Vast, SpaceX Plan Commercial Space Station As Soon As 2025
Vast and SpaceX plan to launch a commercial space station, named Haven-1, as soon as August 2025.
The small space station would fit in the payload fairing of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle and be launched to a low Earth orbit of about 311 mi. (500 km), Vast said on May 10.
The companies plan for the launch of Haven-1 to be “quickly followed” by the launch of a crewed mission to the space station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. That vehicle would carry four crewmembers and dock with Haven-1 for a 30-day mission.
Long Beach, California-based Vast is selling the four seats for the inaugural mission and says potential customers include space agencies and private individuals involved in science and philanthropic projects. It adds that it has an option with SpaceX for an additional crewed mission to its space station.
“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,” says Tom Ochinero, senior vice president of commercial business with SpaceX.
Vast plans for Haven-1 to initially be a stand-alone crewed space station. Later, it will connect to a larger crewed space station as a module.
By 2028, Vast plans to launch a 7-m-dia. space station module, sized to fit inside SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle. The startup aims to mate seven of those “Starship-class modules” end to end to form a 100-m-long “spinning stick space station” by the 2030s. By spinning the space station, the company aims to use centrifugal force to create artificial gravity.
Haven-1 will also spin to create artificial gravity; although because it is smaller, the force would be equivalent to gravity on the Moon. Vast plans to use the initial commercial space station to experiment with and further develop its artificial gravity technology.
The initial space station will have 1,000 watts of power, continuous communications with Earth and up to 331 lb. of preloaded cargo mass, Vast says. The platform could be used for science, research and in-space manufacturing activities, it says.
As part of the joint project, SpaceX is to provide crew training on Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft, as well as emergency preparedness, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises. The company will also provide partial and full mission simulations including docking and undocking with Haven-1 for return to Earth.