NASA lunar module: Blue Origin sues against billions in contract

NASA Lunar Module
Blue Origin is suing against a billion-dollar contract

NASA wants to bring astronauts back to the moon for the first time since 1972. But there is a dispute over the award procedure for the new lunar module. The space company of Amazon founder Bezos is now suing the US government over the billion dollar contract with competitor SpaceX.

The space company Blue Origin of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has sued the US government over a billion dollar contract with the competitor SpaceX from Tesla founder Elon Musk. As announced by Blue Origin, “errors” in the award procedure for the new lunar module of the space agency NASA are to be corrected with the lawsuit. NASA awarded the $ 2.9 billion contract to SpaceX in April.

“We firmly believe that the issues in the procurement process and its outcome need to be resolved to restore fairness, ensure competition and ensure a safe return to the moon for America,” said Blue Origin. Blue Origin had already protested violently against NASA’s decision immediately after the award to SpaceX and, among other things, lodged a complaint with the US audit office. NASA said it had been informed of the lawsuit by Blue Origin and was investigating the case.

NASA wants to bring astronauts back to the moon for the first time since 1972. With the mission Artemis 1, according to the previous plans, a spaceship is to be launched as a test flight to the moon at the end of this year. Initially without a crew, it should orbit the moon and then return to earth.

With Artemis 2, astronauts are expected to orbit the moon in 2023. Only with Artemis 3 will astronauts actually land on the earth’s satellite. Former US President Donald Trump had set NASA a deadline of 2024 for this. It is still unclear whether Trump’s successor Joe Biden will stick to the extremely ambitious schedule.