Blue Origin And Jeff Bezos Are Suing NASA For Awarding Lunar Contract To SpaceX

Another day, another space rivalry, another contract up in flames…

Jeff Bezos’ aerospace firm Blue Origin has just sued NASA over the lunar lander contract and claims that it was unfairly evaluated and rewarded to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the company’s rival in space. Well, seems like humans won’t be taking a round trip to the moon anytime soon…

The complaint was filed with the U.S Court of Federal Claims which questions NASA’s decision regarding selecting SpaceX as the sole recipient of the lunar lander award. The lunar lander contract is basically a contract by NASA to develop a Human Landing System (HLS) and land the next astronauts on the moon as part of its Artemis 3 mission in 2024. Initially, NASA announced that it would give the contract rights to two companies but later only accepted SpaceX’s $2.9 billion Starship program while rejecting Blue Origin’s $5.9 billion Blue Moon landing system proposal. It tried to justify its decision and claimed Congress had reduced the funding for the project which allowed them to only select one contract recipient. Blue Origin filed a protest against NASA and said that the agency should have changed the original program’s terms before launching it and even accused NASA of favoring SpaceX’s proposal and selecting it prior to the award but these claims were rejected by GAO (Government Accountability Office). This process put a pause on SpaceX’s development which in turn pushed NASA’s Artemis timeline further back.

Now seems like NASA, SpaceX and Blue Origin are back in the same boat yet again and the developments will most likely be halted until the case between NASA and Blue Origin is settled. According to the official request to file the lawsuit, it states, “[it] challenges NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals submitted under the HLS Option A BAA.” Jeff Bezos isn’t going to back down that easily and let Elon Musk take the spotlight, even if it means delaying returning humans back to the Moon for a while.

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