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Mitsubishi Joins Starlab Space Joint Venture

By Abbey Weltman | April 4, 2024

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

Starlab Space, the joint venture between Voyager Space and Airbus, welcomed Japanese multinational company Mitsubishi Corporation as a new strategic partner and equity owner. This partnership, announced on April 4, aims to expand access for the Japanese space economy and industrial base into the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) marketplace by utilizing Starlab’s technologies and capabilities.

Mikito Nakaniwa, division COO of Infrastructure, Ship & Aerospace Division of Mitsubishi said the company is excited to team up with the Airbus and Voyager teams. “Together, Mitsubishi Corporation and Starlab aim to open the commercial Low-Earth Orbit marketplace and create lasting value for global companies and industries.”

Mitsubishi plans to leverage its space research capabilities to improve terrestrial product development and expand access to space-based technologies globally for Starlab. 

CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, Mike Schoellhorn said bringing on Mitsubishi as a strategic partner will bring Starlab space to the “next level” in both innovation and expansion into the Japanese space economy. He said “Our next-generation space station relies on both innovation and experience. Hence Mitsubishi Corporation, a pioneer of space business in Japan since the 1960s with a strong drive for shaping the future, is a perfect addition to our team.”

Starlab is working to design, build, and eventually operate a commercial space station. Starlab will serve a global customer base of space agencies, researchers, and companies, to create a presence in Low-Earth Orbit. Voyager Space and Airbus Defence and Space formed a joint venture for Starlab in 2023.