Blue Origin Clears Major Milestone For Futuristic Joint Orbital Reef Space Station

orbital reef station
The Orbital Reef Space Station reaches an important milestone, demonstrating to NASA the space station design is feasible and achievable. The Orbital Reef team successfully completed its System Definition Review (SDR) with NASA, allowing the team to move forward with its design phase.

Blue Origin and Sierra Space are aiming to build the first commercially owned and operated space station, Orbital Reef. The space station is billed as offering unparalleled commerce, research, and tourism opportunities in outer space. It is slated to offer end-to-end services, which will include transportation and an onboard crew. Now, the Orbital Reef team has completed the SDR which lets NASA know that it is on-track to proceed into the design phase.

The SDR ensures that the proposed Orbital Reef architecture "is responsive to the functional and performance requirements," according to a blog post on Sierra Space's website. The review examined the proposed system architecture between mid-June and mid-July, and included representatives from Blue Origin, Sierra Space, and NASA.

sierra space tweet
"We are on the doorstep of the most profound industrial revolution in human history. An industrial revolution marked by the transition from the last 60 years of space exploration to a future where humanity extends our factories and cities into space," commented Tom Vice, CEO of Sierra Space. He added, "The microgravity factories and services provided by Orbital Reef have the potential to revolutionize every industry and become a major growth contributor to the U.S. and world economies."

Orbital Reef has been touted since its conception as providing anyone with the opportunity to establish their own address in orbit (if they have enough money to do so). It will open up multiple new markets in space, such as research, industrial, international, and commercial opportunities. The space station is scheduled to be operational by 2027.

orbital reef space
"This SDR moves Orbital Reef forward," remarked Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs at Blue Origin. He continued, "We are meeting the needs of both the commercial marketplace and NASA's requirements. Orbital Reef will change the game for human space flight in Earth orbit."