Northwest Aerospace News June | July 2022 — Issue No. 27 | Page 17

What to expect on the space station , Orbital Reef
Comprehensive and Important Work
The organization has grown by a factor of eight over the last two and a half years and will double this year . “ The future of commercial space is bright ,” Lillard added .
Like Sherwood , Lillard understands the depth of partnerships , technology , and vision for the project .
Lillard said that once Orbital Reef functions in space ’ s low Earth orbit , it can “ offer immense opportunities for more people to visit and conduct business .”

What to expect on the space station , Orbital Reef

Sherwood said that Orbital Reef would serve as a mixed-use business park . “ It ’ s designed to facilitate and serve multiple new markets in orbit .”
He said , “ This unique destination will offer research , industrial , international , and commercial customers the cost-competitive , end-to-end services they need , including space transportation and logistics , space habitation , equipment accommodation , and operations including onboard crew .”
Orbital Reef is commercially developed , owned , and operated . The project is funded and commercially-owned and operated by Blue Origin and Sierra Space . NASA ’ s involvement is through a ( Phase One ) commercial destination free flyer design contract , which could lead to a ( Phase Two ) certification contract in the mid-2020s . Sherwood said , “ We take care of all infrastructure functions , which simplifies access and operations for anyone wanting to do business in space .”
For those that participate , Lillard said that Blue Origin would provide “ utilities like power , cooling , and communications , but many others , up to life support functions for attached modules and access to state-of-the-art amenities on the Reef . Orbital Reef tenants will lease a secure orbital address — whether a locker , a rack , or an entire module — and purchase only the utilities and services they need .”
Imagine leasing a locker , rack , or module in space to conduct your work ! Orbital Reef will create new technologies , reframe jobs , and enhance the Earth we know and love . Bezos ’ s vision may outlive him , but for future “ space entrepreneurs ” like Bezos , the future is bright , and our children are likely beneficiaries of today ’ s space dreamers .

Comprehensive and Important Work

According to Orbital Reef Program Director , Randy Lillard , here are the defined benefits of this work :
The Overview Effect : The transformative feeling of seeing Earth from the outside — the more this awareness of the fragility and interconnectedness of life on Earth spreads in cultures around the world , the better for all of us and for the future .
ISS Retirement : With the ISS retiring by the end of this decade , the U . S . and its international partners must maintain a continuous human presence in low Earth orbit ( LEO ).
NASA : NASA ’ s necessary research ( both the ISS National Laboratory fundamental research and developmental testing of exploration systems ) must have a place to go . Orbital Reef will continue to expand access to space research capabilities to groups that have not been able to utilize the microgravity environment .
New Markets : We are ready to experiment with new markets in Earth orbit . We need real estate designed for this purpose : media , marketing , exploration testing , further product experimentation , scaled manufacturing , spacecraft servicing , microgravity sports , diplomatic summits , tourism , and orbital living .
Normalizing Space Flight : Opening the infinite space resources requires making space flight normal . Millions of people living and working in space first need thousands , preceded by hundreds , and starting with dozens . Low Earth orbit is the key .
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