, science, and station operations. As a result, the Starlab program team has mandated that at least 90% of the wastewater generated on the space station will be purified and recycled to reduce the cost of transporting water from Earth. This in turn requires that urine (and toilet flush water), which comprises over one-third of the metabolic wastewater produced by the crew, be recycled as well.

Given the extremely limited availability of space-rated urine processors (only NASA and the Russian Space Agency have operated them to date), the Starlab team has initiated maturation and ground testing of a full-scale alternative urine processor to drive down cost and technical implementation risk and to leverage increased options in the marketplace for this essential technology.  The AUP test article will be supplied by Paragon Space Development Corporation and the test campaign will be performed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama under realistic operating conditions.

In addition to the water purification system, Voyager Space is developing an optical communications space terminal to be mounted on the Bishop Airlock, the first commercial module attached to the International Space Station (ISS). This technology will serve to establish a high-bandwidth optical communications link between a ground terminal and the flight terminal on the ISS in the absence of accurate attitude knowledge and quantify optical link performance over a range of atmospheric conditions.

This type of high-bandwidth optical communications, supported by Edge computing and AI, is a critical technology needed to support multiple Starlab activities. Data is one of the most valuable research products of Starlab itself, and advanced research is data intensive, requiring demanding communications, high resolution video downlink, and more. Additionally, it’s important that researchers can access and control their payloads from the ground, another driver for high-bandwidth optical communications.

We are planning, with NASA, to conduct testing from the ISS to ground to demonstrate a capability needed for Starlab’s primary market. Our aim is to drive down Starlab’s communications cost, performance, and reliability risks. The anticipated result will also allow for higher data rates and more energy efficient communications compared to that of the traditional radio frequency communication systems.

We are making great strides with our progress on Starlab and are excited about the possibilities these two demonstrations will unfold. Stay tuned for additional updates on Starlab as we head into the New Year!

Offline Zed_Noir

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<snip>
Quote
Starlab is slated to be launched into orbit in 2028. Its diameter of eight meters will be almost twice that of the ISS, although its volume will be about half as the ISS has several modules, according to Taylor.

Seems like Starship would be the only available option in that timeframe.
Provided there is no teething issues with the Vulcan Centaur. A hammerhead payload fairing with interior diameter of slightly wider than 8 meters could be fitted to launch Starlab.

Of course there is the commercial SLS option. ;D  Just kidding, the cost to launch with the orange stack exceeds the manufacturing cost and several years of operating cost of a Starlab unit.
There's also the un-faired or partially-un-faired options, as used by Skylab and Salyut.
Maybe. But the Skylab was 6 meter in diameter compare to the Saturn V launcher's 10 meter diameter and the Salyut was 4 meter in diameter compare to the Proton launcher's core diameter of 4.1 meter. Also both the Skylab and Salyut were derived from upper stages.

The Starlab habitat and workshop module have a diameter of 8 meters. Don't know if it can take the aerodynamic loads without a fairing. Still need to have a nose cone and a boattail fairing adapter. Also will be an unique set of partial fairing hardware without application to anything else, while a payload fairing probably have other payload applications.

Guessing that developing a 8.4 interior diameter payload fairing and partially fairing over the Starlab costs roughly about the same. Plus the full payload fairing might be adaptable for use with the Ariane 6 and the New Glenn. Heck, maybe even with an expendable Starship variant.

Offline Danderman

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https://spacenews.com/airbus-and-voyager-finalize-starlab-joint-venture/

Airbus and Voyager finalize Starlab joint venture

The companies announced Jan. 9 that they completed the formation of Starlab Space LLC, the joint venture responsible for the design, construction and operation of the station.

Offline sdsds

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https://spacenews.com/airbus-and-voyager-finalize-starlab-joint-venture/

Airbus and Voyager finalize Starlab joint venture

The companies announced Jan. 9 that they completed the formation of Starlab Space LLC, the joint venture responsible for the design, construction and operation of the station.

The January 16, 2024 article by Jeff Foust concludes with:
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Starlab Space separately announced Jan. 11 that Jim Bridenstine, the former NASA administrator, will join its board of directors.

