Blue Origin job listing sheds more light on its space-based orbital habitat ambitions

Blue Origin founder and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made no secret of his ambition to eventually create orbiting space stations that act as places for people to live and work — he outlined a vision based on space settlement designs first conceived by physicist Gerard K. O’Neill, including its lunar lander reveal, at a Blue Origin event last year. Now, however, Blue Origin has issued a job posting seeking a person who will be tasked with leading its efforts around “Orbital Habitat Formulation” (via Space News).

The job posting seeks a person who will be responsible for developing the ultimate vision of “millions of people living and working in space,” with a near-term goal of developing space stations in low Earth orbit that take cues from the existing International Space Station (ISS), but that also go “beyond” that existing shared international research structure, in part by fostering “value-creating economic activity.”

Here’s the core description from the listing:

As Blue Origin’s Formulation Lead for the Orbital Habitat product line, you will lead development of technical concepts, product strategies, business cases, customer relationships, market-shaping outreach, industrial partnerships, implementation approaches, and supply chain. Partnering with business development professionals, you will develop a detailed understanding of NASA, other government, and commercial needs and guide the iterative development of product strategy. You will be accountable for capturing external and internal sponsorship funding to establish viable LEO destination systems in the 2020s. You will directly impact the history of human spaceflight.

Blue Origin also says that what they’re building will be “fundamentally different” from stations like the ISS, which are designed for “small, professional trained crews.” It sounds like they want to make them quite a bit more habitable and practical for non-expert users, who are there primarily for commercial purposes — not to be astronauts first and foremost.

We’re probably still quite a ways away from the idealistic concept vision that Bezos shared at last May’s event, pictured above. But depending on how badly he wants it to happen, we could have Blue Origin commercial space habitats in orbit sooner than some might think.