Jeff Bezos’ aviation company Blue Origin has unveiled Blue Ring, a spacecraft platform focused on providing in-space logistics and delivery.
Blue Ring is part of a newly-formed Blue Origin business unit called In-Space Systems. It provides end-to-end services that span hosting, transportation, refueling, data relay, and logistics, including an “in-space” cloud computing capability, for missions in medium Earth orbit out to the cislunar region and beyond.
The platform can host payloads of more than 3,000 kg, and provides unprecedented delta-V capabilities and mission flexibility, the company said in a statement on October 16. It will be powered by a hybrid chemical and solar-electric propulsion system, designed and mostly manufactured by Blue Origin. It 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.
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, said reports.
Headquartered in Kent, Washington, Blue Origin won a $3.4 billion NASA contract earlier this year to build a lunar lander for the US space agency’s astronauts.