Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin protests NASA’s HLS award for Elon Musk’s SpaceX

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin filed a protest against NASA at the Government Accountability Office Monday, calling for the space agency to award a nearly $ 3 billion lunar lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX earlier this month.

SpaceX received $ 2.89 billion for NASA’s Human Landing System program in a competition against Blue Origin and Leidos’ subsidiary Dynetics. The HLS program is focused on building a lunar lander that can transport astronauts to the surface of the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis missions. For HLS, SpaceX offered a variation of its Starship rocket, the prototype of which the company tested at its plant in Texas.

Previously, NASA was supposed to select two of the three teams to competitively build lunar landers, which makes SpaceX’s sole selection surprising given the agency’s previous goals for the program to remain a competition.

Blue Origin described the award as “flawed” in a statement to CNBC and said NASA “moved the goal posts at the last minute”.

“In NASA’s own words, they made a high-risk selection. Their decision eliminates competitive opportunities, limits the supply base significantly, and not only delays America’s return to the moon, but also endangers it. That’s why we have at GAO Protested, “said Blue Origin.

The New York Times first reported on Blue Origin’s GAO protest.

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