Remember when Jeff Bezos and his pals flew into space on a suspiciously phallic-shaped rocket earlier this year? Well now, the billionaire is planning for his next, much longer trip into the cosmos with new plans to open a space station.
Not content with merely passing through space like actor William Shatner did recently, Bezos and his Blue Origin buddies are now eyeing an extended stay above the Earth.
Blue Origin announced plans to construct the Orbital Reef space station, which will welcome scientists, engineers and space tourists on board once it becomes operational.
Despite insisting that Blue Origin will use its space research to protect the planet, the company’s latest project sounds more like Bezos’ plan to flee Earth with his richest pals.
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Dubbed a “business park in space”, the Orbital Reef station will offer everything the friendly neighborhood billionaire needs on a trip above the atmosphere. Including, a feeling of weightlessness coupled with stunning views of the scorched planet that they helped destroy.
But, Blue Origin insists the project isn’t just another toy for the super-rich. Oh no, instead they say it has been designed with a range of purposes in mind.
In a release, the company said:
“Seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and future-minded investors all have a place on Orbital Reef.”
Sounds like a fun bunch.
While Blue Origin hasn’t announced how much the new station will cost to build and operate, it says it is splitting the load between a number of other companies.
Sierra Space will use its Dream Chaser spaceplane for crew and cargo transportation, Boeing will operate a module and use its Starliner spacecraft for transport, and Genesis Engineering will run tourist flights to the station.
Blue Origin will also work with Redwire Space and Arizona State University on the planned station.
Orbital Reef hopes to “start operating in the second half of this decade.”