SpaceX's giant spacecraft is used to launch the giant steel Starlab space station

Starlab Space's upcoming space station is so big and heavy that only the mighty SpaceX Starship megarocket can propel it into orbit, but the on-time delivery option comes with distinct advantages.

Starlab Space, like many commercial companies, is racing to launch a commercial space station in anticipation of the arrival of the International Space Station. Retirement in 2030. The company, a joint venture between Colorado-based Voyager Space and Europe's Airbus, announced Wednesday that it has secured a launch provider for the mission, and it's a company you've probably heard of.

It's definitely SpaceX. The Elon Musk-led space agency will use its Starship megarocket for the lifting tasks required due to the size and weight of the space station of the same name, called StarLab. “SpaceX's history of success and reliability led our team to select Starship to launch into orbit. Starlab,” said Voyager Space President and CEO Dylan Taylor Report“Starlab will be launched into orbit in a single flight by Starship,” he said.

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Bigger rockets allow you to do bigger things. In this case, they make it possible to launch an eight-meter (26-foot) wide space station constructed of stainless steel. Revealing the specifications at a German technology fair last November, Manfred Zamann, vice president of low-Earth orbit and sub-orbital programs at Airbus, said Starlab would be too large and heavy for any launch vehicle currently in service or under development. Like Space News reportsStarlab's exact weight is still unknown. But Starship, made of stainless steel (which I feel is a fetish), has a projected lift capacity of 150 metric tons into low Earth orbit, also known as LEO.

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Of course, Starship isn't ready for prime time yet. The MegaRocket has completed two test flights to date, with a third scheduled for February. Determining an exact timeline for the rocket's operational flight certification is difficult given its highly experimental nature. Powered by 33 Raptor engines, this two-stage rocket is the largest and most powerful ever built and is designed to be fully reusable.

Arriving in LEO in 2028, Starlab will be fully equipped on the ground for hassle-free operations, eliminating the need for space assembly. , saving time and costs. as Voyager space captain Matt Guda said Payload: “The importance of one launch into orbit, not two, three or four, in completing the contract cannot be understated. The plan.”

Once operational, Starlab will continue to host a crew of four astronauts who will conduct a series of experiments. Using its orbital position, these experiments will take advantage of conditions such as microgravity and exposure to the radioactive space environment. Starlab Space intends to use the station to serve NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), various researchers and commercial companies.

Over the past year, the Starlab team has achieved major milestones such as systems requirements and definition reviews, along with human-in-the-loop testing. The company plans to collaborate with ESA, Hilton Hotels and Ohio State University. Starlab Space has recently undergone significant changes; Lockheed Martin has been replaced by Northrop Grumman, which will provide its autonomous Cygnus spacecraft for cargo missions. Anticipating its future space station needs, NASA has supported this initiative. By $217.5 million investment In association.

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Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

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