Tue. Dec 7th, 2021


Blue Origin has more ambitious plans than just space tourism. Today, the Jeff Bezos-owned spaceflight company announced that it is also working to build its own space station. Call Orbital Reef, It promises to be something of an industrial and commercial center and to start work in the second half of this decade.

It will be developed, owned and operated in partnership with Sierra Space, a subsidiary of Sierra Nevada Corporation. Sierra Space is probably best known for this , A spacecraft that will begin operations in 2022 and will carry cargo to the International Space Station. Supported by Orbital Reef Boeing, Redware Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions and Arizona State University. The company hopes to take both cargo and passengers to the orbital reef using Boeing’s Starliner and Sierra Space’s aforementioned Dream Chaser.

Think of the Orbital Reef as basically a “business park,” but in space. In a press release, Blue Origin said the destination “will offer research, industrial, international and commercial customers their much-needed competitive end-to-end services, including aerospace transportation and logistics, aerospace accommodation, equipment accommodation, and ship operations.” Anyone who wants to “place their own address in orbit” can do so.

Blue Origin

Blue Origin says the orbital reef will be livable for 10 people, roughly the equivalent of the International Space Station. It will feature “anthropocentric space architecture” with “world-class services and facilities”. There will be multiple ports for viewing spacecraft and modules. The orbital reef will obviously feature an open system that will enable any client or nation to use it. As the market for such facilities grows, Blue Origin promises to scale facilities and utilities to match the orbital reef.

“Seasonal space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored innovators, and futuristic-minded investors all have a place on the orbital reef,” the company said in a press release.

“For more than sixty years, NASA and other space agencies have built orbital space flights and space accommodations, setting us up for commercial business this decade,” said Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of the Advanced Development Program for Blue Origin. “We will expand access, reduce costs and provide all the services and facilities needed to normalize space flight. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low-Earth orbit, creating new inventions, new products, new entertainment and global awareness.”

Blue Origin’s only successful project is a suborbital tourist program that sends passengers to the edge (and back) of space in New Shepard. It has already flown eight people, including As well as Star Trek . Other projects, e.g. (Which the company wants to use to launch some modules of the orbital reef) and Still in development.

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