NASA supports Blue Origin’s orbital reef space station

following October News Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Space Company plans to build its own commercial space station in low-Earth orbit. NASA announced on Thursday that it has passed a Space Act Agreement Further develop the station design.This funding is part of NASA Commercial LEO Development Plan, Aims to “develop a strong commercial space economy in low-Earth orbit, including supporting the development of commercially owned and operated low-Earth orbit destinations.”

Blue origin

“We are very pleased that NASA is supporting the development of orbital reefs. This is a revolutionary way to make it easier for different customers and industries to enter the earth’s orbit,” said Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of Blue Origin Advanced Development Project. Said in a prepared statement. The station will be an orbital “mixed-use space business park”. In addition to meeting the needs of partners of the International Space Station, it will also provide any number of turnkey services and reduce the operating costs of emerging low-gravity industries.

Blue Origin collaborated with Sierra Space in this project. The former focused on the station’s architecture and infrastructure-from design and construction to the use of the New Glenn heavy launch system to manage elevator logistics-while the latter’s task was to develop the station’s LIFE (Large Integration Flexible environment). Boeing is also helping, designing the operation and maintenance science module and using its Starliner crew cabin. Genesis Engineering Solutions is also involved. It is developing a single-person spacecraft in which tourists and employees can hang out.

Ironically, Thursday’s announcement was Blue Origin’s protest against NASA”“decision Signed a lunar lander contract with rival SpaceX GAO quickly dismissed these allegations. Blue Origin then sued NASA-literally, Sue NASA “In order to make up for deficiencies in the procurement process found in NASA’s manned landing system,” a Blue Origin spokesperson told Engadget in August. The company subsequently lost the lawsuit, but hopes that Thursday’s transaction can soothe Bezos’s severely injured self-esteem.

Northrop Grumman's Cygnus space station design is a series of tubes.

Northrop Grumman

The Orbital Reef team hopes to put its first module into orbit by the end of the 2030s and expand it further throughout the 2030s. But the orbital reef is not the only egg in NASA’s commercial LEO basket. Northrop Grumman announced on Thursday that it has also signed a space bill agreement — a total of US$126 million — to design a “free flight” space station that will permanently exist in LEO for at least 15 years .

“Our space station will enable a smooth transition from LEO missions based on the International Space Station to missions based on sustainable commerce, in which NASA does not bear all costs, but as one of many customers,” Northrop Grumman Civil and Commercial Space, Said in a statementThe company plans to use its existing Cygnus spacecraft, its mission expansion vehicle (MEV) and its residential and logistics outpost (HALO) as the basis for the station’s design.

As part of the agreement with NASA, these development proposals must take into account all aspects of the space station’s “commercialization, operations, and capabilities”. According to Northrop Grumman, “As well as space station requirements, mission success criteria, risk assessment, key technology and market analysis requirements, and preliminary design activities.”

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