HomeBusinessJeff Bezos' Blue Origin takes NASA to federal court over HLS contract

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin takes NASA to federal court over HLS contract

Billionaire American businessman Jeff Bezos walks with Blue Origin’s President and CEO Bob Smith after Bezos flew on the corporate’s inaugural flight to the sting of house, within the close by city of Van Horn, Texas, U.S. July 20, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

Jeff Bezos’ house firm Blue Origin filed a criticism in federal court docket in opposition to NASA, persevering with its protest that the company wrongly awarded a profitable contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX earlier this yr.

“This bid protest challenges NASA’s illegal and improper analysis of proposals,” Blue Origin’s legal professionals wrote in its court docket submitting.

The protest, filed within the U.S. Court docket of Federal Claims on Monday, is sealed and marks the following step within the firm’s try and get NASA’s determination overturned. A Blue Origin spokesperson confirmed the lawsuit submitting, including in an announcement to CNBC that it’s trying “to treatment the failings within the acquisition course of present in NASA’s Human Touchdown System.”

“We firmly imagine that the problems recognized on this procurement and its outcomes should be addressed to revive equity, create competitors, and guarantee a secure return to the Moon for America,” Blue Origin stated.

In an announcement to CNBC, a NASA spokesperson stated the house company’s “officers are presently reviewing particulars of the case.”

Blue Origin’s submitting in court docket comes a few weeks after the U.S. Authorities Accountability Workplace denied the corporate’s protest, upholding NASA’s determination.

The GAO ruling backed the house company’s shock announcement in April that NASA awarded SpaceX with a lunar lander contract value about $2.9 billion. SpaceX was competing with Blue Origin and Dynetics for what was anticipated to be two contracts, earlier than NASA solely awarded a single contract attributable to a lower-than-expected allocation for this system from Congress.

Blue Origin has not let up on its struggle to win a contract below NASA’s HLS program, one of many closing key items of the company’s plan to return U.S. astronauts to the floor of the moon. Earlier than the April contract award, NASA had handed out practically $1 billion in idea growth contracts – with SpaceX receiving $135 million, Dynetics $253 million, and Blue Origin receiving $579 million.

The corporate’s court docket submitting on Monday comes as Blue Origin has stepped up a public relations offensive in opposition to NASA utilizing SpaceX’s next-generation Starship to land astronauts on the moon. In a sequence of comparative infographics, Blue Origin has emphasised the “unprecedented variety of applied sciences, developments, and operations which have by no means been finished earlier than for Starship to land on the Moon.”

Blue Origin final week launched an infographic that added that Starship is “a launch automobile that has by no means flown to orbit and remains to be being designed.”

Musk, in response to Blue Origin’s infographic, gave his view of Bezos’ firm and its criticism.

“The unhappy factor is that even when Santa Claus instantly made their {hardware} actual free of charge, the very first thing you’d wish to do is cancel it,” Musk wrote in a tweet.

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