Blue Origin unveiled plans for a new spacecraft platform designed to serve as a multi-use, multi-mission way station providing services that span hosting, transportation, refueling, data relay, logistics, and more.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Kent, Wash.-based space venture is calling the platform Blue Ring, and it’s being developed by a new Blue Origin business unit called In-Space Systems, according to a Monday blog post.
Blue Ring would serve commercial and government customers with in-space logistics and delivery, including cloud computing capability, for missions in medium Earth orbit out to the cislunar region and beyond.
“Blue Ring addresses two of the most difficult challenges in spaceflight today: growing space infrastructure and increasing mobility on-orbit,” Paul Ebertz, senior vice president of In-Space Systems, said in a statement. “We’re offering our customers the ability to easily access and maneuver through a variety of orbits cost-effectively while having access to critical data to ensure a successful mission.”
The platforms will be powered by a hybrid chemical and solar-electric propulsion system, designed and mostly manufactured by Blue Origin, Aviation Week reported.
While the dimensions of Blue Ring were not revealed, the platform would harness electric power from roll-out solar arrays that span about 144 feet. A single Blue Ring could carry more than 6,660 pounds of payloads, Aviation Week said.
Aviation Week also reported that Blue Ring engines would not be repurposed from Blue Origin’s current engine line in use on the New Shepard suborbital system and other craft.
Blue Origin is set to get a new CEO, as former Amazon devices chief Dave Limp is taking over the top job on Dec. 4.