Hmm!
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Online BrightLight

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According to Space News through Jeff Foust - SpaceX will launch a fully configured Starlab before the ISS is decommissioned.

"The module will also be manufactured in a shipyard and completely integrated on the ground before launch, eliminating the need for on-orbit assembly. That cuts the manufacturing time in half to three years, he said, and launch costs by more than 80%."

https://spacenews.com/starlab-commercial-space-station-to-launch-on-starship/
« Last Edit: 01/31/2024 01:45 pm by BrightLight »

Here is the official press release.
https://voyagerspace.com/2024/01/31/starlab-space-selects-spacexs-starship-for-historic-launch/

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Washington DC, January 31, 2024 — Starlab Space LLC (Starlab Space), the transatlantic joint venture between Voyager Space and Airbus, today announced the selection of SpaceX to launch the Starlab commercial space station to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Starship, SpaceX’s fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond, will launch Starlab in a single mission prior to the decommissioning of the International Space Station.

“SpaceX’s history of success and reliability led our team to select Starship to orbit Starlab,” said Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Voyager Space. “SpaceX is the unmatched leader for high-cadence launches and we are proud Starlab will be launched to orbit in a single flight by Starship.”

As a continuously crewed, free-flying space station, Starlab will serve a global customer base of space agencies, researchers, and companies, ensuring a continued human presence in LEO and a seamless transition of microgravity research from the International Space Station into the new commercial space station era. Starlab will launch on a single flight, be fully outfitted on the ground, and ready to permanently host four crew members in LEO to conduct microgravity research and advanced scientific discovery.

“Starlab’s single-launch solution continues to demonstrate not only what is possible, but how the future of commercial space is happening now,” said Tom Ochinero, Senior Vice President of Commercial Business at SpaceX. “The SpaceX team is excited for Starship to launch Starlab to support humanity’s continued presence in low-Earth orbit on our way to making life multiplanetary.”

The Starlab team has advanced through multiple program milestones over the past year, including completion of the Systems Requirements Review, System Definition Review, Human in the Loop testing, and more. Starlab Space recently announced a teaming agreement with Northrop Grumman and plans to collaborate with the European Space Agency. Additional Starlab partners include Hilton Hotels and The Ohio State University.

Offline Danderman

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Is there a link that shows how Starship can carry large payloads?

Offline Zed_Noir

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Is there a link that shows how Starship can carry large payloads?
Likely inside a really large payload fairing in place of the payload section in an expendable Starship variant. Don't think SpaceX can developed a chomper style cargo transport with a large cargo hatch prior to ISS retirement. The really large payload fairing could have applications for NRO, USSF & NASA to get very large hardware into orbit.

The expendable Starship variant will be similar in appearance to the SN5 and SN6 prototype Starships minus landing hardware.




Offline Danderman

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Has SpaceX ever published anything about Cargo Starship?

Offline StraumliBlight

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Is there a link that shows how Starship can carry large payloads?

There's the Starship Users Guide, which shows an 8 m maximum diameter for deployable payloads.


Online DanClemmensen

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According to Space News through Jeff Foust - SpaceX will launch a fully configured Starlab before the ISS is decommissioned.

"The module will also be manufactured in a shipyard and completely integrated on the ground before launch, eliminating the need for on-orbit assembly. That cuts the manufacturing time in half to three years, he said, and launch costs by more than 80%."

https://spacenews.com/starlab-commercial-space-station-to-launch-on-starship/
It  would be cheaper to just purchase a basic expendable Starship and outfit it as a Starlab. More usable space, more usable mass, no need to wait for SpaceX to develop a chomper-style reusable cargo Starship.

Offline Robotbeat

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Is there a link that shows how Starship can carry large payloads?

There's the Starship Users Guide, which shows an 8 m maximum diameter for deployable payloads.
Hey, Danderman will just ignore that as it comes from SpaceX. Or at least he did last time he challenged about a Starship proposal and I provided evidence from SpaceX…
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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