Blue Origin: Jeff Bezos unveils plans for ‘Space Business Park’
Blue Origin, a space tourism company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced plans to launch a commercial space station.
The boss said Monday that he hopes to operate a station called “Orbital Reef” by the end of the decade.
The promotional material released by the company claims that the station will be a “mixed-use business park” in the space and will host up to 10 people.
The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost.
Blue Origin said the 32,000-square-foot station would provide customers with an ideal location for “filmmaking in microgravity” or “conducting state-of-the-art research” and would also include a “space hotel.”
At a press conference to launch the venture, Blue Origin and Sierra Space officials declined to estimate the cost of the building, although the project has been promised large funding from Mr Bezos, who has promised to spend $ 1bn (£ 726m). Year on Blue Origin.
The announcement comes as NASA seeks a proposal to replace the 20-year-old International Space Station (ISS). Although funding for the station is guaranteed until at least 2030, the outpost is in dire need of repairs.
Russian officials have previously warned that its astronauts could leave the station by 2025, fearing that outdated equipment could cause a major accident.
In response, NASA announced earlier this year plans to award a करार 400m private contract to space companies to help the agency relocate the elderly.
However, there is likely to be fierce competition for funding. Earlier this week, a partnership between Nanorax, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin announced its own plans to launch a low-space space station by 2027.
Blue Origin has had to face mixed luck so far this year. The high-profile launch of his New Shepard rocket, which saw Mr. Bezos and Star Trek star William Shatner fly into space, caught the media’s attention.
But the company has also faced allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace and turning a blind eye to serious safety issues from former employees.
Last month, NASA missed a करार 2.9bn lucrative deal that went to billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the main competitor to Blue Origin in the commercial space race.