Washington, October 26: With an aim to start a new chapter in the commercial space sector, Billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned Blue Origin and Sierra Space jointly announced that they going to build a commercial space station in low-Earth orbit before the decade is over.
According to a Blue Origin press release, the station will usher in the next chapter of human space exploration and development by supporting the formation of a thriving ecosystem and economic model for the future.
The project, which is called Orbital Reef and is designed to operate as a “mixed-use business park” in space, is backed by groups including Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University. It will include infrastructure and services that will be shared by multiple tenants, such as module berths, vehicle ports, utilities, and other amenities.
The aim of the "mixed-use business park" is to provide the infrastructure needed to scale economic activity and open new markets in space. It will fly at an altitude of 500 kilometers (310 miles) with inhabitants experiencing 32 sunrises and sunsets a day. The station is expected to start operating in the second half of this decade.
Senior vice president of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin, Brent Sherwood, said, "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. 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 discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”
Orbital Reef will provide anyone with the opportunity to establish their address in 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.
Orbital Reef will be operated as a “mixed-use business park” in space. Shared infrastructure efficiently supports the proprietary needs of diverse tenants and visitors. It features a human-centered space architecture with world-class services and amenities that is inspiring, practical, and safe.
As the premier commercial destination in low Earth orbit, Orbital Reef will provide the essential infrastructure needed to scale economic activity and open new markets in space. Reusable space transportation and smart design, accompanied by advanced automation and logistics, will minimize cost and complexity for both traditional space operators and new arrivals, allowing the widest range of users to pursue their goals. The open system architecture allows any customer or nation to link up and scale to support demand. Module berths, vehicle ports, utilities, and amenities all increase as the market grows.