NASA Funds Blue Origin's Space Station Project Despite Recent Legal Battle

The Orbital Reef is set to launch by the end of the decade.

Tech
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Despite their recent legal battle, NASA has now announced a funding program for Blue Origin‘s upcoming space station project.

Through the Space Act Agreement, the agency has now decided to help fund the commercial space firm’s Orbital Reef as part of its Commercial LEO Development program, which focuses on developing commercial low-Earth orbit destinations. The space station itself will be constructed by Blue Origin and its partner Sierra Space, with the former responsible for the station’s architecture and infrastructure while the latter is to design its Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE). The company is hoping to launch its first modules by the end of the 2020s, with more expansions to come in the early 2030s.

“We are pleased that NASA supports the development of Orbital Reef, a revolutionary approach to making Earth orbit more accessible to diverse customers and industries,” said Blue Origin’s senior VP of advanced development programs Brent Sherwood in a statement which called the Orbital Reef a “mixed-use space business park.”

The new partnership comes just a month after a lawsuit between the two entities concluded in favor of NASA. Back in May the American space agency awarded its lunar lander contract to Blue Origin’s competitor SpaceX, a decision which Jeff Bezos’ company found to be “fundamentally unfair.” After failing to protest the deal to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Blue Origin sued NASA but to no avail.

Elsewhere in the world of technology, Uber is piloting its audio recording feature in U.S. cities.

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