The top computer generated graphical visualization of the Orbital Reef was sourced from the Verge news outlet: https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/8BJCJwJkz2AgAjrhOQ1X1SdPcuY=/0x0:3000×1688/920×613/filters:focal(1260×604:1740×1084):format(webp)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/70042427/Orbital_Reef_Underneath.0.jpg
ABSTRACT & SUMMARY:
ORBITAL REEF: A orbiting space station catering to businesses and space tourism; offering Boutique Services to the not so vulnerable entities and populations.
“Blue Origin and Sierra Space today announced plans for Orbital Reef, a commercially developed, owned, and operated space station to be built in low Earth orbit. 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. Orbital Reef is backed by space industry leaders and teammates including Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.”
Below is a summary video of the ORBITAL REEF program.
Remarkably, The Boeing Company has accepted the invitational calling to participate and contribute with the “Science module, station operations, maintenance engineering, and Starliner crew spacecraft.”
Arizona State University (A.S.U.), located in Tempe, Arizona (United States of America), is Spearheading and Chairing a Orbital Reef University Advisory Council which includes the following fourteen (14) invited participants within its select Consortium:
- Arizona State University (Chairman)
- University of Oxford
- Purdue University
- Stanford University
- University of Florida
- University of Michigan
- University of Texas at El Paso
- Vanderbilt University
- University of Central Florida
- University of Colorado at Boulder
- Colorado School of Mines
- University of Texas Medical Branch
- International Space University
- Southwest Research Institute
Financial Backing, Mechanisms, and/or Instruments:
The cost or financing of the Orbital Reef program was not mentioned and/or disclosed. The cost of the International Space Station (I.S.S.) spearheaded and lead by the United States (U.S.) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A.) cost $150,000,000,000 ($150 Billion) United States Dollars (U.S.D.). The U.S. taxpayers paid for the vast majority of the I.S.S. with the countries of Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada each making a financial contribution, according to CNBC (Michael Sheetz, March 21, 2021: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/27/nasa-commercial-leo-destinations-project-for-private-space-stations.html).
The Spark for the Conception and Initiation of the Orbital Reef program was likely due to a N.A.S.A. public offering of up to $400,000,000 ($400 million) U.S.D. of competitive grant(s)/contracts funding to up to four (4) companies to begin development of a commercial space station(s) by the end of the year 2021 in a program labeled “Commercial LEO Destinations“, according to CNBC (Michael Sheetz, March 21, 2021: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/27/nasa-commercial-leo-destinations-project-for-private-space-stations.html).. Information on the N.A.S.A. “Commercial LEO Destinations” program can be found at the below website link:
No timeframes and/or timelines for the Orbital Reef program were mentioned and/or disclosed.