The two companies announced on December 23 that Voyager Space Holdings, a corporation that has purchased many space projects, is taking a controlling interest in the private space station company Nanoracks. Voyager reported that it would take a controlling stake in the XO Markets, Nanoracks’s parent company. No details of the deal were revealed by the firms. In response to the questions about the details of the deal, Jeff Manber, who serves as the chief executive of Nanoracks, stated, “Voyager is committing resources to this arrangement and the future based on needs, helping us to fulfill future demands.”

Nanoracks reported in September that, in partnership with the investment bank by the name Cambridge Wilkinson, it was focusing on a $20 million financing round to finance its potential operations. Nanoracks spokesman Abby Dickes said that this phase is in place of the Voyager deal. “With the Voyager group, rather than a simple Series B, Nanoracks chose for long-term scalability,” she said. Formed in the year 2009, Nanoracks began by flying tests to International Space Station. It extended to launch satellites, planning to launch cubesats as well as other tiny satellites to the ISS from the Japanese airlock there.

Demand for these facilities for satellite launch prompted Nanoracks to build Bishop,  a commercial airlock that can serve the purpose of satellite release and experiment hosting. Earlier this month, Bishop got flown to the station on the SpaceX commercial cargo flight and connected to the station on December 19 by the Canadarm2 robotic arm. Manber added in a statement about the contract with Voyager, “My team and I have progressed over the past few years to expand Nanoracks from the garage-based venture into the first commercial space firm with customers.” “With Voyager, we are confident in the ability of our enhanced team to continue delivering game-changing technology across the industry.”

Via its Outpost initiative, where it transforms upper levels of launch vehicles into the modules, Nanoracks has addressed long-term proposals to build commercial space stations. In 2021, Nanoracks plans to run the first in-space test of the technology.

The idea of transforming upper stages into modules for space stations is not new. Still, Nanoracks claims that robotic technology advancements will make it possible to make such transformations with minimal human labour. “The idea was also endorsed in the framework supporting the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress December 21 for the financial year 2021, that directed NASA to “an examination of the advantages and the challenges of making use of the repurposed upper stages as the free-flying platforms.

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