This upstart is selling tickets for a SpaceX trip to the world's first private space station
30 days with three other people in a double-width shipping container built by a crypto billionaire. What's not to like?
Aerospace startup Vast has announced plans to launch the world's first commercial space station atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The California company, founded in 2021 by cryptocurrency billionaire Jed McCaleb, wants to launch and operate 2001-A-Space-Odyssey-style spinning space stations holding hundreds of people by the 2040s.
The outfit's first and more modest effort, dubbed Haven-1, has been given a launch date of 2025 at the earliest.
Haven-1 will be ten meters long and four wide, about double the width of a 40-foot shipping container but a little shorter. It can provide 1,000W of power to residents, and boasts 24/7 communications to the ground and internal Wi-Fi.
The habitat will eventually connect with others into a 100-meter-long spinning space station currently being designed by the biz.
Some of those modules will launch on SpaceX's super heavy-launch vehicle Starship - presumably once Elon Musk and friends figure out how to stop it blowing up.
At first, Haven-1 will act as a tiny space hotel. A second follow-up mission, Vast-1 will being its first four human guinea pigs guests using SpaceX's Dragon capsule. Visitors will stay for up to 30 days.
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Vast has started selling tickets for its first crewed mission (at an unspecified price) and wants its customers to come from domestic or international space agencies or wealthy individuals involved in science and philanthropy. Passengers to the private space station will receive training to execute emergency procedures inside SpaceX's rocket, the Haven capsule, and be provided with a spacesuit and rations for the trip.
"Vast is thrilled to embark on this journey of launching the world's first commercial space station, Haven-1, and its first crew, Vast-1," McCaleb said in a statement. "We are grateful to SpaceX for this exciting partnership that represents the first steps in Vast's long-term vision of launching much larger, artificial gravity space stations in Earth orbit and beyond."
"A commercial rocket launching a commercial spacecraft with commercial astronauts to a commercial space station is the future of low-Earth orbit, and with Vast we're taking another step toward making that future a reality," enthused Tom Ochinero, senior vice president of commercial business at SpaceX.
Vast isn't the only company that wants to build private, commercial space stations. Axiom Space is currently constructing components for its first module, designed to attach to the International Space Station and launch in late 2025.
"Vast's mission is to enable a future where millions of people are living across the solar system," McCaleb previously said.
"The solar system has an incredible amount of resources. If we had access to those resources, our civilization could grow and thrive while preserving our planet," he added. "Once large populations of humans can live in space, we can create the industry and infrastructure needed to access those resources at-scale." ®