Vast, a private space station business, said on Wednesday that it plans to build a commercial space station as early as August 2025.
Following the deployment of the “Haven-1” space station in low-Earth orbit, four commercial astronauts will be sent to the facility on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon ship.
As part of the announcement, those four crewed tickets, including a second trip that will launch no sooner than 2026, are now available for purchase.
Vast Space founder Jed McCaleb has pledged to invest more than $300 million in the company. It aims to create space stations.
The collaboration with SpaceX is critical to make this trip a reality. The Crew Dragon spacecraft will supply part of its life-support systems when docked.
McCaleb stated that the effort had the backing of SpaceX’s leadership. Still, SpaceX’s focus is to create the next-generation Starship rocket.
The SpaceX crew is looking forward to launching Vast’s Haven-1, a commercial spaceship with commercial astronauts, into a 500-kilometer orbit at the same inclination as the International Space Station.
The module will be tested for a few weeks. This will verify that everything functions properly before the first crew launches to Haven-1.
NASA intends to decommission the aging International Space Station by 2030. It will lease crew time on private space stations in its place.
The government agency is sponsoring the construction of four low-Earth orbit commercial space stations. Axiom Space, Blue Origin, Nanoracks, and Northrop Grumman have been chosen to do so.
The commercial space station competition is still open, and Vast expects to compete for part of the funds.
Vast plans to launch a bigger “Starship-class module” in 2028 to suit NASA’s demands. With a seven-meter diameter, this will be roughly twice the size of Haven-1 and will launch atop SpaceX’s Starship rocket.
Vast has released a roadmap of its intentions until the 2040s. It chose to begin with the smaller Haven-1 station. It plans to fly on proven SpaceX rockets sooner. And it will demonstrate the viability of its technology in flight-like conditions, according to McCaleb.
The company intends to conduct artificial gravity experiments on Haven-1, which should be able to achieve lunar gravity. Vast hopes to develop a more robust artificial gravity system with the Starship module later this decade.