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  • Satellite Evolution

Keystone Space Collaborative and Sierra Space to support development of Orbital Reef Space Station

The Keystone Space Collaborative, a nonprofit organization leading the expansion of space industry business and talent in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that supports the development of Orbital Reef, the world’s first commercial space station being built by co-lead investors Sierra Space and Blue Origin.

The MOU also supports joint business opportunities between the Keystone Space Collaborative and Sierra Space, aligning with the Collaborative’s mission to advance the space economy in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The partnership ultimately aims to inspire a broader interest in the commercial LEO economy and in microgravity research. The goal is to capitalize on Sierra Space’s access to platforms in space and the Keystone Space Collaborative’s growing network of customers who realize the benefit of these platforms to develop a pipeline of research and technology in commercial LEO for all types of organizations in the region. Furthermore, Sierra Space and the Keystone Space Collaborative believe their combined efforts offer great opportunities in initial research and technical payloads for use in commercial space stations such as Orbital Reef.

“There are so many companies, people and entities across our region with the skills and technology to make incredible strides in space exploration,” said Priscilla Beal, Keystone Space Collaborative founding member and Board Vice Chair. “This partnership is one exciting step the Keystone Space Collaborative plans to take to create connections, job opportunities and ways to capitalize on our region’s assets to become a leader in developing the commercial space industry.”

The intention is to operate Orbital Reef as an ongoing commercial enterprise for use by:

  • Advertising and consumer goods companies

  • Manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies

  • Private space tourists

  • Scientific and educational institutions

  • Sovereign users

  • Space agencies

  • The entertainment industry

“Sierra Space is thrilled to partner with the Keystone Space Collaborative to grow the commercial space sector in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia,” added Neeraj Gupta, Sierra Space Senior Vice President & General Manager, Space Destinations. “As the commercial space economy continues to rapidly expand, our efforts are aligned to further develop the capabilities of Sierra Space’s innovative technologies tied to Orbital Reef and our LIFE habitat systems for our industry partners. Sierra Space aims to be the leading service provider for the region and work with the Keystone Space Collaborative to develop a pipeline of research, manufacturing, and technology payloads on our commercial LEO platforms.”

Sierra Space designs and manufactures advanced spacecraft, spacecraft subsystems and space technologies for civil, commercial and national security applications. In collaboration with the Keystone Space Collaborative, Sierra Space will co-lead plans to develop, launch, deploy and operate space platforms, including Orbital Reef, with Sierra Space’s LIFE module as the main element for the habitable spaces and with other elements and services to be contributed by partner companies.


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