Blue Origin sues NASA over SpaceX moon lander contract

Blue Origin lodged a complaint in the federal court against NASA. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ company accuses the US space agency of having chosen exclusively SpaceX when picking a manufacturer to build the next moon landing module for the Artemis program.

“Instead of investing in two competing lunar landers as originally intended, the Agency chose to confer a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar head start to SpaceX,” Jeff Bezos explained in an open letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson published on July 26, 2021. “That decision broke the mold of NASA’s successful commercial space programs by putting an end to meaningful competition for years to come.”

In April 2021, NASA announced that it had awarded Elon Musk’s company the project to build a moon lander, known as the Human Landing System (HLS), for $2.9 billion. At the time, competitors including Blue Origin had already filed a complaint to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which was eventually dismissed.

The cost of Blue Origin’s proposal, developed in conjunction with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, was higher than SpaceX’s “by a wide margin,” according to NASA.


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