Scientists, researchers and even private individuals could be observing Earth from the world’s first commercial space station as early as 2026 following the launch of Haven-1 by Long Beach-based Vast Space.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is slated to carry Haven-1 to low-Earth orbit as early as August 2025, Vast announced Wednesday.
“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,” CEO Jed McCaleb said in a statement.
Shortly after Haven-1 reaches orbit, the company plans to launch its VAST-1 mission, which will see a crew of four people visiting the space station for up to 30 days. The company also secured an option with SpaceX for a second mission, VAST-2, in 2026.
Expected customers include “domestic and international space agencies and private individuals involved in science and philanthropic projects,” according to Vast.
A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will transport the four-person crews to Haven-1. Vast is not publicly disclosing pricing information, which will be made available to clients only under nondisclosure agreements, spokesperson Karen Sorenson told the Business Journal. Seats can be reserved here.
These launch deals mark the first time in history that a commercial space station company has contracts for both the launch of its station as well as a visiting human mission.
“A commercial rocket launching a commercial spacecraft with commercial astronauts to a commercial space station is the future of low-Earth orbit, and with Vast we’re taking another step toward making that future a reality,” said Tom Ochinero, Senior Vice President of Commercial Business at SpaceX.
The space station provides science, research and in-space manufacturing opportunities, the company stated. It provides 1,000 watts of power, 24/7 communications and up to 150 kilograms of pre-loaded cargo mass, according to the announcement. Other features include a large window dome for viewing and photography and internet via onboard WiFi.
SpaceX will provide crew training for both missions.
Haven-1 will act as an independent crewed space station before Vast realizes its ultimate goal of developing a 100-meter-long multi-module spinning artificial gravity space station. At that time, the Haven-1 module would become part of the larger station, which will be able to accommodate more than 40 people.
The larger space station is expected to launch aboard SpaceX’s Starship, which is the largest and most powerful rocket ever flown. The heavy lift space vehicle has been in development since 2005.
Despite Starship erupting in a ball of fire during its first test flight, SpaceX and other industry experts hailed it as a success because the rocket flew (made it 24 miles up in four minutes) and because the purpose of the mission was data collection to know what does and does not work.
Due to some of the fallout, including concrete being blasted up to 6.5 miles away and a park being set on fire, the historic mission was not warmly received by all. In fact, environmental groups have sued the Federal Aviation Administration, which approves space launches, for the impacts of the launch. The company, for its part, is making adjustments for future Starship launches.
But SpaceX has time to work out the kinks with Starship as the launch of Vast’s larger space station is not expected for at least a decade or longer, CEO Max Haot previously told the Business Journal. Haot joined the company earlier this year when Vast acquired Hawthorne-based Launcher, which tripled the company’s workforce from about 40 to over 120.
The company previously announced plans to grow its Long Beach workforce to 700 employees by the end of 2027, growth that will be welcome in the city following the bankruptcy of Virgin Orbit, which saw 675 people lose their jobs.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from Vast regarding pricing information.