Bezos’ Blue Origin pitches “mixed-use business park” in space by end of decade

Orbital Reef space station would be marketed to science and hospitality firms

Photo Illustration of Jeff Bezos with a rendering of the space station (Getty, Orbital Reef)
Photo Illustration of Jeff Bezos with a rendering of the space station (Getty, Orbital Reef)

Jeff Bezos’ latest venture, a “mixed use business park,” won’t show up on LoopNet listings anytime soon.

Bezos’ Blue Origin said this week that it plans to build what would undoubtedly be the most exclusive commercial space in the solar system — a space station in orbit around Earth, according to NPR. Amenities would include weightlessness and of course a spectacular view.

It would also be 310 miles from the closest highway or train station.

A rendering of the research facility (Orbital Reef)

A rendering of the research facility (Orbital Reef)

“Whether your business is scientific research, exploration system development, invention and manufacture of new and unique products, media and advertising, or exotic hospitality, you’ll find a berth here,” according to a statement from the company.

Blue Origin aims to make the space station, dubbed Orbital Reef, operational by the second half of this decade.

The “Baseline Configuration” of Orbital Reef totals about 830 cubic meters, or close to 3,000 square feet, almost as large as the International Space Station. It would fit 10 people “in big modules with big windows.” The station’s design is modular, with ports for vehicles and berths.

Blue Origin is working on the project with five others — Sierra Space, Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions and Arizona State University.

Tourism could play a major part in the business model, between Blue Origin’s pitch for “exotic hospitality” and a planned single-person spacecraft for “tourist excursions” outside the station, provided by Genesis Engineering Solutions.

“Now, anyone can establish an address in orbit,” Blue Origin said. “Orbital Reef expands access, lowers the cost, and provides everything needed to help you operate your business in space.”

Meanwhile Bezos and his other company, Amazon, are busy gobbling up real estate here on Earth.

Last year the company expanded its square footage by 50 percent from 2019. It amassed logistics space nationwide this year and now owns about $57.3 billion of property.

Bezos last year bought a Beverly Hills estate for a U.S. record of $165 million and a few months later bought another property in Los Angeles for $90 million.

He also bought two units at 212 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan since the beginning of last year.

[NPR] — Dennis Lynch