Vast expands business structure through the takeover of startup Launcher
Vast, which develops the space station, acquired the startup Launcher. Under the terms of the deal, the entire team involved in the rocket business will become part of the Vast structure, as will its products: the next-generation orbiter and the advanced rocket engine. Startup founder Max Haot will lead Vast.
The Launcher rocket developer received $11.7 million in funding in 2021, bringing its value to nearly $47 million. The company has been in business since 2017. In addition to the U.S. office, the industry has several other offices in other countries.
Vast was mentioned in the fall of 2022 when its head announced plans to build a space station. Jed McCaleb noted that a team of specialists is working on the design of the object, which will independently create an artificial gravitational force by rotation. The station will be located at low levels of Earth’s orbit.
Building a rotating structure that can create gravity itself is part of crypto-billionaire McCaleb’s grand vision. He believes that soon, humans will begin to populate the solar system, and the stations developed at Vast will be the best solution for life beyond Earth.
For now, the startup founder plans to finance the creation of the space structure himself. McCaleb’s fortune is estimated at $2.5 billion, which he has earned in the crypto industry by launching various software projects. Over time, the company will receive income in one form or another, but the monetization mechanism has yet to be developed. In addition, McCaleb has yet to rule out bringing in investment to create the project. Vast also plans to attract major clients, including NASA and other national organizations, to its station.
The Vast’s space vision
The company’s main task is to create a team of experienced engineers capable of solving complex problems. Vast employs 20 people, including former experts from Honeybee Robotics, SpaceX, and Relativity Space.
The company’s idea is to create a large structure that will rotate and create gravitational attraction on its own. Such a decision is due to the fact that natural microgravity has a negative impact on human health when exposed to it for a long time. Initially, the station will be used as a research base in orbit, where astronauts can develop new prototypes and test their functionality in space.
Pulse control and rotation control processes remain the main challenges. In addition, moving the station complicates the docking of other modules. Transportation of the necessary components for the station’s construction is also a challenge. This requires convenient access to seaports or major airports. It is quite difficult to conduct complex testing of the modules on Earth since you must overcome gravity.