Judge rules against Bezos’s Blue Origin in suit over contract for lunar lander
A federal judge ruled against Blue Origin, the space expedition company owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, in a case seeking to overturn NASA’s lunar lander contract with rival company SpaceX.
Thursday’s decision, which was sealed, means that NASA will be allowed to move forward in their work with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, according to The Washington Post.
The space agency said it planned to resume work with SpaceX “as soon as possible,” according to a statement issued Thursday.
“NASA continues working with multiple American companies to bolster competition and commercial readiness for crewed transportation to the lunar surface,” the statement added.
A Blue Origin spokesperson said its lawsuit “highlighted the important safety issues” that “must still be addressed” noting that the company looked forward “to hearing from NASA on next steps.”
“Returning astronauts safely to the Moon through NASA’s public-private partnership model requires an unprejudiced procurement process alongside sound policy that incorporates redundant systems and promotes competition,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.
In addition to suing in August, Blue Origin has previously protested the contract to the Government Accountability Office. But the office supported NASA’s decision to give the contract, worth $2.9 billion, to SpaceX.
In April, NASA awarded the contract to SpaceX with a bid worth half of what Blue Origin intended to charge for its contract. Musk told the Post earlier this year that Blue Origin’s plan “was just way too high. Double that of SpaceX and SpaceX has much more hardware progress.”
The space agency has said it aims to have astronauts on the moon by 2024, a goal that is unlikely to be met, the Post reported.
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