Nanoracks will serve as the prime developer of the Starlab space station, which is expected to reach initial operational capability by 2027, the companies said in a joint release published Thursday.
Lockheed will serve as the technical integrator and manufacturer. Voyager Space, which is Nanoracks’ majority shareholder, will oversee capital investment and strategy for the Starlab development initiative.
The companies will equip Starlab with a Lockheed-built inflatable habitat, a power and propulsion element, metallic docking node, a laboratory system to accommodate science, research and manufacturing activities and a robotic arm for servicing payloads and cargo. The space station is expected to house up to four astronauts to perform research efforts.
“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,” said Jeffrey Manber, co-founder and CEO of Nanoracks.
Manber noted that the industry team is excited to collaborate with NASA and international partners to advance the Starlab development effort.
NASA is backing the development of space stations through the Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Destination project.