Meet the space billionaire who is interested in something other than rockets

News Summary

  • With an acquisition last week of a small space company named Launcher, McCaleb has shown he is serious about building a space station in low-Earth orbit.McCaleb's space habitation company, Vast, emerged publicly last fall with a plan to build space stations that featured artificial gravity.
  • This was significant because NASA and most other space agencies around the world have devoted little time to developing systems for artificial gravity in space, which may be important for long-term human habitation due to the deleterious effects of microgravity experienced by astronauts on the International Space Station.
  • "Any time you have people in space for a long time, whether in orbit around Mars or working on asteroid mining, they're going to want gravity," he said.The first iteration of Vast's space plans will exist in low-Earth orbit, however.
  • He is estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.5 billion and has vowed to invest at least $300 million into Vast Space as it seeks to develop space stations.The first wave of space billionaires, including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and others, were primarily interested in launch.
  • Their first major projects at SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic were to develop space launch systems to bring down the cost of access to space.
  • As NASA continues to fund the development of commercial space stations in low-Earth orbit—Axiom Space, Blue Origin, Nanoracks, and Northrop Grumman are all competing there—Vast intends to go after some of this funding as well.
Enlarge/ An artists concept of a Vast space station with artificial gravity.0 with Theres a new space billionaire, and this one is not interested in launching rockets. His name is Jed McCaleb, [+4942 chars]