European Space Agency signs agreement with Starlab developers to secure ongoing access to low Earth orbit

source :

The European Space Agency has signed a new agreement with the developers of the Starlab commercial space station, aiming to achieve “sustainable access to space for Europe,” the groups said in a statement.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ESA, Voyager Space and Airbus Defense and Space will initially focus on how ESA could use Starlab for astronaut missions and as a long-term research and commercial platform. The new agreement was signed during the European Space Summit in Seville, Spain.

The groups will also explore how ESA could use Starlab as part of an “end-to-end” ecosystem that includes European cargo and crew capsules, similar to how SpaceX’s Dragon capsule transports astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station takes care. ESA announced earlier this week that it was setting up a new initiative aimed at obtaining a cargo capsule from European companies, which could later be developed to carry crew members.

The International Space Station is currently scheduled to retire in 2030. Rather than replace the station with another government-run and funded station, NASA decided to essentially start developing private stations that it could use as an anchor tenant. In December 2021, the space agency awarded a total of more than $400 million to three private station plans, including Voyager Space’s Starlab.

This agreement with ESA is not entirely a surprise; Starlab is a joint venture between Airbus and Voyager and therefore already has strong ties with Europe (Airbus is a European multinational). In a statement, Airbus Defense and Space CEO Mike Schoellhorn noted this long-standing relationship: “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 manned aircraft. and unmanned spacecraft,” he said.

source :

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button