A rendering of an operational Orbital Reef commercial space station. Credit: Blue Origin
In partnership with Sierra Space, Blue Origin announced plans for a commercial space station to be built in low Earth orbit by the end of this decade.
Called “Orbital Reef,” Blue Origin and Sierra Space expect the station to function as an orbital “mixed use business park” designed to open multiple new markets in space. It is expected to offer customers “competitive end-to-end services,” including transportation, logistics, habitation and operations.
“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,” Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin, said in a company press release on Oct. 25, 2021. “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 new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”
The complex, which is expected to begin construction in the second half of this decade, is to be an open system architecture that allows any customer or ...