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NASA Announces Testing Milestone Achievements for Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef

Satellite testing

NASA Announces Testing Milestone Achievements for Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef

Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef space station completed four testing milestones under a NASA Space Act Agreement awarded to the company in 2021.

According to Angela Hart, manager of NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program, the milestones ensure that Orbital Reef can sustain human life and allow researchers to conduct experiments in LEO. Specifically, the milestones were reached following a trace contamination control test and other fluid control tests, ensuring that systems can clean, reclaim and store used air and water.

Orbital Reef’s air and water recycling process is similar to that of the International Space Station, NASA said.

The tests came after NASA granted additional funding for the Commercial LEO Development Program in January. Blue Origin received an additional $42 million for Orbital Reef development, bumping the total budget to $172 million.

Blue Origin unveiled Orbital Reef in 2021 as a space-based “commercial destination” operating like a business park. It touts enhanced services, technical support, transportation, payload delivery, security and standardization benefits to NASA and future users who want to perform their business in LEO environments.

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Category: Space

Tags: air and water recycling Angela Hart Blue Origin Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program commercial space station NASA Orbital Reef satellite testing and development space