On October 25, 2021, Blue Origin and Sierra Space announced plans to build Orbital Reef, a commercially developed, owned and operated space station, in low Earth orbit. The station will create a vibrant ecosystem for the future in space exploration and development, facilitating the growth of the business model and opening the door for next steps. Orbital Reef; It’s a project supported by space industry leaders and their teammates, including Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.
Designed to open multiple new markets in space, Orbital Reef will give everyone the opportunity to establish their own address in orbit. This unique destination; It will be able to offer any space-related operations that may be needed, including research missions, industrial studies, operations such as accommodation, space transportation and logistics, space layout, equipment development and hosting for international and commercial customers, with cost-competitive options. The station is scheduled to be operational before 2030.
Orbital Reef will be operated as a “mixed-use business park” in space. The shared infrastructure will efficiently support the specific needs of various tenants and visitors. It will have a human-centered space architecture with first-class services and amenities that are inspiring, practical and safe. Orbital Reef, which will be the most important commercial destination in low Earth orbit, will provide the essential infrastructure needed to scale economic activity and open new markets in space. Reusable space transportation, combined with advanced automation and logistics, will minimize cost and complexity for both traditional space operators and newcomers, allowing the broadest range of users to achieve their goals. The open system architecture will allow any customer or nation to connect and scale to support their demands.
Orbital Reef has been strategically designed to facilitate customers’ work and support a diverse portfolio of uses. It has all the services and systems to meet the needs of its customers, including researchers, producers and visitors. Orbital Reef offers standard interfaces and hardware that appeal to all levels, such as lockers, shelves and modules. Seasoned space agencies, hi-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and future investors all have a place in Orbital Reef.
Orbital Reef‘s expert team has proven capabilities and new visions to provide key elements and services, including unmatched experience in building and operating the International Space Station. The task distribution of the organizations involved in this major breakthrough is listed below.
- Blue Origin – Auxiliary systems, extensive core modules, and the reusable heavy-lift New Glenn launch system.
- Sierra Space – Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE) module, node module and landing on the runway for crew and cargo transport, the Dream Chaser spaceplane can land on runways around the world.
- Boeing – Science module, station operations, maintenance engineering and Starliner crew spacecraft.
- Redwire Space – Microgravity research, development and production; payload operations and deployable structures.
- Genesis Engineering Solutions – Single-Man Spacecraft for routine operations and sightseeing.
- Arizona State University – Leads a global consortium of universities that provide research advisory services and access to the public.