Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos plans a ‘business park’ in space – .

Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos plans a ‘business park’ in space – .

Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company Blue Origin has announced plans to launch a commercial space station into low Earth orbit in the second half of this decade.

Describing the company as a “mixed-use commercial park” in space, Blue Origin and its main project partner, Sierra Space, said it would house up to 10 people in an area of ​​approximately 30,000 feet. cubes.

According to a promotional website, the station, which will be called Orbital Reef, will be a great location for a “space hotel,” “making microgravity films” or “conducting cutting-edge research.” Those on board are said to experience 32 sunsets and sunrises each day, the company said.

It is not known exactly how much investment will be devoted to the project. The announcement comes as Blue Origin is set to miss crucial NASA contracts to compete with SpaceX, including a $ 2.9 billion moon mission currently being challenged by Blue Origin in court.

Orbital Reef’s modules will be launched into space via Blue Origin’s reusable New Glenn rocket, which has been beset by repeated delays.

Other groups involved include Boeing, Redwire Space and Genesis Engineering Solutions. Genesis, based in Maryland, will supply its spacecraft to one person on the project, touted as an alternative to bulky spacesuits when conducting operations outside the station. Arizona State University will lead a consortium of 14 universities that will act as a research advisory board.

“It is exciting for us because this project does not reproduce the immense success and lasting [International Space Station] “Said John Mulholland, Boeing’s program director for the ISS,” but rather goes one step further to fill a unique low Earth orbit position where it can serve a wide range of businesses and accommodate non-specialist crews. “

Shares of Redwire initially jumped around 40 percent on the news, before settling at around 20 percent.

Sierra Space, a newly formed subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, first announced plans to create a space station in April, touting an economic opportunity that is expected to grow to $ 1.4 billion by 2030. The aircraft The company’s space Dreamchaser, which can take off from a runway, is expected to take passengers to the ISS next year.

The decision to create Orbital Reef is one of many efforts to capitalize on the emerging commercial space sector, with the ISS set to be decommissioned later this decade, while it was previously scheduled to be decommissioned by 2024 Its first module was launched more than two decades ago.

“For more than 60 years, NASA and other space agencies have been developing orbital spaceflight and space dwellings, preparing us for commercial takeoff during this decade,” said Brent Sherwood, director of Blue Origin.

“We will expand access, reduce costs and provide all the services and equipment necessary to standardize spaceflight. “

Earlier this year, NASA announced a strategy to ensure a “continuous human presence” in low earth orbit, with private operators being used to “lead the way.”

Axiom Space, co-founded in 2016 by a former ISS program manager, has announced plans to create a space station, but will first attach its own habitable module to the ISS as early as 2024, after winning a contract. of $ 140 million with NASA.

Last week, a team including Lockheed Martin said its Starlab station would be up and running by 2027.


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