ICYMI: Blue Origin has lost its federal lawsuit over NASA’s Human Landing System (HLS) contract. Yesterday, Court of Federal Claims Judge Richard Hertling ruled against Blue Origin in its lawsuit against NASA. Hertling did not share many details in his 192-word statement.
What happened? NASA initially intended to award two separate HLS moon lander contracts. Then, citing budgetary constraints, the agency decided to go with one company: SpaceX.
Blue Origin protested NASA’s decision to award SpaceX a $2.9B moon lander contract. Blue’s proposal, in partnership with others, was ~$6B. Jeff Bezos personally stepped in after NASA picked SpaceX, offering to waive $2B in NASA payment, should the space agency pick the Blue Moon lunar lander.
- In reaction to the verdict, Bezos tweeted: “Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract.”
- On brand as ever, Elon tweeted a meme in response to the news.
As a result of the verdict, NASA and SpaceX will resume work on the lander ASAP.
- “It’s been disappointing to not be able to make progress,” Pam Melroy, NASA’s deputy administrator, told the NYT.
- In a statement, NASA said that it “continues working with multiple American companies to bolster competition and commercial readiness for crewed transportation to the lunar surface.”
But! Surprise, surprise…this story may not be over. Congress has directed NASA to back two moon lander programs, citing the need for more redundancy and competition.