Blue Origin, the space company founded and run by Jeff Bezos lost the lawsuit against NASA and SpaceX over the lunar lander contract. United States Court of Federal Claims Judge Richard A. Hertling gave the judgment in favor of NASA and SpaceX and closed the case yesterday.
NASA awarded this $2.89 billion historical project to SpaceX after carefully examining all the proposed designs from multiple aerospace companies in April this year. Competitors for this project were Dynetics (Leidos), Blue Origin, and SpaceX.
Clearly, Jeff Bezos did not like this disqualification, Blue Origin moved a lawsuit against both NASA and SpaceX claiming the national space agency had done injustice in its selection. However, we now have a clear winner of the next human lunar landing mission and that is SpaceX.
“Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract,” Jeff Bezos stated on Twitter.
The protest by Blue Origin resulted in the delay of the project and the professional rivalry between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos rose to new levels. However, in the meantime, both CEOs exchanged congratulations on successful low Earth orbit missions by their space companies.
As the judgment of this case came in, Elon Musk once again trolled Jeff Bezos on Twitter with a meme that says “You have been judged!”.
The design of the SpaceX HLS (human landing system) is based on the company’s flagship spaceship Starship. NASA will be using the Starship lunar lander to launch astronauts on the Moon by 2024 under its Artemis program.
NASA & SpaceX want to build a base on the Moon that will serve as an intermediary station towards the journey of Mars.
The SpaceX Starship is a fully reusable launch and landing system designed for travel to the Moon, Mars, and other destinations. It launches aboard a SpaceX Super Heavy rocket and is fueled in low Earth orbit before embarking to lunar orbit.Source: NASA Atermis Program PDF