Despite a recent court struggle, NASA has recently announced a financing scheme for Blue Origin's planned space station. The government has chosen to assist support the commercial space firm's Orbital Reef as part of its Commercial LEO Development initiative, which focuses on building commercial low-Earth orbit destinations, thanks to the Space Act Agreement. Blue Origin and its partner Sierra Space will build the space station, with the former in charge of the station's architecture and infrastructure and the latter of the station's Large Integrated Flexible Environment (LIFE). The business hopes to debut its first modules by the end of the decade, with more expansions following in the early 2030s.
In a statement, Blue Origin's senior VP of advanced development projects Brent Sherwood stated, "We are happy that NASA supports the development of Orbital Reef, a new concept to making Earth orbit more accessible to various consumers and businesses."The new alliance comes less than a month after a dispute between the two organizations was settled in NASA's favor. The American space agency awarded the lunar lander contract to Blue Origin's competitor SpaceX in May, a move that Jeff Bezos' firm deemed "fundamentally unfair." Blue Origin and the Government Accountability Office both sued NASA, but to no avail.