Veteran NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman has been tapped by space station developer Vast as its human spaceflight advisor, the company announced Tuesday.

In a statement, Reisman said he is honored to join Vast, which is developing the first commercial space station as well as the first artificial-gravity space station.

“Commercial space stations and artificial gravity space stations are both crucial components of humanity’s future in space,” Reisman said. “The Vast team is well-equipped to meet the needs of the growing in-space economy with a particular focus on the challenges, rewards and safety considerations of human spaceflight.”

Reisman attended the University of Pennsylvania and the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D in 1997.

NASA selected Reisman as a mission specialist astronaut in 1998. He flew three Space Shuttles, including the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 for a 95-day stay on the International Space Station. He returned aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

His second mission was in 2010 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. During these missions, Reisman performed three spacewalks, operated the ISS’s mobile servicing system and served as a flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle.

Reisman also was an aquanaut and served as a crew member on the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) V. He lived in the Aquarius deep underwater habitat for two weeks.

In early 2011, Reisman left NASA and joined the SpaceX team where he served in several roles, most recently as director of space operations. In May 2018, he stepped down from his full-time position to be a professor of astronautical engineering at the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC.

He continues to serve as a senior advisor for SpaceX.

“We are thrilled to welcome Garrett Reisman as our first astronaut advisor,” Vast founder and CEO Jed McCaleb said in a statement. “His unparalleled human spaceflight and industry expertise will undoubtedly prove invaluable to Vast’s mission especially with regard to safety and mission assurance needed to operate a private crewed space station.”

Vast was founded in Berkeley in 2021 with the mission of developing a 100-meter-long, artificial-gravity commercial space station capable of housing more than 40 people at a time. The company announced its move to Long Beach in January of this year.

Since then, the firm has made big moves in advancing its mission. In February, Vast acquired Hawthorne-based startup Launcher, which was developing a space tug and liquid rocket engine. The acquisition tripled the company’s workforce from about 40 to over 120.

The company has announced plans to grow its workforce to 700 employees by the end of 2027.

In May, Vast announced its ambitious timeline that could see scientists, researchers and even private individuals observing Earth from the world’s first commercial space station as early as 2025. The smaller Haven-1, which will not have the artificial gravity component, could launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon as early as August 2025, with the crewed Vast-1 mission launching in the following months.

A second crewed mission could also visit the small space station in 2026.

Vast also purchased Virgin Orbit’s Mojave facility lease, machinery and equipment, and inventory for $2.7 million after the firm—Long Beach’s first small satellite launch company—filed for bankruptcy. The sale was announced in late May.

Vast’s ultimate vision for its massive station with artificial gravity likely will not be realized for at least another decade, President Max Haot previously told the Business Journal. NASA, however, recently selected Vast as one of seven companies that it will lend its expertise to further their collective mission of space exploration.

“Long Beach continues to grow as a nationally significant hub of top space research and technology manufacturing,’’ Mayor Rex Richardson said in a statement to the Business Journal. “Congratulations to Vast for landing Reisman, who is a legend in the industry and will help grow their human spaceflight knowledge.”

NASA taps Long Beach’s Vast for space station development collaboration