Mixed Use Space

Blue Origin plans to launch mixed use space station by 2030
Orbital Reef/Blue Origin

The cold, infinite vastness of space will soon be broken by piping hot ginger chai on tap. 

No kidding, because Blue Origin just unveiled its star-trek-starter-plan to launch Orbital Reef, a private space station in low earth orbit, between 2025 and 2030. 

Zooming Out

Orbital Reef describes this upcoming zero gravity rig as a 'mixed use space station' that will be open 24x7 for commerce, research and tourism, within the decade.  

Consider Orbital Reef as a kind of USS Enterprise Awfis, as the station’s construction will feature exclusive spaces for living, working and sight seeing, enabling it to be leased out for a whole range of applications. 

The Reef would be nearly as spacious as the International Space Station and will be able to house up to 10 people. 

Who All Are Behind This?

Well, this isn't a Blue Origin solo gig. The other significant partner is Sierra Space, a subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation. 

While Blue Origin will build and launch the Reef and cater to all its utility systems, the kind folks at Sierra Space will be in change of transporting crew and cargo to and from the station.

Are They Alone?

Nope. The Reef isn’t the only private space station on the drawing board. Space startup Nanoracks has drawn up and presented elaborate plans to help replace NASA’s orbital laboratory with its Starlab Station in 2027. 

Another entity Axiom plans to launch a brand new module that will attach to the ISS in 2024 and eventually separate from it as the aging station is decommissioned.
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