Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin has announced plans to launch a commercial space station into orbit by the end of the decade.
The station will be able to house up to 10 people and will be a “mixed-use business park,” according to their website.
Built in partnership with Sierra Space, Blue Origin are naming their creation “Orbital Reef”. It’s set to be 31,000 square feet in size and will hang out in low-Earth orbit, offering the ability for companies and entrepreneurs to have an address in space, opening markets above the planet.
“The station will open the next chapter of human space exploration and development by facilitating the growth of a vibrant ecosystem and business model for the future,” Blue Origin wrote.
“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,” said Blue Origin executive Brent Sherwood.
“We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalize space flight.”
Russia has threatened to pull its cosmonauts from the ISS if urgent repairs are not made, although the space station has been rated as safe for at least another six years, and has funding secured until 2030.
Four other space stations are planned for the near future, including one that is designed to replace the NASA original, as well as another developed by Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin called “Starlab” which is planning to launch by 2027.
Orbital Reef is designed to fly at an altitude of 500 kilometers, slightly above the ISS, with inhabitants experiencing 32 sunrises and sunsets a day.
Bezos is the founder and owner of Amazon and the second richest man in the world, behind Musk. He recently flew to space himself with his brother and two others and plans to one day build floating space colonies where people will live and work.
However, himself and the other space-billionaires have come under fire for putting their space dreams ahead of the planet we all live on as they funnel millions of dollars into vanity projects that could otherwise be spent on helping people on Earth.
Origin Reef is the first step towards this mad-cap space colony venture and could see the first private citizens to live in space.