The U.S. Federal Court of Claims has ruled against Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin in the company lawsuit against NASA, which has contributed to delaying the agency’s plan to go back to the Moon. The lawsuit was the last of the many moves by the amazon Billionaire’s company to obtain a lucrative lunar lander contract.
NASA was originally looking for two companies to provide landing vehicles to get down on the Moon. Three companies were pitching vehicles and having taken into consideration everything, the space agency decided to award the contract solely to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The contract, which has a $2.89 billion price tag, is over three billion dollars cheaper than what Blue Origin had proposed.
Bezos' filed complaints to the Government Accountability Office and having lost the race they decided to take NASA to court. This led to the work on the lander being halted until the matter was resolved. A memorandum of opinion from the court is expected to be released on November 18, after redactions.
The decision to include commercial partners in NASA’s return to the Moon had three ideal goals: lower costs in the long term, faster turn-around of technology, and increase in sustainability in production. This sorry saga, as it has been called online, has instead caused delays and wasted money.
"NASA was notified Thursday that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied Blue Origin’s bid protest, upholding NASA’s selection of SpaceX to develop and demonstrate a modern human lunar lander. NASA will resume work with SpaceX under the Option A contract as soon as possible," the agency said in a press statement. "In addition to this contract, NASA continues working with multiple American companies to bolster competition and commercial readiness for crewed transportation to the lunar surface."
Losing on this contract is among the many troubles Blue Origin is currently facing. Jeff Bezos’ company has been accused of sexism in the workplace by current and former employees who have also expressed safety concerns about the rockets.