Jeff Bezos unveils plans for 'space business park' to be deployed in the next 10 years


Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has unveiled its plans for a private space station called “Orbital Reef,” which it will build in partnership with multiple space companies over the next eight years.


The company will partner with Sierra Space and Boeing to build the outpost.


Blue Origin said the 32,000 sq ft station would provide customers with an ideal location for "film-making in microgravity" or "conducting cutting-edge research" and said it would also include a "space hotel".


The announcement comes as Nasa searches for proposals to replace the 20-year-old International Space Station (ISS).


Blue Origin has faced mixed reactions so far this year. High-profile launches of its New Shepard rocket, which saw Mr Bezos and Star Trek star William Shatner blasted into space, gained significant media attention.


But the company has also faced accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace and of turning a blind eye to serious safety concerns from former employees.


Last month it missed out on a lucrative $2.9bn Nasa contract which went to billionaire Elon Musk's Space X, one of Blue Origin's chief rivals in the commercial space race.


Meanwhile, 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.


Boeing will build Orbital Reef’s science-focused module and run the station’s operations, as well as conduct maintenance engineering.