NASA has released the selection statement that lays out the space agency’s reasoning for awarding Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman a total of $415.6 million to develop plans for private space stations under the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) program. The facilities are designed to maintain a permanent U.S. presence in Earth orbit when the International Space Station (ISS) is retired in 2030.
In this story, we’ll look at the Nanoracks’ Starlab station. The project summary is drawn from publicly available information. Excerpts from the selection statement follow. Long paragraphs in the latter have been broken up to improve readability. Acronyms have been spelled out for the sake of clarity.
COLUMBIA, Md. (USRA PR) — Universities Space Research Association (USRA) has been selected by Nanoracks and Voyager Space –along with ZIN Technologies, The Ohio State University, and the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation–to join the founding leadership team in charge of supporting the development of the Starlab George Washington Carver (GWC) Science Park. The GWC Science Park will leverage a successful terrestrial business model where scientists and industry members share findings, collaborate, and use new technologies to advance both scientific and commercial endeavors.
Starlab to anchor NASA’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Destinations project as the space economy continues to grow
DENVER, December 2, 2021 (Nanoracks PR) — Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has been awarded a $160 million contract by NASA to design its Starlab commercial space station as part of the agency’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Development program. Starlab will enable NASA’s initiative to stimulate the commercial space economy and provide science and crew capabilities prior to the retirement of the International Space Station (ISS).
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has signed agreements with three U.S. companies to develop designs of space stations and other commercial destinations in space. The agreements are part of the agency’s efforts to enable a robust, American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.