Perhaps the richest man to ever have a dummy spit, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is officially suing NASA in the US federal court after losing a lunar landing bid to Elon Musk’s SpaceX earlier this year.
Earlier this year, NASA’s Human Landing System program funded three lunar landing prototypes including one from Blue Origin and one from SpaceX, but — due to a lack of funding from Congress — only progressed with the SpaceX Starship for the now-delayed 2024 moon landing mission.
If you ask NASA, the reason for choosing SpaceX was a cost-effectiveness and larger cargo capacity, but Bezos’ Blue Origin wasn’t satisfied with this and claimed the space agency didn’t do its due diligence in evaluating its submission.
Now, after months of back and forth, Blue Origin has officially filed a complaint with the US Court of Federal Claims on Friday.
Although the complaint has been suppressed by a protective order — so we don’t know the exact details — Blue Origin has described it as a challenge to “NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals,” according to a separate filing on the matter.
A Blue Origin spokesperson told The Verge that the suit was “an attempt to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA’s Human Landing System”.
“We firmly believe that the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America,” the spokesperson added.
NASA spokeswoman Monica Witt told The Verge that its officials are “currently reviewing details of the case”.
While the case likely won’t see Blue Origin land a lunar lander contract with the national space agency, it does mean we can likely expect further delays to the Artemis program, which is already completely off track to reach its 2024 deadline.
The news comes just weeks after a federal watchdog agency quashed Blue Origin’s first attempt at changing the NASA verdict.