The “orbital” space is privatized. After the rush for space tourism (SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin), place the private orbital space station! Voyager Space, Lockheed Martin and Nanoracks have jointly published a press release announcing the start of the project Starlab, a space station which could in a way be “rented” by private companies. The Starlab has a housing unit (partly inflatable), a laboratory, a propulsion engine and a robotic arm located outside (as on the ISS). The “private” station will be able to accommodate up to 4 astronauts.
Nanoracks and Voyager Space thus wish to place a space station in orbit whose missions would not be decided by a handful of countries but by private customers willing to pay for it. These customers would thus have full discretion to decide on the content of the experiments or work carried out on board the station. The Starlab stands out on another point: its financing is 100% provided by the private sector, which is a first for this type of project (and in passing proves the enormous investment capacity of the private sector).