Wed. Dec 1st, 2021


After more than two decades in orbit, NASA is preparing to retire to the International Space Station. The habitable satellite is only allowed to operate until 2024 and this could possibly be funded by the space station. Extended to 2028, NASA plans to decommission ISS and make a replacement by the end of the decade. Q Jeff Bezos.

Billionaire’s spaceflight company, Blue Origin, has announced their offer A new, commercial space station Called the orbital reef. With the help of several other companies, including Sierra Space and Boeing, Blue Origin plans to build a satellite that Slightly smaller ISS and up to 10 houses. The design includes desk space, computer, laboratory, a garden and 3D printer. The goal, the agency said, was “Mixed use business park“The concept of orbit and the leasing of office space to interested parties, including government agencies, researchers, Travel company, And if Movie production staff.

Blue Origin’s plan predicts the end of the ISS, which NASA still has. Finding out Exactly how to remove from orbit. Although space stations were helpful for space exploration, Blue Origin senior vice president Brent Sherwood argued A recent op-ed Private companies that now have the potential to take part in low-Earth orbit or LEO’s growing economy. Blue Origin is even building a space tug, a transport vehicle that carries cargo between different orbits, which can be used Part of the rescue from the ISS And include them in the system of orbital reefs.

NASA doesn’t care about the corporate takeover of low-Earth orbit. The company’s first space station, Skylab, Was in orbit for only a few months Before the NASA car could land and rot in the atmosphere. There have been space agencies ISS defending weight, Which has been full of aging hardware for several years, and has already been isolated Through this up to $ 400 million to fund new, privately built and operated space stations Commercial LEO destination Activities. Finally, NASA hopes it can send its astronauts to these stations instead of paying to maintain the ISS. All in all, this plan can save the government more $ 1 billion per year.

“It’s a technology that’s more than 20 years old at the moment. When you expose that infrastructure to radiation, solar weather … things are going to break down, “Wendy Whitman, a professor at the US Air Force’s School of Air and Space Studies, told Kobe Record. “Having these commercial space stations would be a way for America to keep their foot in low-Earth orbit as well as focus more on their resources in search of the moon and Mars.”

Meanwhile, NASA is currently focusing Artemis program, An ambitious plan to establish a long-term human presence on the moon. The agency wants to send people to the moon for the first time in decades in 2024 and hopes the project will eventually serve as a stepping stone to explore the future of Mars. Private companies, including Blue Origin, have fought desperately for a role in this prestigious mission, and in particular a lucrative deal to develop landing technology on the main moon. SpaceX That deal won Earlier this year, Bezos persuaded the company File a lawsuit against NASA And Senate lobby To bring back the decision. Those efforts have yet to bear fruit, so Bezos now seems to be turning his attention to the economy of low-Earth orbit, where there are more customers and less competition from Elon Musk.

But there is reason to believe that the orbital reef project may not be successful in the near future – or at all. Blue Origin has not yet launched humans into orbit, a feat SpaceX achieved last month. Inspiration 4 missions. Blue Origin too List Its new Glen reusable launch system and Boeing’s Starliner crew vehicle Orbital Reef as a major part of the plan, but both vehicles have yet to manage trouble-free space flights.

Blue Origin has released a conceptual rendering of what an orbital reef station might look like.
Courtesy of Blue Origin

Blue Origin is not the only company that wants to replace ISS. About 12 other agencies have already submitted proposals for the space station in NASA’s commercial LEO destination program. Last week a space agency called Nanorax Announcement That it is also building a space station, in partnership with its majority owners Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin. At the same time, NASA has already agreed to pay সংস্থা 140 million to help the space agency Axiom Space build. At least one module, Or detachable space station material, that Will be linked to the ISS. This module will eventually be cut off and connected to several other modules to create a separate, fully functional space station when ISS stops operations. This method is expected to make it easier to transfer the hardware currently in ISS to a new vehicle.

In a statement, a NASA spokesman described the current moment as “a renaissance for human spacecraft.” They added, “As more people fly into space and do more during their spaceflight, it attracts more people to do more activities in low-Earth orbit, and when we started NASA’s commercial crew program 10 years ago 6 reflects the growing market we envisioned “

For NASA, it is also important that at least one of these agencies is successful, and the agency told Record that it could fund up to four of the proposals. After all, time is running out in the ISS, where malfunctions And Old technology and equipment General. Unless private companies take steps to build an alternative, the U.S. government risks a future where there is a human presence on the moon and on Earth and nowhere in the middle.

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