Seems like the space drama is not coming to an end anytime soon with NASA halting all its operations regarding the Human Landing System (HLS) till November.
If you’re not up-to-date with all the events surrounding NASA and space rivals SpaceX and Blue Origin, we’ll give you a quick recap. After the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) rejected Blue Origin’s protest and sided with NASA on their decision to select only one recipient for the lunar lander contract due to low funding, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace firm then sued NASA over the lunar lander contract on the claim that it was unfairly evaluated and rewarded to Elon Musk’s SpaceX even when there were “fundamental issues” with the decision. While people were dreading this would affect the operations regarding the HLS just like it did last time, it seems like their concerns were not wrong and NASA has temporarily halted the work on its $2.9 billion lunar contract with SpaceX.
NASA issued a statement in which it confirmed that work on the HLS had been paused following the lawsuit by Blue Origin. “In exchange for this temporary stay of work, all parties agreed to an expedited litigation schedule that concludes on November 1. NASA officials are continuing to work with the Department of Justice to review the details of the case and look forward to a timely resolution of this matter,” the US space agency said.
Seems like Elon Musk isn’t going to sit back and watch Jeff Bezos try to steal his thunder. The SpaceX CEO also intervened in the lawsuit and made sure that the court understood the potential harm that NASA and SpaceX would suffer if they sided with claims brought forward by Blue Origin. They want to ensure that the court “has a complete and accurate picture of the facts and circumstances surrounding this protest.”
While the mission to land humans on the Moon has been put on a halt for the time being, we can’t wait for season 5 of the space drama…