Business Park in Space; Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin plans for ‘Orbital Reef’

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Blue Origin
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Blue Origin, the Aerospace company owned by Mr. Jeff Bezos has announced its plans to launch a commercial space station that will occupy up to 10 people in the second half of the decade.

The station named “Orbital Reef” is a mixed-use business park in space that will facilitate microgravity research and production. It is a joint venture with commercial space companies like Sierra Space, Boeing and Arizona State University.

Blue Origin said the 32,000 square feet station would provide customers with an ideal location for “film-making in microgravity” or “conducting cutting-edge research” and said it would also include a “space hotel”.

The private outpost is one of several planned in the coming years as NASA considers the future of the International Space Station after the 2020s. The space agency holds a contract with a company called Axiom to develop a space station that will initially dock with the International Space Station (ISS) and later become free-flying.

According to reports, the Orbital Reef will fly at a height of 500 kilometers, just above the ISS, with inhabitants experiencing 32 sunrises and sunsets a day.

Brent Sherwood
Brent Sherwood
Senior VP
Adv. Development Programs
Blue Origin

“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.”

Blue Origin’s other planned projects include New Glenn, a rocket that can fly cargo and people into orbit, and a lunar lander, though it lost the Moon contract to rival SpaceX owned by Mr. Elon Musk, and is suing NASA to try to reverse that decision.

Blue Origin was launched in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest man courtesy to e-commerce giant Amazon, with the goal of one day establishing floating space colonies with artificial gravity where millions of people will work and live, freeing Earth from pollution.

Related: UAE Space Agency rolls out $1mn contest to tackle food & climate crisis


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