Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin announces upcoming space station with "access for all"

Seattle, Washington – Jeff Bezos and his crew could be moving into space ... permanently.

Blue Origin is planning a new space station, which could one day rival the International Space Station (pictured).
Blue Origin is planning a new space station, which could one day rival the International Space Station (pictured).  © Collage: IMAGO/agefotostock & NurPhoto

Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said on Monday it plans to launch a private space station into orbit between 2025 and 2030.

The commercially built and operated station, named Orbital Reef, is being developed together with several partners, including Boeing, the company said.

Orbital Reef will serve as a "mixed use business park," catering to research, industrial and international customers, as well as tourists.

Blue Origin recently made headlines by launching 90-year-old Star Trek icon William Shatner into space for a brief sojourn to promote space tourism. Bezos himself made an 11-minute journey into space aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard in July.

Orbital Reef launched its new Twitter page on Monday, as Blue Origin touted it as a development that would be accessible to all. It's a hard feat to imagine from a company that has been known for its sky-high ticket prices into space thus far.

"Seeing the Earth from space is a life-changing experience, and our vision is to open access for all," the company tweeted. "#OrbitalReef is a LEO habitat designed for you."

The largest and longest inhabited space station to date is the International Space Station (ISS), operated by the US' NASA together with numerous partner agencies from around the world. The ISS has been permanently inhabited by a rotating cast of astronauts since 2000, but the future of the aging outpost is uncertain.

China is in the process of building its own Tiangong space station.

Several private companies have also already announced plans for commercial space stations.

Whether Bezos will be the first person to set foot in his new space set-up remains to be seen.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/agefotostock & NurPhoto

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