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The spacecraft will launch the Starlab space station into space

The spacecraft will launch the Starlab space station into space

The Starlab private space station project team recently announced that it has selected SpaceX's Starship rocket for its orbital launch. The reason for choosing this missile is due to the company's success and proven reliability in the field of high-speed space launches.

A private station soon in space

As of December 2021, NASA has allocated a total of $415 million To three companies with the aim of developing Commercial space station concepts. The goal of this initiative is to eventually be able to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is scheduled to deorbit in the early 2030s. This way, NASA will be able to maintain a continuous human presence in low orbit.

Among the proposals considered, the Starlab project stands out. Designed in collaboration between Lockheed Martin, Nanorax and Voyager Space, this space station could be deployed by the end of 2020. If so, it would become the first commercial space station in free orbit.

Starlab will provide astronauts with a favorable environment to conduct various scientific experiments in microgravity, covering areas such as matter research and plant growth.

The current structure of the station includes a housing module with an internal volume of about nine cubic metres, a power and propulsion component, and a laboratory. The entire station will have a total volume of 340 cubic metres It will be powered by four solar panels generating 60 kilowatts.

A regenerative Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) will be in place to maintain a permanent crew of four astronauts. In addition, a robotic arm will be provided to manage cargo ships and supervise offshore experiments.

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Illustration of the future Starlab station in orbit. Credits: Nanorax

Launching on board the spacecraft

The team responsible for this project has newly He set his sights on Starship To launch the various units of your station in one shot. As a reminder, SpaceX's giant rocket will soon be able to transport Up to 150 tons of material in low orbit.

For its part, SpaceX welcomed this agreement, adding that this project will help maintain human presence in low orbit as part of its mission to make multi-planetary life possible.

The announcement did not specify a launch location for Starlab, leaving the door open for a launch from SpaceX's Starbase in Texas or from Florida. It is also possible that SpaceX plans to launch some of its Starlink satellites simultaneously on the same mission.