Blue Ring Is Here: Blue Origin To Bring Their Space Mobility Platform To Market19th Oct 2023
Designed to provide in-space delivery solutions, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has recently uncloaked their multi-orbit spacecraft mobility platform, Blue Ring. The American launch provider said the platform will offer both commercial and government clients alike a plethora of services which includes data-relaying and in-space logistics. Blue Origin also took the time to unveil their brand new subsidiary: In-Space Systems, which will operate Blue Ring.
Blue Ring’s announcement has come off the back of Blue Origin’s CEO changeover to ex-Amazon executive, Dave Limp. Limp will also be focusing on the pending resumption of New Shepard space flights and revitalising the New Glenn rocket programme. Blue Origin is also joining the Lunar space race after winning NASA’s Artemis Moon lander contract, where Blue Ring could potentially offer logistical support in the cislunar region. That being, the void of space between Earth and the Moon.
Paul Ebertz, Senior Vice President of Blue Origin’s newly incepted In-Space Systems, said: “Blue Ring addresses two of the most difficult challenges in spaceflight today: growing space infrastructure and increasing mobility on-orbit. We’re offering our customers the ability to easily access and manoeuvre through a variety of orbits cost-effectively while having access to critical data to ensure a successful mission.”
What Is Blue Ring?
Blue Origin said in a press release the platform will ubiquitously support a range of commercial and government missions across multi-orbital landscapes. Such as, “medium Earth orbit to the cislunar region and beyond… expanding upon its mission to build a road to space for the benefit of Earth,” Blue Origin said.
Instruments and services onboard include span hosting, transportation, logistics and delivery, refuelling abilities, and data relaying. But more significantly, the multi-orbit platform will also house a cloud-based system, which enables greater data storage capabilities and network reach.
In addition to having support capacity for payloads that exceed 3,000 kg, Blue Origin said Blue Ring: “provides unprecedented delta-V capabilities.” Meaning, it’s able to perform agile manoeuvres and is malleable to commercial and government mission needs.
Competing For Top Spot: Other In-Space Platform Solutions
Blue Ring is facing stiff competition with many space organisations already offering their own range of mobility solutions. One such company includes Colorado-based Maxar Technologies, who possesses three satellite platform products. Another Blue Ring rival is UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology, who also offers three large to mini satellite platforms with ranging capabilities.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has also developed their own satellite platform for their Earth Observation (EO) SMOS mission. CNES and Thales Alenia Space built the Proteus platform for ESA’s EO project, which provided orbital positioning data and carried SMOS’ MIRAS instrument.