Blue Origin presents Orbital Reef

8th Nov 2021
Blue Origin presents Orbital Reef

Blue Origin founder, Jeff Bezos, really wants to go down in history books as the father of space travel. Shortly after stepping down from his position as Amazon CEO, Bezos got busy announcing a few dozen projects that the company will complete by 2030, some of which include an expansion into the UAE, the development of a new type of rocket launcher and the construction of an orbital space station called Orbital Reef.

Blue Origin wants to build a haven for humanity in orbit

Bezos is a man with a long-term plan of building a road to space. It seems like the billionaire is finally putting his money where his ambition is and announcing a partnership with Sierra Space that will see the construction of a fully functional space station, Orbital Reef, in Low Earth Orbit. Orbital Reef is planned to be constructed and operational by the end of the decade. It will facilitate commerce, research and tourism, much like a business centre on Earth. Blue Origin wants to fully integrate its ‘space tourism’ idea into space travel.

While the idea of a business centre has existed on Earth for a hundred years, it’s been only a sci-fi dream until now. It makes sense if you think about it; with the rapid growth of the space industry, it was only a matter of time before someone thought of monetising a space centre.

Orbital Reef has received sufficient backing

It seems Bezos’ idea has been well-liked since Blue Reef has already received sufficient funding from Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University (ASU), to name a few. Blue Origin will be at the helm of this project, providing the station’s core modules and utility systems, as well as launch services.

Orbital Reef specs show it will measure 830 m3 (29,311 ft3) in volume and allow for the housing of ten people at a time. The size of Blue Origin upcoming station comes slightly shy of the 915.6 m3 (32,333 ft 3) volume of the ISS, soon to be retired.

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