News | Apr 5, 2022

Orbital Reef Team Achieves Design Milestone

Sierra Space and Blue Origin led three-month sprint to critical SRR milestone; Successful completion of System Requirements Review demonstrates progress toward final Orbital Reef design

The Orbital Reef team, led by principal partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, has successfully completed its Systems Requirements Review (SRR) in just three months. The SRR is an important program milestone marking the baselining of the requirements for the mission and design of Orbital Reef, a commercially developed, owned, and operated space station to be built in low Earth orbit (LEO).

The SRR reviewed Orbital Reef specifications to ensure they reflect the current knowledge of the mission and market requirements to serve as a stable baseline to proceed with development. The Orbital Reef team, including Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, Amazon Distribution & Fulfillment Solutions, Amazon Web Services and Arizona State University, is maturing the design of its space station in partnership with NASA under the agency’s Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development (CLDP) program. NASA awarded the agreement in December 2021 to shift NASA’s research and exploration activities in LEO to commercial space stations and help stimulate a growing space economy.

The review assessed Orbital Reef’s ability to meet safety and mission requirements and evaluated the technical readiness of the design, the concept of operations, the feasibility of project development plans, and planned verification activities. Representatives from Blue Origin, Sierra Space, team members, and NASA participated in the review, which was conducted virtually.

“At Sierra Space we are building a platform in Space to benefit life on Earth, and forming a catalyst for disruptive technological breakthroughs and innovations that will shape the world of tomorrow,” said Tom Vice, CEO of Sierra Space. “It is clear that having achieved this key program milestone - and the maturity of the system we are building with Blue Origin - that we are a step closer to realizing that vision.”

“This SRR is a significant milestone toward commercializing low-Earth orbit,” said Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin. “What’s especially exciting is how the Orbital Reef team is combining NASA’s goals with the needs of others to promote new commercial markets.”

Orbital Reef 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. Designed to open multiple new markets in space, Orbital Reef will provide anyone with the opportunity to establish their own address in orbit. 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. The station will start operating in the second half of this decade.

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