The US aerospace transport company Blue Origin is suing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) over the Artemis program, where it accuses the agency of wrongly evaluating its lunar lander proposal. This legal battle could trigger a pause in the contract between NASA and SpaceX, according to experts, which would directly affect the landing of astronauts on the Moon planned for 2024.
It is important to mention, Blue Origin was part of the companies that competed for the contract with NASA to take the first astronauts to the Moon since 1972. However, the federal agency chose to stay with SpaceX’s proposal of 2.9 thousand million dollars, instead of choosing the Blue Moon landing project, which cost $ 5.9 billion.
Against this background, Blue Origin in its complaint described it as “an illegal and inappropriate evaluation of NASA proposals submitted during the competition.” Likewise, a spokesperson for Jeff Bezos’ company assured that the lawsuit is an attempt to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in the Human Landing System.
In addition to stating in the lawsuit that equity must be restored to create competition and ensure a safe return to the Moon for the United States. Similarly, it is alleged that NASA unfairly negotiated the terms of SpaceX’s proposal before awarding the award, without providing the same opportunities to Blue Origin and Dynetics.
However, according to federal data, SpaceX has already received $ 439 million from NASA. Similarly, the choice of only one company to work on the human lunar lander was due to Congress funding only a quarter of the budget requested for the program. Even Jeff Bezos’s aerospace transport company specified in a statement its firm position on the belief that there are fundamental problems with the decision of the agency in charge of aeronautical investigation.
For her part, the NASA space flight chief, Kathy Lueders spoke about it through a document where she justifies the agency’s choice decision. “There are not enough funds to try a deal at a Blue Origin price that potentially allows the award of a contract,” the engineer said. However, Blue Origin indicated that it will seek an order to pause the NASA and SpaceX contract for the Artemis lunar program pending a resolution in the case.
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