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NASA Increases Value of Contracts With Starlab & Orbital Reef for Development of ISS Successor

Orbital Reef

NASA has increased funding for two commercial space stations meant to succeed the International Space Station, which is scheduled to retire in 2030.

The agency announced Friday that it added $57.5 million for the Starlab station of Voyager Space’s exploration segment, as well as $42 million to the Orbital Reef station conceptualized by Blue Origin.

The award modifications bring the contract value to $217.5 million for Voyager Space, which includes Nanoracks, and $172 million for Blue Origin. The additional funding will support new milestones in each project, such as technology maturation activities for the Orbital Reef and berthing to docking upgrades for Starlab.

“These new milestones will be of immense value to NASA and the partners, and will help ensure we have a smooth transition from the International Space Station to commercial destinations,” says Phil McAlister, director of commercial space at NASA.

The budget comes from a previous agreement with Northrop Grumman, which was chosen by NASA in 2021 but withdrew from the project, as well as other program resources.

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Written by Jamie Bennet

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