Orbital Reef Space Station Advances to Design Phase After NASA Review

Sierra Space and Blue Origin Successfully Complete Orbital Reef System Definition Review

Orbital Reef Space Station, led by co-lead investment partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, advances to design phase after NASA review. (Image Credit: Business Wire)

LOUISVILLE, Colo. & KENT, Wash. (Sierra Space PR) — The Orbital Reef team, led by partners Sierra Space and Blue Origin, has successfully completed its System Definition Review (SDR) with NASA.

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Motiv Space Systems and Blue Origin Announce ModuLink

Credit: Motive Space Systems

Motiv and Blue Origin awarded DIU contract to develop modular and scalable space robotics

PASADENA, Calif. (Motiv Space PR) — Motiv Space Systems announced today it has been awarded a contract under the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU’s) Modularity for Space Systems Program (M4SS) together with sub-contractor Blue Origin. The contract leverages Motiv’s advanced space robotics technology to enable a new age of space utilization in which deployed spacecraft can be repaired, augmented, or modified to make them more resilient and modular.

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Blue Origin to Acquire Honeybee Robotics

ALTADENA, Calif., January 25, 2022 (Honeybee Robotics PR – Honeybee Robotics (Honeybee) today announced that it will be acquired by Blue Origin. With major operations in Longmont, Colorado and Altadena, California, Honeybee will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Origin, headquartered in Kent, Washington. The deal between Honeybee’s parent organization, Ensign-Bickford Industries, and Blue Origin is expected to close in mid-February. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Since 1983, Honeybee Robotics has delivered more than 1,000 advanced projects to government and industrial customers in the spacecraft, planetary exploration, defense robotics, medical devices, mining, oil and gas, and utility infrastructure sectors. Its innovative, reliable, and literally groundbreaking robotic systems operate throughout space: in commercial launch vehicles and satellites and doing innovative work on the Moon, Mars, and Titan. Honeybee’s extensive experience in planetary robotics and mechanisms, drills, motors, actuators, drive electronics, and specialized space mechanisms is complementary to Blue Origin’s system capability’s goal of making space flight routine, and vision of opening space resources to benefit Earth. 

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NASA Selects Orbital Reef to Develop International Space Station Replacement

Orbital Reef commercial space station (Credit: Orbital Reef)

Louisville, Colo., December 2, 2021 (Sierra Space PR) — Orbital Reef, led by partners Blue Origin and Sierra Space, was selected today by NASA for a funded Space Act Agreement for collaboration to design a commercially owned and operated space station in low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA’s Commercial LEO Development program aims to shift NASA’s research and exploration activities in LEO to commercial space stations, helping stimulate a growing space economy before the International Space Station is retired. The Orbital Reef team includes  BoeingRedwire SpaceGenesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.

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Blue Origin Eyes UAE as Possible Launch Site

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, which carried payloads supported by NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, lands on the pad in West Texas on Aug. 26, 2021. NASA’s Orbital Syngas Commodity Augmentation Reactor (OSCAR), which tests technology to convert trash and human waste generated during spaceflight into useful gases, was a part of the 17th New Shepard mission. (Credits: Blue Origin)

The National reports that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is eyeing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for launches of its New Shepard suborbital crew system.

In an exclusive interview with The National, Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programmes for Blue Origin, said the UAE was an “obvious choice” for a spaceport and that it was looking to expand its launch sites from the current one in El Paso, Texas.

“Now that we are operational for tourism, the next thing we are looking at is other locations around the planet to establish launch and landing sites for New Shepard,” he said.

“It’s an obvious place to look here. All we really need is some desert. One of the endearing qualities of the West Texas desert is that it is hard to get to the El Paso airport. You have to drive for a couple of hours and it is in the middle of nowhere.

“A couple of nights ago I slept over in Sharjah and did some stargazing in the desert. It was only 30 minutes away from Dubai, so I think it’s very promising to think about areas here.”

Virgin Galactic is also eyeing the UAE for flights of its suborbital SpaceShipTwo crew vehicle. The government of Abu Dhabi invested $390 million into Richard Branson’s space company.

NASA Tipping Point Partnership with Blue Origin to Test Precision Lunar Landing Technologies

by Clare Skelly
NASA Headquarters

WASHINGTON — From the rim of Shackleton crater to permanently shadowed regions on the Moon, a NASA-developed sensor suite could allow robotic and crewed missions to land precisely on the lunar surface within an area about half the size of a football field.

Technologies to enable exact and soft landings on the Moon and other worlds will fly on Blue Origin’s next New Shepard suborbital rocket launch, currently targeted for 11:00 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 24. The company’s live launch webcast will start at 10:30 a.m. and air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

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National Team Completes System Requirements to Define Integrated Human Landing System Design

The National Team’s engineering mockup of the crew lander vehicle at NASA Johnson Space Center’s (JSC) iconic Building  9. (Credit: Blue Origin)

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — The Human Landing System (HLS) National Team, led by Blue Origin with partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper, has completed its System Requirements Review (SRR). SRR is the first program “gated milestone,” which marks the successful baselining of the requirements for the mission, space vehicles, and ground segment. The design proceeded to the NASA Certification Baseline Review (CBR), followed by the lower-level element SRRs, and the preliminary design phase.

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