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Starlab By Nanoracks, A Commercial Space Station

An exciting commercial space prospect - a free-flying space station for research!

Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has formed a team to develop the first-ever free flying commercial space station. The space station, known as Starlab, will be a continuously crewed commercial platform, dedicated to conducting critical research, fostering industrial activity, and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth orbit. Starlab is expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2027.

The basic elements of the Starlab space station include a large inflatable habitat, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, a metallic docking node, a power and propulsion element, a large robotic arm for servicing cargo and payloads, and a state-of-the-art laboratory system to host a comprehensive research, science, and manufacturing capability. Starlab will be able to continuously host up to four astronauts for conducting critical science and research.

(Via Nanoracks.)

Science fiction writers have dreamed of laboratories in space, none better than the space laboratory from Crystallized Thought, a 1937 tale by Golden Age great Nat Schachner:

Webb Foster had built his space laboratory. It took five years and the unremitting labor of a thousand men. But when it was finished, the planets marveled, and his fellow scientists ached with possessive longing.

It was a great crystal sphere, a thousand feet in diameter...


(Space Laboratory from 'Crystallized Thought' by Nat Schachner)

Within the vast concavity Webb Foster set up his laboratory. All the normal apparatus was there: huge dynamos powered by solar radiation, giant electrostatic balls, flaring electron tubes high as a building, mass spectrographs, a powerful photo-electric mosaic telescope, delicate immersion baths.

But besides this regular equipment were machines that Webb himself had fashioned: infinitely sensitive wave traps that tapped subspace itself, positron segregators, where those flash-vanishing ephemera of nature could be held indefinitely; strange spiral whirligigs in whose light-approaching speeds time itself seemed to have lost its forward march--and a myriad other complexes of ultra-science.

See also my previous article from 2017 - NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/5/2021)

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