Orbital Reef, a yet-to-be-constructed space station from Blue Origin and Sierra Space, will appear in the forthcoming sci-fi movie titled HELIOS, which is set in the year 2030.
Science fiction films have seen an increased interest in portraying the scientific facets of their worlds more accurately, from the hyperrealistic black hole of Interstellar to the NASA approved lore of The Martian. Film studio Centerboro Productions is also committing itself to the accuracy of our real world—so much so that it has tapped Blue Origin and Sierra Space’s unbuilt Orbital Reef space station to serve as the center piece of its new film HELIOS. The film’s synopsis reads: “When a solar flare hits the International Space Station on a collision course with Earth, it is up to Astronomer and former NASA Astronaut Jess Denver and Air Force Colonel Sam Adler to team up and save humanity.”
“In an era where science fiction films are abundant, we decided early on that we wanted to make a film that was authentic in technology and demonstrates true solutions available to humanity in such a time of crisis,” said HELIOS producer John Lewis in a Blue Origin press release. Lewis is also Vice President of Space 11 Corp, an aerospace company and film studio hybrid.
More specifically, Orbital Reef will be featured as a resource for the crew of the titular spacecraft HELIOS. In real life, Orbital Reef has been described as a “mixed-use business park,” serving industries from scientific research to space tourism. The film will take place in the year 2030—which fits well within the companies’ goal of having Orbital Reef fully operational in 2027 at the earliest. While the station is still far from the beginning of its construction in low Earth orbit, HELIOS is set to begin filming some time in 2023.
As the reign of the International Space Station comes to an end, NASA is eager to find its replacement; the ISS is set to deliberately crash into the Pacific Ocean in 2030. Orbital Reef recently passed a System Definition Review over the summer, meaning that Sierra Space and Blue Origin can now further develop the station’s architecture and design.