Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin unveils plans for Orbital Reef, a ‘business park’ in outer space

Blue Origin Orbital Reef

  • Blue Origin will work with Sierra Space and Boeing to deploy a commercial space station.
  • The station, “Orbital Reef,” reflects Jeff Bezos’ vision of performing carbon-heavy jobs in space.
  • The station will be leased out for work, research, and tourism.

Blue Origin announced plans to build its own commercial space station on Monday.

The company plans to deploy the space station, called “Orbital Reef,” between 2025 and 2030. Jeff Bezos’ space venture plans to use the station as a “mixed-use business park,” which will lease space for commerce, research, and space tourism.

Orbital Reef will be nearly as large as the International Space Station and will be able to house about 10 people, according to the press release. Several amenities are also planned, including on-site medical care and recreational opportunities.


“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 Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programs for Blue Origin. “We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalize space flight. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness.”

The project is the result of a partnership with Sierra Space, a subsidiary of aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation, as well as Boeing, Redwire Space, and Genesis Engineering.

Orbital Reef reflects Bezos’ vision for Blue Origin which focuses on moving carbon-heavy industries into outer space.

An Orbital Reef spokesperson told CNBC that NASA has already said they plan to be an “anchor tenant” at the new station. Per Blue Origin’s timeline, the space station would be deployed before NASA retires the International Space Station. The company plans to bid for a NASA contract in the “Commercial LEO Destinations” program, an effort that could save the space agency over $1 billion per year by using private companies.

Blue Origin is not the only company vying for the NASA contract. Just last week, three aerospace companies announced they were working together to build a space station called Starlab by 2027.

CNBC has previously reported that Blue Origin has been looking into building a space station for over a year, as well as listed several job openings for an “Orbital Destinations” team.

While Blue Origin has yet to launch a rocket into orbit, the space company completed its second human spaceflight earlier this month.

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