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ESA, AIRBUS, AND VOYAGER SPACE ANNOUNCE MOU FOR STARLAB SPACE STATION

The MoU outlines that the parties intend to commonly foster science and technology development and explore the potential for collaboration in conjunction with post-International Space Station low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

The European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defense and Space in Taufkirchen, Germany, and Voyager Space in New York have signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the ESA Space Summit in Seville, outlining their collaboration for the Starlab space station in the post-International Space Station era.

 

The MoU outlines that the parties intend to commonly foster science and technology development and explore the potential for collaboration in conjunction with post-International Space Station low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations.

 

The collaboration will initially focus on, but is not limited to, exploring opportunities for sustained access to space for Europe through the Starlab space station. These could include:

 

Access to the Starlab space station for ESA and its member states, for astronaut missions and sustained long-term research activities as well as commercial business development.

Contributions to research projects on upcoming missions, leveraging European technology across various fields, including (but not limited to) advanced robotics and automation/artificial intelligence, and advancing European science priorities, such as health and life sciences.

Establishment of a complete ‘end-to-end’ ecosystem comprising the Starlab space station as a low-Earth orbit destination and a potential ESA-developed European transportation system (cargo and crew), leveraging standardised interfaces in the interest of an open access policy.

This news reflects ESA’s desire to enable a smooth transition from the International Space Station towards the sustained exploitation of human and robotic infrastructures in low-Earth orbit after 2030, including through commercial services.

 

“ESA appreciates the transatlantic industry initiative for the commercial Starlab space station, and the potential that its strong European footprint holds for significant European industrial and institutional contributions to, and use of, said station,” said Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency. “Our teams are looking forward to working closely with the Starlab teams here in Europe and in the US.”

 

“This agreement with the European Space Agency is critical as we continue to foster international collaboration in the space domain and move towards succeeding the International Space Station with Starlab,” said Matt Kuta, President, Voyager Space. “We look forward to working with Airbus and ESA to extend Europe’s footprint in space and ensure they remain a leader in the new generation of commercial space exploration.”

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