Blue Origin plans private space station

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CNBC’s Shep Smith reports on Jeff Bezos’ plan for a private space station. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO:

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin unveiled Monday its plan for a private space station called “Orbital Reef,” which it will build in partnership with multiple space companies and expects to deploy between 2025 and 2030.

Blue Origin describes the Orbital Reef station, which would be habitable for up to 10 people, as a “mixed use business park” in space — as well as capable of “exotic hospitality” for space tourists.

Orbital Reef is designed to have almost as much habitable volume as the International Space Station.

The company’s primary partner for the station is Sierra Space, a subsidiary of aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation, with the team also including Boeing, Redwire Space and Genesis Engineering.

“We’re just beginning to understand the tremendous implications that microgravity research, development and manufacturing can mean, for not only for exploring the universe and making discoveries but improving life on Earth,” Redwire executive vice president Mike Gold told CNBC.

Shares of Redwire Space were halted temporarily by the New York Stock Exchange after surging following the announcement. The stock jumped as much as 40% in trading, but gave up most of the gains to finish the day up 8% at $13.14.

Blue Origin will provide the space station’s “utility systems” and “core modules,” and it plans to use its New Glenn rocket to launch Orbital Reef.

Sierra Space is contributing its LIFE habitat (Large Integrated Flexible Environment; essentially an inflatable space station module) and plans to use its Dream Chaser spacecraft to transport cargo and crew to-and-from the station.

Redwire Space, which went public in September, will run the station’s payload operations and build deployable structures. Redwire also plans to use Orbital Reef for microgravity research, development and manufacturing.

Boeing will build Orbital Reef’s science-focused module and run the station’s operations, as well as conduct maintenance engineering. The aerospace giant also plans to utilize its Starliner capsule for transporting crew and cargo to the station.

Genesis Engineering will contribute its “Single Person Spacecraft” system, which the company describes as an alternative to a spacesuit.

In a conference call with reporters, executives representing the companies of the team declined to specify how much each expect to invest in Orbital Reef.

Blue Origin vice president Brent Sherwood said the team is not going to give “a specific number” on how much the Orbital Reef space station will cost, adding that the financial numbers are commercially sensitive.

Bezos’ company has been looking at building a space station for more than a year, as CNBC previously reported, and earlier this month added a number of job postings for its “Orbital Destinations” team.

Bezos’ vision: Living and working in space

Orbital Reef fits squarely at the center of Bezos’ vision for Blue Origin, which is to get to where “millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth,” especially by moving “industries that stress Earth into space.”

Bezos has personally increased his involvement at Blue Origin, after he stepped down as the CEO of Amazon this summer. While the company has had success with its suborbital New Shepard rocket — having flown two successful crewed flights to date — Blue Origin has come under scrutiny due to soaring employee turnover and allegations of safety issues, as well as a “toxic” work culture, by former employees.

Blue Origin has teamed up with other major space companies before, having partnered with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper to build a crewed lunar lander for NASA’s HLS program.

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23 comments
  1. Shouldn't you tax this guy. I mean if he can build his own space station….. I'd like to see them ban billionaires and everything you make over 999999999.99 automatically get put into food programs and things.

  2. For me it is just a marketing stunt ! I do not believe one second than in 10 years, BO, Boeing and the others will launch a space station ! In fact Axion who has been hired by NASA to build the new space station use mainly French contractor !!!!

  3. It’s a big leap from building an expensive carnival ride for the rich, to actually building a functional, geostationary space station. We’ll see.

  4. Are they going to pay SpaceX to get to the starion. Blue Origin can't even orbit the earth yet. Bezos is a joke sucking morey out NASA.

  5. With all due respect why don't you build some housing why don't you build some places where people got clean water, there's nothing in space up there for you or anybody else from this planet you're not going to find another world to live on every time you go up there you disrupt the atmosphere and whether and hell breaks loose down here storms and tornadoes and if you don't believe it go back and check the history of space flight what the hell you people keep going up there for it's nothing up there for you now you going to be up there floating around and that thing is going to fall one day and God knows where the land do something positive with your money. You can't live up there you ain't got no business up there all you doing is spraying all that gasoline or whatever oil into the atmosphere destroying atmosphere destroying the planet find something better to do y'all just jumping around just doing the dumbest things you could think of with your money instead of helping people with it you spend all that money to go up there for what two three days and come back can't live up there. And guess what when we leave here like we all will that piece of whatever you built is going to be up there in space and the next generation of people got to deal with it when it falls. Your money ain't going to get you ever last in life whatever you looking for up there you ain't going to be able to pay for it or buy it if you do find something and you might find something you ain't got no business finding when you go up there do something better find something better to do do something for humanity stay your ass from up there please

  6. YOUR ACT👆👆OF KINDNESS AND YOUR SERVICE SHOW HOW BIG OF A HEART YOU HAVE FOR OTHER. THANKS FOR THE 5.9BTC YOU SUCH AMAZING

  7. Since I have been dealing with them why never disappoint me I am so happy dealing with them

  8. thats right, Mr Bezos. screw the poor folks or help increase the workers salary. let us dump our money to Space Stations. YEAAAH BUDDYY!

  9. Chill everyone, they only announced they're working on the plans (CAD design, posters, etc.) They're not sending anything into space anytime this decade.

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