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NASA Supports Blue Origin’s Orbit Reef Space Station to Replace the ISS

NASA Supports Blue Origin’s Orbit Reef Space Station to Replace the ISS

Categories: Technology
Posted: December 03, 2021

NASA is supporting Blue Origin's private Orbital Reef space station amid the aging state of the International Space Station or ISS, which is set to retire by 2030.

The auditing body of NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Office of Audits, revealed in a report that the United States space agency is planning to replace the ISS with a commercial space station once the former comes to its retirement, as per the report by TechCrunch.

The news outlet further noted that the aging space station is actually scheduled to retire this 2024, but NASA is leaning towards extending it for a couple of years until 2030.

By that time, NASA is handing over the space station role to a private company.

NASA Supports Blue Origin's Orbit Reef Space Station

Now, NASA announced support to the spaceflight company of billionaire Jeff Bezos, the Blue Origin, by including its commercial space station in the low orbit of the Earth to its Space Act Agreement, according to the news story by Engadget.

That said, the US space agency will be funding the Orbital Reef space station of Blue Origin as part of the Commercial LEO Development program, which seeks to help private companies develop their own space stations.

The senior vice president of Advanced Development Programs of the space exploration firm of Bezos, Brent Sherwood, said in a statement that "NASA supports the development of Orbital Reef.

Blue Origin's Orbit Reef Space Station

The Blue Origin SVP further added that the commercial space station of the firm is "a revolutionary approach to making Earth orbit more accessible to diverse customers and industries."

What's more, Sherwood also revealed that the private space station in the orbit of the Earth will serve as a "mixed-use space business park."

It is worth noting that Blue Origin is not alone in its journey to set up its private space station in low orbit.

In fact, the Bezos-led space firm is working with Sierra Space to develop the LIFE or the Large Integrated Flexible Environment of the space station.

On the other hand, Blue Origin will be responsible for the infrastructure, as well as the architecture of the private space station.

The space firm of the founder of Amazon, Bezos, will also be behind the logistics of the station through its New Glenn heavy launch system.

On top of that, Blue Origin is also collaborating with Boeing to work on the Starliner crew capsule and the operations-maintenance-science module of the space station.

Lastly, Genesis Engineering Solutions also joins the team behind the Orbit Reef Space Station to work on a spacecraft that could travel a single person, which is meant for tourists and employees of the station.

Blue Origin vs. NASA

Previously, Blue Origin brought NASA to court after awarding the human landing contract solely to its rival firm, SpaceX. But the Bezos-led firm lost to the case last Nov. 4.

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