TechEuropean Space Station to replace ISS

European Space Station to replace ISS

"Visualization of Starlab station"
"Visualization of Starlab station"
Images source: © Licensor | ESA

2:22 PM EST, November 13, 2023

The International Space Station (ISS) is anticipated to retire by 2030. The emerging plans for its successor hint at the birth of a new station called Starlab. This development comes from an agreement signed by the European Space Agency (ESA), Airbus Defence and Space, and Voyager Space.

This trilateral agreement, inked in Seville in November 2023, provides insight into the scale and operations of the forthcoming Starlab. Intended to be more compact than the ISS, the new station is planned to reside in a low Earth orbit.

Starlab - A New Space Station Fostered by Europe

The released visuals suggest that the new station will feature a large living and research module, docking areas for spacecraft, a service module, and a robotic arm. The entire infrastructure will be managed from a singular control center, developed in collaboration with the three participating entities.

Starlab - visualization
Starlab - visualization© Licensor | ESA

In the long run, Starlab aims to support astronaut missions, conduct extended space research, and facilitate commercial enterprises. The station will be built utilizing the latest advancements in robotics, space technology, and artificial intelligence.

Matthew Kuta, president of Voyager Space, highlighted the importance of the agreement with the European Space Agency. "The agreement is crucial as we progress in promoting international cooperation in space. Our goal is to replace the ISS with Starlab. We look forward to collaborating with Airbus and ESA to bolster Europe's presence in space," he said.

International Space Station Nears Retirement

With a remarkable history, the International Space Station is nearing its retirement. The ISS, which launched its first module into orbit 25 years ago, now houses a continually inhabited crew and weighs an astonishing 220,462 pounds. However, the structure showing signs of fatigue could pose a threat to the crew's safety, leading to plans for its replacement.

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