Excalibur Almaz Hardware Headed Somewhere But Not Space

Excalibur_Almaz_capsule
Excalibur Almaz capsule

A couple of updates on Excalibur Almaz, whose Soviet-era space station and capsule were seen being shipped from one location to another on the Isle of Man. Excalibur Almaz Founder and CEO Art Dula told The Independent there wasn’t much to see there:

The company is “still in business and still on the Isle of Man,” he insisted. Refusing to divulge where the equipment is being taken, saying it is “a confidential business matter”. Mr Dula said: “There is a capsule on the Isle of Man, there is a space station on the Isle of Man and they are staying there. I was in communication yesterday with the transport museum in Jurby because we try to keep our equipment so that the public can see it. We think these are good educational exhibits… but they are not just museum exhibits, they are actual spacecraft.”

While “there aren’t any facilities on the Isle of Man for working on this equipment,” the company had gone there because “we got a very nice deal on rent from the Isle of Man government”.

But the lease ran out, which is why the equipment has been moved from the hangar at Jurby Airfield, he explained. There are no launch facilities on the Isle of Man either, which means that the company had never intended to launch missions from there anyway, Mr Dula said.

A report by IOMToday contradicted this report, reporting without attribution the space station and capsule are headed off the island:

This week its Soviet era space station and capsule were transported by JCK from storage at Balthane to the Sea Terminal, from where they are being shipped to Southampton and then onwards to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia….

The company said it was now working with the International Space University in Strasbourg to transform a space capsule into a reusable orbital laboratory used to research microgravity.