Mitsubishi joins commercial space station venture Starlab

April 8, 2024
Japanese company jumps into ownership stake with Voyager Space and Airbus.

HOUSTON - Starlab Space LLC, a Houston-based company formed by Voyager Space and Airbus, announced that Tokyo's Mitsubishi Corp. as a strategic partner and equity owner. Starlab Space is designing, building, and will operate the Starlab commercial space station.

Starlab notes that Mitsubishi brings extensive expertise and resources to this global partnership. Mitsubishi Corporation is expected to leverage its capabilities using space research to enhance and accelerate terrestrial product development in multiple industries and expand access to space-based technologies globally.

Additionally, this partnership is expected to expand access for the Japanese space economy and industrial base into the LEO marketplace by harnessing Starlab's technologies and capabilities.

Related: ESA, Airbus, and Voyager Space announce MoU for Starlab space station

Nanoracks LLC, part of Voyager's Exploration Segment, was awarded the largest of three Commercial LEO Destinations Space Act Agreements from NASA in December 2021 to create Starlab, a continuously crewed, free-flying space station to serve NASA and a global customer base of space agencies and researchers. The Starlab team has advanced through multiple milestones over the past year, including the successful completion of the SDR and the earlier completion of both the on-orbit science park and the station-level System Requirements Review.

"It's an honor to welcome Mitsubishi Corporation as a partner in our joint venture," said Dylan Taylor, Chairman and CEO at Voyager Space. "Mitsubishi Corporation's customer-centric focus and commitment to innovation aligns perfectly with our vision for Starlab. Together, we'll unlock space technology on a global scale and drive meaningful impact across several industries, from space to ground."

"We are very pleased to welcome Mitsubishi Corporation as a strategic partner in our joint venture with Voyager Space. This brings Starlab Space to the next level on the way to a truly global endeavor," said Mike Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. "Our next-generation space station relies on both innovation and experience. Hence Mitsubishi Corporation, a pioneer of space business in Japan since the 1960s with a strong drive for shaping the future, is a perfect addition to our team."

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