Press Release

Excalibur Almaz Space Stations Arrive on Isle of Man

By SpaceRef Editor
January 7, 2011
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Excalibur Almaz Limited (EA), the international commercial space exploration company, is exporting two partially completed Almaz space stations from Russia to the IOM today. The stations and Excalibur Almaz’ reusable return vehicles were developed by EA’s Russian associate, JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia.

The stations will be initially stored, followed by research, testing and possibly completion and launch to orbit. EA’s initial flights to orbit will be in the flight tested Excalibur Almaz Reusable Return Vehicles joined to and supported by service module living and working habitats. The space stations themselves are part of EA’s long-term business plan. It is not economically feasible to launch and sustain them on orbit until the company’s flight rate reaches six or more flights per year. In addition to space tourism, the updated space stations could provide platforms for microgravity scientific experimentation to serve governments and academic institutions. EA Founder and CEO Art Dula said, “This is another significant landmark towards achieving our stated goals with continuing technical support from leading aerospace firms in the US, Europe and Japan.”

“We’re very excited at this latest development involving Excalibur Almaz,” said Tim Craine, Director of the Isle of Man Government’s Business Development Agency. “Bringing the two Almaz Space Stations to the Island is a further exciting development and evidence of the Island’s growing profile and reputation in the space world.”

The Almaz space stations are approximately 11 meters long and four meters in diameter; and are directly related to the module design used on the International Space Station as well as the earlier Russian Salyut and Mir space stations. Other unique features of the Almaz stations include the largest window ever developed for a spacecraft, boasting over two meters of panoramic view of the Earth and stars.

About the Almaz program:

EA has ownership of several Almaz spacecraft, including reusable reentry vehicles (RRVs) and space stations. EA will tailor space missions to accommodate customer objectives including exploration, cargo transportation and experimentation. On selected missions, spacecraft and space stations would provide platforms for microgravity scientific experiments, potentially serving the needs of governments and academic institutions. EA’s spacecraft will consist of two parts: an RRV and an expendable service module to provide crew members with room to comfortably operate during spaceflight. EA will update the Almaz RRVs with flight-proven technologies where appropriate, while retaining tested legacy systems to ensure safety and economy of operation. A critical feature of the RRVs is their reusability, which will reduce logistical, overhead and program costs for commercial access to space.

EA plans for its spacecraft to be compatible with a number of launch vehicles and capable of being launched from worldwide sites.

In addition to NPOM, leading aerospace firms contracting with EA include Space Flight Operations (SFO), a subsidiary of United Space Alliance, of the U.S.; Paragon Space Development Corporation of the U.S.; Qwaltec of the U.S., and Japan Manned Space Systems (JAMSS) of Japan. EA has also formed strategic alliances with academic institutions including Rice University of the U.S and the International Space University of France, and is an Industry Forum member of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute of the U.S.

About Excalibur Almaz:

Excalibur Almaz’s mission is to become the world leader in providing reliable, affordable and routine access to space for exploration, experimentation, and tourism for customers around the world. EA plans to accomplish this by leveraging proven flight tested products and systems from US, European, and Russian space programs to create value, reduce costs and reduce development time. For more information contact Rob Lazaro at

SpaceRef staff editor.