Billionaire wants to build spinning space station for testing artificial gravity

Capitalism in space: Billionaire Jed McCaleb, who earned billions in software and cryptocurrency, has started a company dubbed Vast to develop and build a spinning space station for testing the pros and cons of artificial gravity.

McCaleb is self-financing at the moment, though he hopes to turn his station eventually into a money-making proposition. His company is also right now very small, but he clearly is going for the best in who he is hiring:

Currently, the company has about 20 employees, including Kyle Dedmon, former SpaceX vice president for construction and facilities; Tom Hayford, a systems engineer who has worked for Relativity Space and SpaceX; Molly McCormick, a former SpaceX human factors engineer and Honeybee Robotics program manager; and Colin Smith, a former SpaceX propulsion engineer. In addition, former SpaceX vice president Hans Koenigsmann is advising the company.

This new private space station joins by my count the four other American private space stations now proposed, including Axiom’s station, a partnership led by Sierra Space building Orbital Reef, Nanorack’s Starlab station, and Northrop Grumman’s upgrade station based on its Cygnus freighter.

That’s five private space stations under development in the United States. And there could be others that I have missed.