Space: the final frontier! An inspiring locale in which to realize the purest expression of human ingenuity or, what’s that, Jeff Bezos? A “business park”? Oh, ok. Sure.
Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company, Blue Origin, announced with Sierra Space and several other partners that it plans to build the first “commercial space station” in low Earth orbit. That means it won’t be a government-run station, but will theoretically be open to visitors and tenants to, as the company says, get an address in space.
The companies are calling the station Orbital Reef. And while the name sounds exciting, and the press release describes the station as a new “ecosystem,” all starry eyed notions of what a civilization in space could look like evaporate when they describe Orbital Reef as a “business park.”
A business park is a collection of office buildings, with some grass or hey even a water feature or two in between structures, if you’re lucky. Like a park! But for grownups, who spend the majority of their waking hours in a cubicle under fluorescent light. And that, apparently, is Jeff Bezos’ vision for the future of humanity in space.
Orbital Reef will “provide the essential infrastructure needed to scale economic activity and open new markets in space,” the announcement reads. Ah yes, a new economic market. Just what every young child dreams of when they look up at the cosmos. Excuse us while we go cry.
Beyond stating that Orbital Reef will be the hot new home for capitalists everywhere, the announcement is otherwise light on details. Visitors will get access to round trip travel and crew members, but there’s no mention of cost. The companies say it will begin operating in the “second half” of the decade. What a bright future we have to look forward to, indeed.