The Commercial Space Station Race is Heating Up

One could reach orbit by August 2025.

The race to turn low-earth orbit into a business park is heating up after a startup revealed plans to send up a commercial space station sooner than you might think.

Vast, a space habitation technology company founded in 2021, this week announced plans to launch what it’s calling the world’s first commercial space station, the Haven-1. If all goes as planned, the Haven-1 will reach orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket by August 2025. That’s pretty soon, as in before The Batman sequel is scheduled to be released.

The aggressive timeframe would also put the Haven-1 ahead of Orbital Reef, another commercial space station currently in development from Jeff Bezos-founded Blue Origin.

Haven-1 won’t include all the amenities we’ve grown accustomed to on Earth but it will pack enough features to support lengthy stays. That includes science, research, and in-space manufacturing opportunities; 1000 W of power; 24/7 communications; a large window dome for viewing and photography; onboard Wi-Fi; and room to stretch and rest.

Vast said Haven-1 will initially act as an independent crewed space station before it's eventually attached to a larger space station that’s still in development. The company said it hopes to quickly follow that up with Vast-1, a human spaceflight mission to Haven-1 aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The human crew will spend up to a month on Haven-1 while orbiting Earth, and Vast said it has secured options from SpaceX for additional human spaceflight missions.

Vast said that its long-term goal will be developing a 100-meter-long multi-module spinning artificial gravity space station launched by SpaceX’s Starship transportation system. The company said it will perform spinning artificial gravity experiments on Haven-1 in support of that goal.

The company is currently selling up to four crewed seats on the first mission to Haven-1 and it expects customers will include domestic and international space agencies along with private individuals involved in science and philanthropic projects. You’ll need to contact Vast for pricing details but I’m guessing right now that it will be really expensive.

More in Video