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Nanoracks, Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin Team Up for Commercial Space Station 

By Rachel Jewett | October 21, 2021

The Starlab commercial space station. Photo: Nanoracks

​​Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin are working together to develop the first commercial space station, known as Starlab. The companies announced the collaboration Thursday, and they expect Starlab to be in operation by 2027. 

Nanoracks will be the lead, using its experience in commercial International Space Station (ISS) utilization. It has a commercial airlock, the Nanoracks Bishop Airlock, currently on the ISS. Voyager Space, the majority shareholder in Nanoracks, will lead strategy and capital investment, and Lockheed Martin will serve as the manufacturer and technical integrator.

The Starlab space station will include a large inflatable habitat, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, a metallic docking node, a power and propulsion element, a large robotic arm for servicing cargo and payloads, and a laboratory system to host a research, science, and manufacturing capability. The companies said Starlab will be able to  host up to four astronauts at a time. 

“Our team has spent the last decade learning the business of space stations, understanding customer needs, charting market growth, and self-investing in private hardware on the ISS like the Bishop Airlock. Nanoracks and our team are excited to work with NASA and our friends across the world as we move forward with Starlab,” commented Jeffrey Manber, CEO and co-founder of Nanoracks.