Blue Origin, the company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, announced plans on Monday to collaborate with Boeing on the development of a commercial space station called "Orbital Reef" with the goal of launching the spacecraft in the second half of this decade.
The initiative will be developed in collaboration with Sierra Space, the spaceflight division of defense contractor Sierra Nevada Corp, and will be supported by Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.
According to Blue Origin and Sierra Space, Orbital Reef will be operated as a "mixed-use business park" with the intention to provide the infrastructure needed to scale economic activity and develop new markets in space.
"Seasoned space agencies, high-tech consortia, sovereign nations without space programs, media and travel companies, funded entrepreneurs and sponsored inventors, and future-minded investors all have a place on Orbital Reef," the corporations said in a statement.
Sierra revealed plans in April to build the world's first free-flying commercial space station.
Blue Origin's first space tourism trip, with Bezos and three people aboard, was a success in July. Earlier this month, 90-year-old American actor William Shatner - Captain James Kirk of "Star Trek" fame - became the oldest person in orbit on a Blue Origin rocketship.