Vast Haven-1 station inside Falcon-9 fairing
SpaceX and the private space station company Vast today revealed a deal whereby SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket to launch VAST’s first space station module, dubbed Vast Haven-1, followed soon thereafter by two manned missions using SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and lasting up to 30 days.
The announcements claim that first launch will occur by August 2025, which will make it the first privately-owned manned space station to reach orbit, well ahead of the plans by the three space station companies that NASA has issued contracts (by teams led by Northrop Grumman, Sierra Space, and Nanoracks). The only other private station hoping to beat this date, Axiom, won’t be flying independent, but will be attaching its first module to ISS in 2024.
In addition, Vast says that this module will be the incorporated into its proposed larger spinning-wheel station.
Vast is owned and financed by billionaire Jed McCaleb, who doesn’t need NASA seed money for development. In fact, it appears he and SpaceX want to remain as independent of the government as possible, considering the high fees NASA is charging to dock and stay at ISS as well as the stringent research rules it is demanding from private astronauts. This approach also appears to be the same one that Jared Isaacman is taking with his series of private missions on Dragon and Starship.
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