Blue Origin, along with Sierra Space, has announced plans for a commercial space station called Orbital Reef.
The space race is heating up, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic some of the leading commercial companies involved. Blue Origin was recently in the headlines for a flight that included William Shatner, the oldest person to go to space.
The company, along with Sierra Space, is now setting its sights on launching a commercial space station, one that will be “mixed use business park” in space.
Designed to open multiple new markets in space, Orbital Reef will provide anyone with the opportunity to establish their own address on orbit. This unique destination will offer research, industrial, international, and commercial customers the cost competitive end-to-end services they need including space transportation and logistics, space habitation, equipment accommodation, and operations including onboard crew. The station will start operating in the second half of this decade.
The project already has the backing of Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.
“For over sixty years, NASA and other space agencies have developed orbital space flight and space habitation, setting us up for commercial business to take off in this decade,” said Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin. “We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalize space flight. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”
“Sierra Space is thrilled to partner with Blue Origin and provide the Dream Chaser spaceplane, the LIFE module and additional space technologies to open up space for commercial research, manufacturing, and tourism. As a former NASA astronaut, I’ve been waiting for the moment where working and living in space is accessible to more people worldwide, and that moment has arrived,” said Dr. Janet Kavandi, former three time NASA astronaut and Sierra Space president.