Blue Origin, the space tourism company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced plans to launch a commercial space station.
Chiefs said Monday they hope to get the station, called “Orbital Reef”, up and running 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 accommodate 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 will provide customers with a great place to “make microgravity films” or “conduct cutting-edge research” and said it will also include a “space hotel”.
At a press conference to launch the initiative, Blue Origin and Sierra Space executives declined to provide an estimate of construction costs, although the project appears to be secured by massive funding from Bezos, which has pledged to spend $ 1 billion. dollars (726 million pounds) per year on Blue Origin.
The announcement comes as NASA looks for proposals to replace the International Space Station (ISS) of 20 years ago. Although funding for the station has been secured until at least 2030, humanity’s dedicated outpost in space is in dire need of repair.
Russian officials have previously warned that its cosmonauts could leave the station by 2025 for fear that outdated equipment could trigger a serious accident.
In response, NASA announced earlier this year plans to award $ 400 million in private contracts to space companies to help the agency replace the now obsolete outpost.
However, there is likely to be stiff competition for funding. Earlier this week, a partnership between Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin announced their plans to launch a low-orbit space station by 2027.
Blue Origin has faced mixed fortunes so far this year. The high-profile launches of its New Shepard rocket, which saw Mr. Bezos and Star Trek star William Shatner explode into space, attracted media attention.
But the company also faced allegations of workplace sexual harassment and turning a blind eye to serious safety concerns from former employees.
Last month he lost a lucrative $ 2.9 billion NASA contract that went to billionaire Elon Musk’s Space X, one of Blue Origin’s main rivals in the commercial space race.
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- Jeff Bezos
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