Capitol Momentum - Jan 2023

Sierra Space and Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef passes System Definition Review

A rendering of Orbital Reef. Credit: Orbital Reef

Edinburgh / Louisville, Colorado / Kent, Washington, 24 August 2022.Orbital Reef, Sierra Space and Blue Origin’s upcoming commercial space station, has successfully completed its System Definition Review (SDR) with NASA, Sierra Space said.

The SDR is key to establishing the functional baseline for the commercially developed, owned and operated low-Earth orbit (LEO) Orbital Reef. It demonstrates feasibility and achievability of the space station design and also validates that the system is ready for the design phase. During the SDR, NASA conducted an extensive review to ensure that Orbital Reef’s architecture meets the functional and performance requirements.

The Orbital Reef team comprises Amazon Supply Chain, Amazon Web Services, Arizona State University, Boeing, Genesis Engineering Solutions and Redwire Space. The team will continue maturing the design of the space station jointly with NASA as part of the Commercial Low-Earth Orbit Development (CLDP) program.

Orbital Reef will serve as a microgravity factory and host space exploration and development. The space station will enable research, industrial, international, and commercial customers to establish their own business address in orbit. Clients will be offered end-to-end services including space transportation and logistics, space habitation, equipment accommodation and operations, Sierra said. Orbital Reef is expected to be operational by 2027.

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