Blue Origin’s Plan For A “Mixed Use Business Park” In Space

Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin is teaming up with some heavy hitters in the space industry to launch a commercial space station by the end of the decade. 

Orbital Reef, the future privately owned space station, was described by the rocket and space tourism company as a “mixed use business park” in space that could be used for vacation getaways, hosting science experiments and maybe even in-space manufacturing. 

“The station will open the next chapter of human space exploration and development by facilitating the growth of a vibrant ecosystem and business model for the future,” reads a statement from Blue Origin that was posted on their website on Monday. It also explains that the station will be built in low earth orbit and will start operating in the second half of this decade.

According to CNN, the Orbital Reef will have roughly the same internal volume as NASA’s 20-year-old International Space Station (ISS) and will be able to host up to 10 people. 

Plans for the new station are being announced around the same time that NASA is searching for proposals to replace the ISS, which has funding guaranteed until 2030, but in desperate need of repair. 

Some of the companies that are partnering up with Blue Origin for this new project are Sierra Space, Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions and Arizona State University.

“This is exciting for us because this project does not duplicate the immensely successful and enduring ISS, but rather goes a step further to fulfill a unique position in low Earth orbit where it can serve a diverse array of companies and host non-specialist crews,” said John Mulholland, Boeing vice president and program manager for the ISS in the Blue Origin statement.

It has been a year of ups-and-downs for Blue Origin. The recent launches of their New Shepard rocket, which blasted Star Trek star William Shatner into space once, were covered by the media extensively. However, the company has also been accused of sexual harassment in the workplace and of ignoring serious safety concerns from former employees. 

NYC, NYCTastemakers, space, blueorigin, orbitalreef, iss, nasa,

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