The Court Rules Against Blue Origin & Its Claims Over NASA Lunar Lander Contract22nd Nov 2021
A federal judge rules against the Blue Origin lawsuit against NASA’s decision to pick only one lunar lander contract winner – SpaceX. According to the company founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin will not be pursuing any additional investigations on the matter, even though it is not the ‘decision they wanted.’
Lunar Lander Contract Lawsuit in a Nutshell
NASA received three proposals for the lunar lander contract and was rumoured to have chosen two of the three contestants. The latter included SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics. Eventually, NASA chose to award the contract to SpaceX alone, after which Blue Origin filed a request to Government Accountability Office (GAO).
GAO rejected Blue Origin’s contentions, ruling that NASA was in its full right to choose only one contract winner. The federal judge stood by the same decision, even after Blue Origin’s statement about NASA disregarding flight safety requirements when choosing the contract winner. According to the Federal Court decision, there was no evidence that anyone competing for the contract would be able to adjust their proposals for flight readiness reviews. The court also dismissed all claims against the pricing aspects.
Blue Origin Official Response to Court Ruling
After the ruling, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos published a tweet, stating that the decision is not what they wanted, but the team will stand by it. The official company statement once again emphasised the importance of astronaut safety and the company’s further commitment to NASA’s latest lunar mission, Artemis. As a reminder, Artemis aims to build an astronaut base on the Moon.
Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract. pic.twitter.com/BeXc4A8YaW— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 4, 2021
Besides, the official company statement mentions full engagement in maturing NASA’s sustainable lunar lander designs, providing payload services, and conducting various technology risk reductions. Wrapping its statement up, Blue Origin states that it is looking forward to hearing about NASA’s next steps in the human lunar lander procurement process.