NASA Is Paying $130 Million To Blue Origin For A New Commercial Space Station

Blue origin has managed to clinch a contract from NASA amounting to a multi-million dollar figure even after the latter was sued by the earlier.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin managed to make a spot for itself amongst three aeronautics companies chosen to create space destinations, also known as “commercial destinations” in space. The total awards were for $415.6 million, NASA said in a statement.

Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman Systems are the three companies entrusted with creating the space destinations. The total sum of $415.6 millionwill be divided almost equally, with $160 million, $130 million and $125.6 million going to Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman Systems, respectively.

“With commercial companies now providing transportation to low-Earth orbit in place, we are partnering with US companies to develop the space destinations where people can visit, live, and work, enabling NASA to continue forging a path in space for the benefit of humanity while fostering commercial activity in space,” agency chief Bill Nelson stated.

NASA has handed out the contracts to the firms in a bid to replace the ISS, which is surely coming off age. The firms have been tasked with designing a commercial replacement of the ISS.

A recent study for NASA’s ISS sustainability reported that the space station is falling apart. The space station’s condition is so bad that NASA explores an “earlier-than-projected obsolescence”. The ISS is set to retire by 2030 if this remains the state of affairs.

NASA has now set its eyes on replacing the ISS with a commercial space centre by 2028. But the only hitch is that owing to the tight timeline; the agency fears that putting a replacement in orbit until after 2030 is a daunting task. What does this mean? There can be a slot of time where there would be no human presence in the space.

The only silver lining here is that Blue Origin’s, Orbital Reef, is set to be launched by 2030. The only thing that would upend the timeline is that Blue Origin somehow manages to get into another legal feud.

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