And the space drama continues (which is pretty much a soap opera at this point)
In a series of unlucky strikes for Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos, with SpaceX landing NASA’s lunar contract for Human Landing System (HLS) and Blue Origin suing NASA over the contract, it seems like things have taken a turn for the worse for Jeff Bezos’ space firm as now their lead engineer has joined SpaceX as well (Yikes).
Nitin Arora, the lead of mission architecture and integration of Blue Origin’s Human Landing System team shared an update on LinkedIn in which he announced his departure from the company as well as plans for joining SpaceX as the next step. “Friday (August 13th) was my last day at Blue Origin. It was one hell of a ride working on the lunar program. Really honored that I got a chance to work with and lead incredibly smart, passionate people over last three years. Next stop, SpaceX! I am incredibly excited and looking forward to it,” Arora wrote in the post.
The timing couldn’t be worse for Blue Origin as they’re already fighting a legal battle with NASA over the unfair evaluation for the lunar landing contract while also trying to stay head-to-head with SpaceX and now the news of their lead engineer joining the rival company is just adding fuel to the fire at this point.
It’s still not clear whether Arora knew about the lawsuit filed against NASA and if that played a role in him deciding to switch teams at the last minute. But it seems like many of Blue Origin’s employees do not agree with the PR stunts and infographics being presented against SpaceX and are “rather disgusted and embarrassed to be represented in this manner.” This might even be the start of a trend where other employees decide to follow suit. In that case, Blue Origin should start packing their bags soon.