Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin Sue NASA Over SpaceX Lunar Contract

Image credit: Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos’ space agency Blue Origin is suing NASA, claiming that a $2.9 billion USD lunar landing contract was awarded unfairly to SpaceX, reports the BBC.

The contract, which originally stated plans to host two space exploration providers, apparently had to reduce the contract to just one company as a result of a lack of proper funding.

In a statement, Blue Origin said, “We firmly believe that 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.”

NASA will be required to file a legal response by October 12, to Blue Origin claims that NASA used “unlawful and improper evaluation” of contract proposals – not unlike its allegations a few months ago that NASA “moved the goalposts” when awarding the moon outpost contract.

The suit refers to NASA’s Artemis Project, which will reportedly be launched via SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy in 2024 if the contract is to remain the same. In addition to providing rocket and spacecraft hardware for the 2024 launch, SpaceX offered to help NASA develop spacesuits following a report that said the agency’s spacesuit development was falling behind.

In July, Bezos offered $2 billion USD to have NASA reconsider the lunar mission’s contract, but was denied once again, with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) even saying that NASA had not acted improperly.