Nasa says Blue Origin prioritizes over any living person.
NASA has accused Jeff Bezos’ private space company of threatening, through its costly and protracted litigation, with destroying the “unique momentum” for resuming manned space exploration.
Blue Origin took legal action against the US space agency earlier this year after its offer to build a lunar lander for the Artemis space program, which is expected to bring people back to the moon this decade, failed.
The moon mission was originally scheduled for 2024, but that date now appears to be in jeopardy due to the protests from Blue Origin.
Legal action began after SpaceX received the lucrative contract from Elon Musk to develop its Starship spacecraft after NASA published a space contractor to build a lunar lander.
This prompted Blue Origin to file a 50-page protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) accusing NASA of “moving the goalposts at the last minute”.
GAO dismissed the protest, but Blue Origin filed a new lawsuit in federal court accusing NASA of being biased against Bezos’ company.
The litigation has resulted in delays in the collaboration between NASA and SpaceX, with the 2024 deadline being put on hold until resolved.
Legal filings filed by NASA’s Legal Department, obtained from The Verge through a Freedom of Information Act request, accused Blue Origin of gambling on its proposal in hopes that NASA would be willing to take the one on offer renegotiate proposed price.
The lawyers claim, “Blue Origin made a bet and they lost.”
If successful, Blue Origin’s legal offer could terminate the contract between NASA and SpaceX and force the space agency to restart the bidding process.
“All of this unique dynamic can easily be undone by a party – in this case Blue Origin – trying to prioritize its own wealth over that of NASA, the United States, and anyone living today who dreams how people explore worlds beyond our own, ”says the legal documents.
“Clearly, a protest sustained in the current dispute carries the high risk of not only delaying the Artemis program, but also that it will never actually achieve its goal of bringing the United States back to the moon.
“What starts out as a mere procurement delay easily turns into a lack of political support, a siphoned-off budget for other endeavors, and ultimately a mission put on hold.”
The trial is expected to be completed by November 1st.