Photo: Tony Gutierrez (AP)
Blue Origin is suing the US Court of Federal Claims over NASA’s decision to award a $1 million moon landing contract to SpaceX. The change is striking given Jeff Bezos’ previous observations of how these processes are hampering progress in space.
The private space company, owned by Jeff Bezos, has filed its case in an “attempt to fix flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA’s human landing system,” a Blue Origin spokesperson explained in an email.
NASA originally intended to award two contracts for the Artemis lunar module, but cuts in the US Congress, which will be channeled into the agency’s budget in 2021, made the idea impossible; NASA has received Only $850 million of its 3.3 billion request.
In April, the US space agency awarded one contract worth $2.89 billion to SpaceX. Blue Origin, together with its partners Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper, has requested a $5.99 billion contract.
Blue Origin was introduced, along with Dynetics protests in the Government Accountability Office (GAO), alleging that the bidding process was unfair and that NASA was obligated to award multiple contracts. The Government Accountability Office disputed, saying that “the space agency’s assessment of all three proposals was reasonable and consistent with applicable tenure law, regulations, and advertising terms” as outlined in Report for July 30.
Unwilling to admit defeat, Bezos wrote a open letter to NASA’s Bill Nelson in July, saying he would waive all payments of up to $2 billion for the first commercial landing (HLS) contract. The company has also launched a graphic war, detailing what it sees as the shortcomings of SpaceX’s solution.
The sad thing is that even if Santa Claus suddenly makes his devices real for free, the first thing you want to do is cancel them
– Elon Musk August 13, 2021
Elon Musk responded in kind. Earlier this month, SpaceX CEO tweet A non-charismatic image showing a blank model of the lunar module Blue Origin.
Somehow, this was not convincing… pic.twitter.com/qAn8Y6i5Ys
– Elon Musk August 12, 2021
And now, Blue Origin is taking NASA to federal court. The company argues that “the issues identified in this acquisition and its outcome must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America,” according to a Blue Origin spokesperson.
No further details were provided about the process. The event opened on Friday, August 13, and Blue Origin received an order to “protect confidential information, proprietary and source selection” on August 16, according to Reports to Space News.
NASA said it is aware of the process and is “currently reviewing the details of the case,” the agency explained in a statement.
Bezos’ cruelty, cynicism, hypocrisy, or whatever you want to call it, is blunt here. As Space Policy Online points out, Bezos already may happen On this – the companies that are suing NASA for lost contracts – and how they are holding back progress. Here’s what Bezos said in 2019 to talk ao JFK Space Summit:
As large NASA programs come to be seen as business opportunities, they must be distributed to the right states, where the right senators live, and so on. what ever; Take a man or a woman to the moon, keeping X number of jobs in that area. This is complicated and unhealthy.
Today, for example, there have been three protests on the agenda and the losers are going to sue the federal government because they didn’t win. It’s intriguing, but what slows things down is shopping. What I do know is that it is frustrating to all the people of good will at NASA.
It appears that a frustrated Jeff Bezos is deliberately working to frustrate the “people of good will at NASA” and slow things down. Indeed, this process, such as the protest by the Government Accountability Office, which temporarily suspended the HLS project, is likely to again lead to delays.
The arrival of Americans to the Moon in 2024 seems farther and farther away with each passing day. To further complicate matters, perhaps NASA You won’t have your next generation space suit ready Until 2025, and your next missile space launch system Not yet released.
All the hype from Blue Origin is a little unsettling, as the second decade of a lunar probe is almost inevitable. NASA has made it clear that it wants multiple landing pads and that this is critical to its long-term goals on the Moon.
The Starship’s first orbital group should be ready to fly in a few weeks, just awaiting regulatory approval
– Elon Musk August 15, 2021
Elon Musk recently stacked His spacecraft rocket atop an extremely heavy rocket, resulting – albeit temporarily – into the longest rocket ever built. musk he said that An orbital test flight from this giant could occur in a few weeks, pending regulatory approval.