DENVER, Sept. 6, 2023 – Voyager Space (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, today announced the successful installation of a new, self-built payload, Gambit, to its Bishop Airlock on the International Space Station (ISS). This achievement marks a unique milestone for the Bishop Airlock, introducing advanced testing capabilities to its external payload sites, and setting the stage for enhanced utilization of the ISS.
The Bishop Airlock, launched in December 2020, is the first permanent, commercial addition to the ISS, and features six external payload sites. One of Gambit’s primary goals is to serve as a testing platform to demonstrate robotic transfer and installation processes at these external sites. Equipped with a suite of sensors, Gambit will also provide critical and detailed data on external payload operations. Its sensors will verify the functionality of the Bishop Airlock’s external sites and gather environmental data critical to future payloads. This data will be invaluable in ensuring the success of upcoming scientific missions and commercial endeavours, both poised to leverage these sites.
“Gambit’s successful installation is not only cause for celebration within the Voyager Space team, but also across the broader space industry,” said Matt Kuta, President, Voyager Space. “With its suite of sensors, robust data collection capabilities and innovative robotic development, Gambit exemplifies the potential of the Bishop Airlock’s external payload sites and enhances the ability of the ISS and future space stations, like Starlab, to conduct new, groundbreaking research and host exciting commercial ventures.”
Transported to the ISS within the pressurized stowage of NG-19 in 2023, Gambit was transferred from inside the station to the Bishop Airlock external site using the Nanoracks Payload Transfer Flight Support Equipment (FSE). Installation of Gambit was completed on August 28, 2023. Both the Bishop Airlock and Gambit were designed and built by Nanoracks, which was acquired by Voyager in 2020 and is now part of Voyager’s Exploration Segment.
“Thanks to the advanced robotics employed in the installation process, Gambit will be relocated to different external sites on a regular basis,” continued Kuta. “This strategic maneuvering will allow Gambit to capture a diverse range of data and images, enriching our understanding of the space environment today and into the future.”
Voyager and Nanoracks have a legacy of mission management on the ISS; this work continues those ISS accomplishments and prepares for our future beyond the ISS. The Bishop Airlock and Gambit will provide invaluable insights as Voyager, in partnership with Airbus Defence and Space, develops, builds, and operates Starlab, a commercial space station planned to succeed the ISS. A recently announced transatlantic joint venture between the two companies aims to bring together world-class leaders in the space domain, while further uniting American and European interests in space exploration.
About Voyager Space
Voyager Space is dedicated to building a better future for humanity in space and on Earth. With over 35 years of spaceflight heritage and over 2,000 successful missions, Voyager is powering the commercial space revolution. Voyager delivers exploration, technology, and defense solutions to a global customer base that includes civil and national security agencies, commercial companies, academic and research institutions, and more.
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