NASA Supports Blue Origin’s Own Orbit Reef Space Station to Replace the ISS
(Photo : by Mario Tama/Getty Images) VAN HORN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13: A full-size replica of Blue Origin's crew capsule is displayed before Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts-off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians on October 13, 2021 near Van Horn, Texas. Shatner will become the oldest person to fly into space on the ten minute flight. Shatner, along with civilians Audrey Powers, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries, are riding aboard mission NS-18, the second human spaceflight for the company which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

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.

Read Also: Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin NASA Lawsuit Keeps Crashing DOJ Computers Due to Large File Size

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.

Related Article: Blue Origin NS-19 Mission Details New Passengers Including Alan Shepard's Daughter, GMA's Michael Strahan, and MORE

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Written by Teejay Boris

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