Vast acquires Launcher, announces plans for artificial gravity space stations
February 22, 2023
Vast, El Segundo, California, USA, has acquired Launcher, Hawthorne, California. As part of the deal, all of Launcher’s team will be absorbed, including Launcher’s founder, Max Haot, who will act as president. This follows on from the two companies signing a letter of intent in November 2022.
Jed McCaleb, founder of Vast, has stated that Vast will continue the Orbiter space tug and hosted payload products as well as its staged combustion rocket engine E-2. Orbiter will continue to act as a commercial product, honouring its current five customer contracts and intended to sign more.
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Despite a power system malfunction waylaying Launcher’s first Orbiter mission, Haot has stated that odds are high that Orbiter will be a stable platform by the end of 2023. Launcher was also developing an in-house launch vehicle, but this programme will be discontinued.
Vast and Launcher did not provide further detail about upcoming Orbiter missions or any future timelines, but stated that the first space station launched by Vast will be zero gravity, followed by stations with artificial gravity.
To date, McCaleb has been funding the venture and plans to continue in this way until the company sees a revenue stream. He has stated that Vast intends to bid for funding under NASA’s Commercial low Earth Orbit Development (CLD) programme, which was established to support private space stations upon the retirement of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2030.
More on Launcher and metal Additive Manufacturing…
In the Winter 2020 issue of Metal AM magazine, Nick Williams spoke to Launcher and PBF-LB AM machine maker AMCM GmbH about how metal Additive Manufacturing enabled its full-sized E-2 liquid rocket engine to deliver high-performance at the lowest cost for smaller space launch vehicles.
Read the article to learn more about Launcher and how AM is enabling the new Space Race.