Why space?The expansion of humanity beyond Earth is important for many reasons. People crave a frontier, and there is none greater than taking our first real step into space. Humans can perform assembly and repair tasks that robots are nowhere near being able to do. And, we need more resources and the room to use them without destroying our one biosphere—while Earth is finite and fragile, space is vast.Why now?We’ve seen visions of large numbers of people living and working in space since the 1950s. But the high cost of launch has repeatedly brought those dreams down to Earth. Now however, that is changing. Launch costs have already come down two orders of magnitude . The impending availability of Starship and other next-generation launch vehicles promises to transformationally reduce the cost of launch even further, enabling much larger structures and grander visions than any current player is proposing. Everyone else is designing for legacy launch vehicles while we’re designing for the scale of what’s next.When enough people are living, working, and playing in space, the game fundamentally changes: you can assemble huge structures, harvest space resources, repair satellites & space telescopes with human dexterity instead of finicky robots, and develop the vibrant space ecosystem that enables further expansion.Why Vast?Space is still dominated by large government contractors with little incentive to take risks, resulting in calcified and expensive designs. SpaceX and other NewSpace companies have demonstrated that agility, first-principles thinking, and approaching problems at sufficient scale can drastically reduce the cost of operating in space. What they have done for rockets and satellites, we will do for human habitation, first in LEO, and then beyond. We have both the monetary resources and the talented team to achieve this vision. Join us.
While looking up former SpaceX space suit expert Molly McCormick (because of the planned EVA during Polaris Dawn) I stumbled across Vast.McCormick's position "Space Station Engineer at Vast" sounds interesting. Do we know anything about that company (privately held, established in 2021)?
I note they have v^2/r written at the bottom of their "about us" page. This is the right-hand side of the equation for centripetal acceleration (a = v^2/r), so I presume they are thinking about spin gravity.
Artificial GravityVast’s 100m long space station can house a population of 40+. The station spins to provide Earth gravity at its outer extremities and partial gravity along its length for Mars, Moon, and asteroid analog environments.Zero GravityVast’s free-floating modules provide large, customizable volumes for customers seeking pure weightlessness with regular access to the amenities and/or personnel available on the spinning station.
QuoteWe have both the monetary resources and the talented team to achieve this vision. Join us.
We have both the monetary resources and the talented team to achieve this vision. Join us.
They updated their website again, this time they have a picture!! Time for some Kremlinology...Wow, seriously impressive engineering here.
Looks like the 100 meter long dumbbell station is made from 11 separate modules, each one its own independent spacecraft (see double-line gaps, RCS "dots" ala Axiom). The modules are all ~6 m diameter and ~8 m long, except the core (spin axis) module and one end, which are both ~13 meters long.This is definitely assuming Starship as its launch vehicle. No surprise since they're SpaceX alums. The basic modules fit neatly inside the 8 m tall cylindrical part of the payload bay, and the longer modules go riight to the edge of the allowed envelope in the Starship User's Guide.
The 6 meter diameter allowsextra space inside the fairing, giving flexibility to easily mount equipment to the outside (like the Chinese space station).
There are 37 visible "rings", so each is ~2.70 m tall. That's 8' 10", so we're probably looking at the "floors" of the station. The astronaut on EVA also gives a sense of scale.
Each standard module has 2 visible "bumps" on either side where each pair of solar panels mount. There are 22-24 total (consistent with 11 modules), but only 18 have PV mounted. The core (spin axis) module has unpopulated mounts, indicating solar panels arerelocated during the assembly process. The longer end module has four mounts instead of two. Interim power module?
Presumably this is to done balance the asymmetric mass distribution during incremental (one-at-a-time!) assembly, minimize ballast mass redistribution. This might also explain the misfit oversized end module: it switches ends each time, balancing out half the imbalance from adding one-at-a-time vs two.
The door/hatch along the central axis is huge. Roughly 3 meters by 3 meters, with rounded corners like CBM.
I still can't tell what the circles and lines on the end mean. I think they might just be artistically-done ellipses, indicating the possible continued addition of modules on each end. They're also asymmetrical — non-androgynous interface? Really guessing here.
Most impressive I'll say! Looks simple, but a lot of thought went into it (like Starship, I suppose).
Not sure why they wouldn't maximize the diameter. Starship payload guide shows up to 8m in diameter for a 8m length payload, and when you reduce down from 8m to 6m in diameter you lose more than 2x the volume. Would be interesting to understand their concerns there.
Quote from: jpo234 on 02/15/2022 01:19 pmQuoteWe have both the monetary resources and the talented team to achieve this vision. Join us.If they have the monetary resources, that would have to be a boatload of cash. Any idea about who is funding them?
I had looked at a baton design quite a while ago, but my assessment was that it is highly unstable for any docking maneuvers.
Not sure why they wouldn't maximize the diameter.
You can always add "stuff" to the outside after launch
Remember they have to assemble all the modules together anyways, so there will be spacewalks for construction.
For a 1st generation rotating space station I don't think it makes sense to break out the walls between modules, it would be best to keep each module as independent from a pressure standpoint.
And in any case, they will need a big ladder running up the middle in order to travel along the entire length of the station, regardless how "tall" the levels are.
The image is probably just a generic one for now, so I wouldn't think we should read too much into details.
That sounds complicated. The easiest way to assemble the station is to do so when it is NOT rotating.
after construction is complete ... they can monitor the actual balance of the station.
Thanks for making this visible on NSF!
The public has an idea of what a rotating AG space station looks like, and that ain't it.
Quote from: Coastal Ron on 08/20/2022 04:55 pmNot sure why they wouldn't maximize the diameter. Starship payload guide shows up to 8m in diameter for a 8m length payload, and when you reduce down from 8m to 6m in diameter you lose more than 2x the volume. Would be interesting to understand their concerns there.Perhaps to allow them to launch aboard New Glenn as well? Assuming most modules are 13m long and 6m in diameter, then the most recent NG PUG I can find without emailing Blue means it won't quite fit, but if they're slightly smaller (or a bit shorter), then that gives Vast another option.
The founder also founded Ripple, an early (relatively speaking) scamcurrency.
The American entrepreneur received 9 billion units of XRP back in 2012 together with other co-founders.
Vast’s 100m long space station can house a population of 40+. The station spins to provide Earth gravity at its outer extremities and partial gravity along its length for Mars, Moon, and asteroid analog environments.
Quote from: Coastal Ron on 08/20/2022 04:55 pmI had looked at a baton design quite a while ago, but my assessment was that it is highly unstable for any docking maneuvers.Why?
Quote from: Coastal Ron on 08/20/2022 04:55 pmNot sure why they wouldn't maximize the diameter.No need. The challenge is minimizing the minimum viable size, not maximizing it.
I suspect, like I said, that they're taking a page from the Chinese space station.
Quote from: Coastal Ron on 08/20/2022 04:55 pmYou can always add "stuff" to the outside after launchOne of the major lessons of ISS is that assembly EVAs are really expensive.
Baton style stations have the end-to-end rotation as their primary axis of rotation, but no natural secondary axis of rotation.
I'm not understanding that at all. Because in that case you'd think they would focus on module length by creating a 3.5m diameter station x 17.24m long modules that can fit in the Starship, and have LOTS of room left over on the outside.
The Chinese space station is based off of the Soviet zero-G space stations, and both of those were designed on limitations that likely don't apply today for 1st generation rotating space stations.
Everything about the ISS was expensive because A) it was HUGE, and B) it relied on a transportation system that cost (on average) $1.2B per launch. Lower the cost of launch, and use existing crew transportation systems, and EVA's won't be anywhere near as expensive.