A new billionaire is joining the space race – a crypto tycoon who will launch the first-ever commercial space station in 2025.
Jed McCaleb, CEO of Vast, announced he is working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send Haven-1 into space and ferry astronauts to and from the craft.
McCaleb, whose net worth is around $2.4 billion, is known for developing the first legitimate cryptocurrency exchange – but is now thinking above and beyond.
The bus-sized orbital outpost will be home to a four-member crew in 2026, which could include astronauts and private individuals.
The inaugural 30-day mission will be in 2026, but the cost per seat has not been revealed.
No private company has ever built and deployed a space station, making Vast the first in history if all goes to plan.
Haven-1 is set to launch in 2025, making it the first-ever commercial space station
‘Vast is thrilled to embark on this journey of launching the world’s first commercial space station, Haven-1, and its first crew, Vast-1,’ McCaleb shared in a statement.
‘We are grateful to SpaceX for this exciting partnership that represents the first steps in Vast’s long-term vision of launching much larger, artificial gravity space stations in Earth orbit and beyond.’
McCaleb is an American programmer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who is known for founding the cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox in 2010.
He will back the spacecraft’s development and has committed $300 million to the company.
The total cost for Haven-1’s development ‘remains to be seen,’ McCaleb, also Vast’s CEO, said in an interview.
‘I think it’ll take a bit more than that, but we’ll see.’
Haven-1 is designed to fit four crew members, with room to conduct science, research and in-space manufacturing tasks.
Jed McCaleb, CEO of Vast, announced he is working with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send Haven-1 into space and ferry astronauts to and from the craft. McCaleb, whose net worth is around $2.4 billion, is known for developing the first legitimate cryptocurrency exchange
The bus-sized orbital outpost will be home to a four-member crew in 2026, which could include astronauts and private individuals
Vast is teaming up with SpaceX to not only launch Have-1 into space but also ferry people to and from Earth
Vast will also conduct the world’s first spinning artificial gravity experiment on a commercial space station.
The structure will also include internet access via onboard Wi-Fi and a dedicated room for exercise and rest.
The four-person crew will launch inside a SpaceX Dragon capsule, which has ferried astronauts to and from the ISS, and dock with Haven-1 after the three-day journey.
SpaceX has agreed to provide astronaut training, spacesuits and other necessary services to send the first crew to the ship, which is predicted to last three years in space.
Space tourism will soon be a part of our lives as billionaires spend their money to send the average person into orbit.
e cylinder-shaped orbital outpost features a massive dome window on onside, WiFi and an exercise room
The inaugural 30-day mission will be in 2026, but the cost per seat has not been revealed
READ MORE: NASA will pay $400m to private companies planning to build their own space stations
NASA is set to retire the International Space Station by the end of the decade.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic hopes to start offering trips 62 miles above the surface to the public, possibly as early as this year, although 2024 is beginning to seem more likely.
Then there is Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin which has sent six missions 62 miles above the surface – one of which he was aboard.
Neither company has shared pricing, but then there is Axiom charging millions of dollars to take civilians 250 miles off the ground.
Last year, three businessmen each paid $55 million to become the first-ever all-civilian crew to launch to the International Space Station.
Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy, US entrepreneur Larry Connor, and ex-Israeli Air Force pilot Eytan Stibbe made history when they were fired into space by a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon capsule that took them there.
They insisted it wasn’t space tourism, having trained for almost a year for the mission.
Still, Axiom plans to launch four or five similar missions as a starting point for offering regular trips to orbit for paying customers.