In space, no one can hear you scream… about how great your business venture is going!
What happened: Airbus is teaming up with space-tech start-up Voyager in a bid to replace the International Space Station (ISS), which is set to be decommissioned by 2031.
- The ISS, a multinational research centre in Earth’s low orbit, launched in 1998. In that time, it’s endured a lot of wear and tear (space is rough) and is on its last legs.
Zoom out: The Voyager-Airbus duo is one of four consortiums NASA awarded a total of $550 million to design a potential ISS successor—Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is another.
- Airbus could give Voyager’s station a leg up, as Airbus is a European company and its participation could allay some concerns from the ISS’ European partners over access to a new station and using taxpayer dollars for a purely US corporate venture.
Why it matters: The replacement wouldn’t just be a stuffy old research centre like the current ISS. It would be a multi-purpose commercial venue open for all sorts of business.
- Admittedly, initial business would probably be research-focused. But following that we could see resource extraction, drug testing, and even Tom Cruise movies.