NASA, Lockheed Martin and Airbus will create a commercial orbital station Starlab, which will be able to travel independently
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) continues to work on the orbital station project. It will be called Starlab (not to be confused with S.T.A.R. Labs from the DC Comics).
Here's What We Know
Starlab is a commercial station that will be launched into low earth orbit. It is designed for four people and is focused on conducting experiments in space. One of the key features will be an engine that will allow it to move on its own. Neither the International Space Station (ISS) nor China's Tiangong National Orbital Station can boast this.
In December 2022, the space agency announced the allocation of $160 million for design work. Now it became known that the European aircraft concern Airbus has joined the development program Starlab. Also Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin are involved in the project. The first is looking for new sources of funding. It was able to attract Airbus to the project. Lockheed is a technical partner of Starlab.
The volume of the future orbital station will be 340 cubic meters. It will consist of a docking unit, a robotic arm and a GWC compartment where experiments will be conducted. The engine power will be 60 kW. Starlab's launch into low Earth orbit has been pushed back by a year and is now scheduled for 2028.