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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin on Monday unveiled plans to develop a commercial space station called "Orbital Reef."

Why it matters: The private space station, which will be nearly as large as the International Space Station, would be the first of its kind and comes amid growing interest in the private space industry.

  • The project is a collaboration involving Blue Origin and five other industry leaders, including Sierra Space and Boeing.
  • Orbital Reef is slated to deploy sometime from 2025 to 2030 and is described as operating as a "mixed-use business park," according to the release.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Miriam Kramer: The companies behind Orbital Reef think it should be an attractive option for NASA, which is in search of private space stations to make use of after the end of the International Space Station by the end of the decade.

  • Instead of running its own station, NASA hopes to help support private companies building their own orbital outposts where they will be able to send astronauts in the future.

What they're saying: "We will expand access, lower the cost, and provide all the services and amenities needed to normalize space flight," said Brent Sherwood, senior vice president of advanced development programs for Blue Origin.

  • "A vibrant business ecosystem will grow in low Earth orbit, generating new discoveries, new products, new entertainments and global awareness."

Go deeper

Mapped: D.C. region's top transportation projects

Note: Solid blue lines represent existing bicycle trails and not all bicycle lanes, while some timelines for lanes have changed since the original unveiling in 2020. Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

There are several key transportation projects to watch in our region, including dedicated bicycle and bus lanes in D.C., the long-awaited Dulles International Airport Silver Line Metro station, and highway widening in Virginia and Maryland.

Why it matters: The public transit and road projects aim to meet the demands of Greater Washington, which grew 13% over the decade to a population of 6.38 million, census data shows.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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