It’s been four months since Jeff Bezos launched himself into space in a giant penis rocket, and now, the billionaire is already planning his next celestial endeavor.
According to the BBC, Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origins, is planning to launch a commercial space station called Orbital Reef. It claims the station will function like a “mixed-use business park”, hosting up to ten people at once in low Earth orbit.
Inside the 32,000 sq ft station will be spaces for “film-making in microgravity“, “conducting cutting-edge research“, and a “space hotel“ – just what we needed from the man who has the means to solve world hunger!
“The station will open the next chapter of human space exploration and development by facilitating the growth of a vibrant ecosystem and business model for the future,” read a statement from the company. “Seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and future-minded investors all have a place on Orbital Reef.”
The company also noted that Orbital Reef’s large Earth-facing windows will allow visitors to “take in the beauty of our planet” and “experience the thrill of weightlessness in complete comfort”.
While Bezos has not yet released a price range for stays at the station, senior vice president of advanced development programmes for Blue Origin noted that they aim to make it accessible. “We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalise space flight. A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments, and global awareness,” he said.
Currently, NASA is also planning to update the International Space Station. Speaking about Bezos’ new station, the ISS’s programme manager, John Mulholland explained: “This is exciting for us because this project does not duplicate the immensely successful and enduring ISS, but rather goes a step further to fulfil the unique position in low Earth orbit where it can serve a diverse array of companies and host non-specialist crews.”
Orbital Reef is hoped to be built later in this decade.