Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, protests NASA’s decision to award a large contract for a lunar lander to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Full details
Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is suing the US government after NASA’s decision to award a $ 2.9 billion contract for a lunar lander to SpaceX, the company rival owned by Elon Musk. WHAT BLUE ORIGIN SAID
Blue Origin said its lawsuit represents “an attempt to remedy the errors found in the process of acquiring NASA’s Human Landing System,” the transportation system that will allow American astronauts from the Artemis program to reach the surface of the Moon: it will – if successful – be the first time since 1972.
The company added that “the issues” that have emerged “must be addressed to restore equity, create competition and ensure America a safe return to the moon.” THE CLASH ON THE LANDER
Last April, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to build a lander – a spacecraft needed to reach NASA’s surface – by 2024.
However, Blue Origin claims that the agency gave Musk’s company an unfair advantage over other competitors by allowing it to revise the price of its offering. Jeff Bezos has offered to cover up to $ 2 billion in NASA costs if the agency awards the lander contract to Blue Origin. THE INTERVENTION OF THE AUTHORITIES
Last month the Government Accountability Office – a kind of oversight authority of the American Congress – supported NASA in its decision to select a single supplier for the lunar lander, rejecting the previous Blue Origin protest.
Blue Origin – but also Dynetics, an American defense and aerospace company that has the Pentagon and NASA among its clients – think the agency should award contracts to multiple suppliers. The Government Accountability Office, however, rejected these claims, arguing that NASA acted correctly by awarding only one contract, to SpaceX.
However, Blue Origin continues to say it is convinced that there are “basic problems” in NASA’s decision and that the Government Accountability Office has not been able to address them due to its “limited jurisdiction”. WHAT NASA SAID
SpaceX has not commented on the situation. NASA will have until October 12 to submit a response to the Blue Origin lawsuit.
In a statement, the agency said its officials “are currently checking the details of the case. Together with our partners, we will go to the moon and remain there to enable scientific investigations, develop new technologies and create highly paid jobs for the greater good and in preparation for sending astronauts to Mars. ”
NASA added that “as soon as possible […] it will provide an update on the path to return to the moon as quickly and safely as possible under Artemis.” THE DELAYS OF THE ARTEMIS PROGRAM
In addition to the lawsuit with Blue Origin, NASA’s lunar plans have been slowed by delays in the development of the new spacesuits, which will not be ready before 2025, thus making it impossible to respect the date of 2024 for the new moon landing. SpaceX has expressed its willingness to offer its help.

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