SpaceX and startup promise to put world’s first private space station into orbit | CNN

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VAST — a California-based startup and one of the newest entrants into the world of privatized spaceflight — plans to use a SpaceX rocket to launch it. Think shuttle passengers to and from the world’s first commercial space station and orbital outpost.

It’s unclear how much the deal, announced Wednesday by Vast, will cost. Company leadership declined to comment on the matter to CNN. It is not clear how much it will cost for visitors to the proposed space station, which may include professional astronauts or tourists.

Vast’s founder and CEO Jed McCaleb, who previously made his fortune in the cryptocurrency business, said in a statement that the company is “thrilled to embark on this journey to launch Haven-1, the world’s first commercial space station and its first.” Staff, wide-1.”

McCaleb said he is investing $300 million of his own money and doesn’t plan to seek outside investment for Vast until the company builds and generates revenue for its proposed space station. He said they agreed the overall project would cost them more than $300 million.

It is not certain that Vast will be the first company to put a private space station into orbit. Vast says the launch date is targeted as early as August 2025. However, developing a space station is an extremely complex endeavor that requires extensive testing and key technology such as life support systems.

McCaleb said Vast will benefit from leveraging life support systems already developed for SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, which the company plans to use to transport passengers to its space station.

Vast will equip its Heaven-1 space station with essential supplies such as oxygen and other life-sustaining materials, but the company will not have to develop a life support system from scratch, McCaleb told CNN.

Other companies — including several with support from NASA — are also working to develop private space stations. NASA, along with its global partners, is seeking to use a privately developed space station to replace the aging International Space Station, which has been in low-Earth orbit continuously since 2000.

The Biden-Harris administration and officials from Canada, Japan and European Space Agency participating countries authorized the ISS to remain operational through 2030. But Russia, the International Space Station’s other major partner, said it would guarantee participation. 2028.

It’s unclear how much of the $300 million McCaleb will release for the Haven-1 project. Vast did not share financial details about the deal with the company.

“Dragon team And the team and leadership (at SpaceX) really want to build a Falcon 9-based space station,” he said. Max Hot, Vasts President. Hot headed the aerospace company Launcher before its acquisition by Vast In February. “So we’re very compatible.”

The spacious, simple, single-structure Haven-1 space station will be able to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX’s workhorse launch vehicle for more than a decade.

A rendering provided by VAST shows the company's proposed Haven-1 commercial space station.

After sending the spacecraft into orbit, SpaceX will train four as-yet-unnamed crew members for the mission, called Vast-1.

“Four crew seats are widely sold in the inaugural mission to Haven-1,” the company said in a news release. “Expected customers include domestic and international space agencies and private individuals involved in science and philanthropic projects.”

Initially, the company plans to operate the Haven-1 independently, floating freely in Earth’s orbit. Later, the company plans to assemble the spacecraft as a module to a larger space station.

Vast said its ultimate goal is to create a massive orbital space station with artificial gravity that could be launched aboard the SpaceX Starship vehicle, a rocket still in development, which blasted off in mid-air during its inaugural test flight in April.

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