Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), which earlier proposed the Von Braun Station, is planning to build an in-space structure known as the Voyager Station, with an aim to complete it before 2030. The Voyager Station will be a 200-meter-wide rotating space habitat in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) able to host 400 people at once, spun for artificial gravity (at the lunar level at first, then Martian). Construction initiation of the Voyager Station will start in 5 years.
OAC’s CTO and Chief Space Architect Dr. Tom Spilker, earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and then worked for more than 20 years as both a scientist and engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the second decade of that as a Space Flight Mission Architect. Spilker worked on NASA’s Voyager, Cassini, and Genesis missions, and was a Co-Investigator for the MIRO instrument on ESA’s Rosetta mission.
Voyager Station’s defining feature is a frame called the ORT, or the Outer Ring Truss, which will be assembled in space using STAR, or Structural Truss Assembly Robot. Currently, the company is finalizing a 40%-scaled-down ground demonstrator of the STAR, known as the DSTAR. With it, OAC is on track to create 90 meters of 3-dimensional truss in less than 90 minutes on Earth by next month.
OAC has also begun work on a 40%-scaled-down flight prototype version of the STAR, the PSTAR, which will build the Gravity Ring, a circular truss in orbit with a radius of 30.5 meters, to be spun for lunar gravity. The Gravity Ring will offer vital data as a research tool for NASA, ESA, JAXA, universities or private companies to explore the benefits of rotation in space exploration and rotating space stations.
Further details of OAC’s plans will be revealed on Jan 29 via a Youtube live stream, which is open to all space enthusiasts. Those interested can register here.