Latest News

SpaceX’s Starship Rocket to Launch the Starlab Commercial Space Station

By Rachel Jewett | January 31, 2024

      Rendering of the Starlab commercial space station. Photo: Starlab Space

      Starlab, the future commercial space station, will launch on a SpaceX Starship rocket under a new launch agreement announced Wednesday. Starlab Space, a joint venture between Voyager Space and Airbus, announced SpaceX will launch the space station to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) in a single mission. 

      Wednesday’s announcement did not give a specific timeframe, but said that Starlab will launch before the International Space Station (ISS) is decommissioned. NASA plans to fully utilize the space station through 2030, and issued a request for proposals to deorbit the ISS in September 2023. 

      Starlab is one of the commercial space stations in the works as a commercial successor to the ISS, to host representatives from space agencies, researchers, and companies. Starlab Space said the station will be fully outfitted on the ground, and ready to permanently host four crew members to conduct microgravity research. 

      The Starship rocket is not operational and has not reached orbit yet. SpaceX conducted two test flights last year, in April and November

      “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.”