This may delay the Human Landing system program of NASA.
Jeff Bezos won’t give up on the lunar lander contract that was awarded to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. On Monday, he officially filed a complaint against NASA in federal court. It intensifies his protest that the said government agency wrongly awarded the contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
In its court filing, it stated the complaint challenges NASA’s improper way of evaluating proposals.
NASA Chose SpaceX
Previously, NASA chose SpaceX as the provider for the Human Landing System for Artemis. This project is the follow-up to the agency’s Apollo mission.
SpaceX will provide the vehicle that will carry astronauts to the moon’s surface as soon as 2024.
When the government agency selected SpaceX, many were dismayed. They anticipated that the agency would choose two companies to build the lander designs.
NASA said that Congress didn’t provide them sufficient funding that would allow them to offer two contracts.
Blue Origin argued that the agency should have revised the terms of the program to be clear about its budget. It also pointed out that NASA negotiated improperly with SpaceX, which was the lowest bidder than Blue Origin and Dynetics.
Last month, Blue Origin formally protested NASA’s decision. But the Government Accountability Office denied it.
Instead, it supported NASA’s choice for the human landing system.
The suit is an attempt by Blue Origin to correct the flaws involved in the process. The company wants to restore fairness and create competition.
Many think that Blue Origin is only suing NASA because it chose SpaceX.
NASA is aware of the lawsuit. In a statement:
“NASA is committed to the Artemis program and the nation’s global leadership in space exploration. With our partners, we will go to the Moon and stay to enable science investigations, develop new technology, and create high paying jobs for the greater good and in preparation to send astronauts to Mars. As soon as possible, the agency will provide an update on the way forward for returning to the Moon as quickly and as safely as possible under Artemis.”
The public wasn’t fully aware of the tension between SpaceX and Blue Origin until the latter filed a complaint against NASA a few months ago.
Musk and Bezos are also in potential competition in satellite broadband. Musk’s Starlink is already offering high-speed Internet through low earth orbit. Bezo’s Project Kuiper is also working on a similar offer.
These two billionaires want to save humanity. But they have different plans.
Musk wants to send humans to Mars and create a multi-planetary species. However, Bezos isn’t a fan of Musk’s idea. Instead, he wants to move the heavy industry into orbit to preserve Earth’s environment.
The lawsuit can be Blue Origin’s last attempt to court NASA. Bezos offered to pay for $2 billion of the agency’s expenses just to get the HLS contract. It was a deep discount after the sale was already done.
NASA wants to go to the Moon with only SpaceX. But Blue Origin won’t concede.