A billionaire Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin sued the US government over NASA’s decision to award a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday attempts to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA’s Human Landing System. According to the Court, it believes “the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America.”
Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sided with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration over its decision to pick a single lunar lander provider, rejecting protest of the rocket company founded by Amazon.com Inc billionaire Bezos.
Earlier, Blue Origin said it remained convinced that there were “fundamental issues” with NASA’s decision, and that GAO was not able to address them “due to their limited jurisdiction.”
NASA, which did not immediately comment on the Blue Origin lawsuit, said in July that “GAO’s decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the Moon in more than 50 years.”
As of Monday, SpaceX did not immediately comment.
Blue Origin: NASA gave SpaceX an unfair advantage by letting it revise its pricing
NASA, headed by Tesla Inc’s Musk, had sought proposals for a spacecraft that would carry astronauts to the lunar surface under its Artemis program to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972.
In April, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to build such a spacecraft as early as 2024. Blue Origin suggests NASA gave SpaceX an unfair advantage by letting it revise its pricing.
Bezos has offered to cover up to $2 billion in NASA costs if the U.S. space agency awarded Blue Origin a lunar landing contract.