Blue Origin loses lawsuit against NASA over lunar lander
(CNN) – A federal judge rules against Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin space company in the company’s lawsuit against NASA regarding a contract awarded to SpaceX by Elon Musk to develop a lunar lander that will return American astronauts to the Moon under Artemis program.
The decision deepens the battle between the world’s two richest people and their space companies. Elon Musk responded to the verdict by posting a photo on Twitter with the message: “You’re on trial!”
Blue Origin sued NASA in August after the agency awarded SpaceX the only contract for the $2.9 billion Human Landing System (HLS) program. NASA argued that it had hoped to award two contracts, but only awarded one to SpaceX because Congress did not allocate sufficient funds for the HLS program.
The ruling by a judge in the US Court of Federal Claims on Thursday followed a separate decision from the Government Accountability Office in August, which also sided with NASA.
In a statement, Blue Origin said it would continue to partner with NASA on other aspects of its Artemis program, while continuing to raise doubts about “important security issues in the human landing system acquisition process that have yet to be addressed.”
“Safely returning astronauts to the Moon through NASA’s public-private partnership model requires a non-judgmental procurement process combined with a robust policy that includes redundant systems and promotes competition. Blue Origin remains deeply committed to the success of the Artemis program, and we have a broad base of activity in multiple contracts with NASA to achieve the US goal of returning to the Moon to stay,” a Blue Origin spokesperson said.