Blue Origin and Sierra Space today announced plans for Orbital Reef, a low-Earth orbit space station that will be developed, owned, and operated commercially. The station will usher in the next chapter of human space exploration and development by facilitating the development of a vibrant ecosystem and future business model. Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University are among the space industry leaders and teammates supporting Orbital Reef.
Orbital Reef, which aims to open up new markets in space, will give anyone the opportunity to establish their own address in orbit. This one-of-a-kind location will provide cost-effective end-to-end services to research, industrial, international, and commercial customers, including space transportation and logistics, space habitation, equipment accommodation, and operations with onboard crew. The station is scheduled to open in the second half of this decade.
Orbital Reef will function as a “mixed use business park” in space. Shared infrastructure efficiently supports the proprietary needs of a diverse set of tenants and visitors. It has a human-centered space architecture with world-class services and amenities that are inspiring, practical, and safe. Orbital Reef, as the premier commercial destination in low Earth orbit, will provide the necessary infrastructure to scale economic activity and open new markets in space.
Reusable space transportation and smart design, combined with advanced automation and logistics, will reduce cost and complexity for both traditional space operators and new entrants, allowing the widest possible range of users to pursue their objectives. The open system architecture enables any customer or country to connect and scale to meet demand. As the market expands, so do module berths, vehicle ports, utilities, and amenities.
Customers will find it simple to use the Orbital Reef business model, which is strategically designed to support a diverse portfolio of uses. The team has all of the services and systems necessary to meet the needs of emerging customers, such as researchers, manufacturers, and visitors. At all levels – locker, rack, and module – Orbital Reef provides standard interfaces. Orbital Reef is home to seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortiums, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and forward-thinking investors.
“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. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs, Blue Origin