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'Business park' in space? Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin unveils its plans; Read more

The initiative will be developed in collaboration with Sierra Space, the spaceflight division of defence contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. It will be supported by Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.

business park in space Jeff Bezos blue origin unveils plans gcw
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Washington D.C., First Published Oct 26, 2021, 2:04 PM IST
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Blue Origin, founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, announced plans on Monday to collaborate with Boeing on developing a commercial space station named "Orbital Reef," intending to launch the ship in the second half of this decade. The initiative will be developed in collaboration with Sierra Space, the spaceflight division of defence contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. It will be supported by Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University. According to Blue Origin and Sierra Space, Orbital Reef will be administered as a "mixed-use business park," with intentions to offer the infrastructure needed to grow economic activity and develop new markets in space.

"Seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign states without space programmes, media and travel organisations, supported entrepreneurs and sponsored innovators, and forward-thinking investors will all have a home on Orbital Reef," the corporations said in a statement. Sierra revealed plans in April to build the world's first free-flying commercial space station.

According to a news release from Blue Origin, the Orbital Reef will be able to house up to ten people. It will be a mixed-use business park in space, which means that anybody may rent access to the outpost and enjoy stunning views of Earth as well as 32 vivid sunrises and sunsets every day.

Also Read | UK’s Prince William takes a swipe at Jeff Bezos, says ‘should focus on saving Earth rather than space tourism’

Orbital Reef will ultimately take over the International Space Station's baton. It will most likely discontinue operations between 2028 and 2030. However, concerns have been raised about the status of the ISS's older modules. The International Space Station has been in operation for almost 20 years. Its initial component debuted in 1998. The International Space Station (ISS) is a collaboration of five space organisations. They are NASA (the United States), CSA (Canada), Roscosmos (Russia), ESA (Europe), and JAXA (Japan) (Japan).

Notably, Russia has already indicated its intention to withdraw from the ISS programme. The nation has suggested the construction of a new space station. According to Russia, the ISS's mounting maintenance costs sparked the ambition to build its orbiting outpost. According to sources, the ISS's annual maintenance cost is roughly USD 3.5 billion. Aside from Russia, China is also constructing its space station. Tiangong space station will be the name of the structure. The building work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Also Read | William Shatner becomes oldest person to travel to space with Blue Origin rocket

Blue Origin's first space tourism trip, with Bezos and three people aboard, was successful in July. Earlier this month, 90-year-old American actor William Shatner - Captain James Kirk of "Star Trek" fame - became the oldest person in orbit on a Blue Origin rocketship.

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