VAST Acquires Launcher to Accelerate Growth

February 21, 2023
El Segundo, California

To accelerate its mission to expand humanity across the solar system by developing long term human habitation in space, Vast has acquired space startup Launcher.

Vast is building an artificial gravity station with many times the volume of the International Space Station in low Earth orbit. While steadily making progress toward this goal, Vast will be partnering with a global array of customers, including from the commercial sector and U.S. and international governments and organizations, for its advanced in-space products.

Notably, this acquisition provides Vast with an established set of talent to accelerate in-house advanced manufacturing and development capabilities as well as spacecraft technologies. In addition, with Launcher’s Orbiter space tug and hosted payload platform, Vast plans to reach orbit this year to develop and test its on-orbit space station components and subsystems.

Launcher, headquartered in Hawthorne, California, was founded in 2017 by Max Haot. As part of the acquisition, all of Launcher’s team members are joining forces with Vast’s fast-growing team. The combined team of over 120 employees will jointly occupy the recently announced 115,000 square-foot Vast headquarters in Long Beach later this year.

Vast will continue the Orbiter space tug and hosted payload products as well as its staged combustion rocket engine E-2, and will focus on liquid rocket engine products instead of developing its own launch vehicle. Orbiter will continue to support current and future payload customers.

Max Haot will join as the President of Vast to help execute the company's vision. In this new role, Max Haot will oversee the Orbiter, E-2 and space station programs as well as engineering, manufacturing, marketing, finance, and facilities teams.

“Our Launcher team jumped at the chance to join Jed’s vision of moving beyond Earth and advancing humanity’s exploration of space. By joining the Vast team, we are able to work with an incredible team of experienced engineering professionals currently at Vast and further

pursue and develop our products and technologies to date, to include our Orbiter space tug and hosted payload products as well as our high-performance staged combustion rocket engine, E-2 . Our investors, customers, and partners are also in full support and excited for what’s next.” said Max Haot, Founder & CEO at Launcher, and now President at Vast.

“The Vast team will be greatly enhanced by combining with the talented and driven people at Launcher. We have all been extremely impressed with what they have achieved so far. Speed of execution is a critical element of our mission and Launcher has shown that this is in their DNA. We are really looking forward to joining forces to accelerate our quest to make commercial space habitation a reality.” says Jed McCaleb, Founder & CEO of Vast.


Vast is a pioneer in space habitation technologies focused on expanding humanity across the solar system. Founded in 2021, the company is assembling a world-class team to build the world’s first low-cost, artificial gravity crewed station so people can live and work in space for long periods of time without the adverse effects of zero-gravity.


Founded in 2017, Launcher develops rocket engines and transfer vehicles to deliver small satellites to orbit. Orbiter, Launcher’s orbital transfer vehicle and satellite platform, is uniquely compatible with third-party rideshare launch vehicles. With Orbiter, Launcher offers rideshare launch services to tailored orbits that best meet a spacecraft customer’s mission needs. Launcher is headquartered in Hawthorne, California.


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