Return to the Moon: Blue Origin Files a Complaint against NASA, which chose SpaceX

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The SpaceX prototype during a test flight on December 9, 2020

SPACE: Jeff Bezos and his company accuse NASA of acting “biased” and favouring SpaceX when awarding the contract for the lunar mission project with the budget of nearly $ 3 billion

Blue Origin recently officially protested to the US public financial control body (GAO) after the signing of an agreement between NASA and SpaceX. The space agency has indeed entrusted to the company of Elon Musk the mission to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and the budget of 2.9 billion dollars (2.4 billion euros) which accompanies it. Three candidates were in competition, says The Verge.

They had all received funding from NASA to develop a module capable of landing on our satellite. The US space agency had to choose two of the projects. Due to an insufficient federal budget, it ultimately selected only SpaceX. In a statement released on Monday, Blue Origin called the process “biased” and compared it to “moving the goalposts at the last minute”.

Favouritism denounced

The company founded by Jeff Bezos estimated that “this decision eliminates any possibility of competition, reduces supply significantly and not only delays but endangers the return of the United States to the Moon”. In its 175-page complaint, Blue Origin accuses NASA of not having offered it the opportunity to review its proposal when the agency learned of the budget cut.

The GAO document also mentions favouritism towards SpaceX. NASA is notably criticized for not having taken into account the technical problems encountered by the Starship vessel of the competing company. For all these reasons, Blue Origin asked the budgetary authorities to summon NASA to cancel the award of the contract and to launch a modified call for applications taking into account the new financial situation

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