Blue Origin Says NASA ‘Moved the Goalposts’ in Awarding SpaceX Moon Contract

Earlier this month, NASA awarded SpaceX with a mission contract to head back to the moon, and one space exploration company is not happy about it.

On Monday, Jeff Bezos’ space exploration company, Blue Origin, formally filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office, alleging that NASA’s decision “moved the goalposts last-minute” for contract-bidding companies, according to the New York Times.

In an emailed statement, Blue Origin wrote, “NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goalposts at the last minute.” The Bezos-run company continued, “Their decision eliminates opportunities for competition, significantly narrows the supply base, and not only delays, but also endangers America’s return to the moon. Because of that, we’ve filed a protest with the GAO.”

Following the filing, SpaceX head and fellow billionaire Elon Musk shot back at the announcement in a tweet, saying “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”

Blue Origin has missed out on U.S. national security contracts beginning in 2022 and orbital transportation projects to both SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA), the former a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Along with performing rocket launches, Bezos’s company has unveiled plans for Project Kuiper, a low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet company that is expected to directly compete with SpaceX’s Starlink.