In view of the possible end of the International Space Station, the US space agency NASA has signed contracts with three companies to develop new space stations. One of these is Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
Blue Origin will receive $130 million, Texas-based Nanoracks $160 million and Virginia-based Northrop Grumman $125.6 million, NASA reported Thursday. “We are working with US companies to develop space destinations that people can visit, live and work in,” said NASA CEO Bill Nelson.
Blue Origin had announced just weeks ago that it was working on its own space station called “Orbital Reef,” along with several partners such as Boeing.
The largest and longest active space station to date is the ISS, which NASA operates with numerous partner agencies worldwide. Alternating astronauts have permanently staffed it since 2000.
It is not yet clear how long the ISS will be used. An official decision on the continued operation after 2024 is still pending. Russia also wants to build its own space station.