Space is the ultimate frontier! A place to express human creativity at its purest or, what's the matter, Jeff Bezos. Is it a "business park?" Yes, that's possible.
Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos's space exploration company, has announced that it will build the first commercial space station in low Earth orbit with Sierra Space and other partners. It won't be run by the government, but it will theoretically be available to tenants and visitors to allow them to get an address in space.
Orbital Reef is the name that the companies have given to the station. The name is exciting and the press release refers to the station as a "new ecosystem", but all of your fantasies about a space civilization are wiped away when Orbital Reef is described as a "business park".
A business park is a group of office buildings with grass, or even water features, if you're fortunate. It's like a park! For grownups who spend most of their day in cubicles under fluorescent lights, it's like a park. This is Jeff Bezos vision of the future for humanity in space.
Orbital Reef "provides the essential infrastructure required to scale economic activity, and open new space markets," reads the announcement. Ah, yes, there is a new market for economic activity. This is what every child sees when they look at the cosmos. We are going to cry, please.
The announcement does not include any details other than a statement that Orbital Reef would be the new hot home for capitalists around the world. The announcement does not mention the cost of round-trip travel or crew members. According to the companies, it will be operational in the second half of the decade. We have a bright future to look forward to!