Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin announces plans for “Orbital Reef” a “mixed-use business park” in space
However, is living in space becoming a reality?
Blue Origin, the spaceflight company founded by Amazon executive chairman, Jeff Bezos announced a new partnership with Sierra Space to develop a commercial space station in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), known as “Orbital Reef.” Through Orbital Reef, Jeff Bezos is planning to make living in space a reality. Also, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX said that he will take humanity to space before 2024.
A “mixed-use business park” as described by Blue Origin, will provide the infrastructure companies need to open new markets in space.
Former three-time NASA astronaut and Sierra Space President, Dr. Janet Kavandi, emphasized the importance of being a part of this creation in opening up commercial research, manufacturing, and tourism station in space.
“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,” Dr. Kavandi said.
Blue Origin and Sierra Space will be developing the commercial space station with backing from Boeing, Genesis Engineering Solutions, Redwire Space, and Arizona State University.
MADISON, a manufacturer of spacecraft and other systems, will be contributing to the production of the new space station.
What is Orbital Reef, and can it host humanity in space?
This station will be built with a Single Person Spacecraft. It would transform spacewalking, provide opportunities for tourist excursions and routine operations.
Boeing will work on the station’s science module, station operations, maintenance engineering plus a crew spacecraft called Starliner.
The baseline configuration will consist of multiple sciences and habitation modules capable of supporting ten people in a space measuring 830 m3 in volume. This is almost as large as the International Space Station (ISS), with an interior volume of 915.6 m3. The design incorporates multiple berths, vehicle ports, utilities, and amenities. It will serve multiple customers. Not to forget the large, Earth-facing windows which will provide visitors with a beautiful view of Earth from space. The station will have “out-of-this-world” research facilities and services which include robotic servicing.
The Orbital Reef station is expected to begin operations in the second half of this decade.