The company owned by Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, has filed a lawsuit in federal court. It insists that the competitors received the contract in violation of the tender rules. Earlier, the company’s claims about this were rejected by the Federal Accounting Chamber, stating that NASA, which preferred the more budget-oriented development of SpaceX, did not violate the current legislation and the terms of the tender. SpaceX in April received a contract worth $ 2.9 billion for the development of the Starship spacecraft to deliver the crew to the Moon; the project of the landing vehicle from Blue Origin was estimated at $ 5.9 billion. Bezos offered the NASA management to cover the missing budget funds on their own in exchange for receiving a contract, but the Accounting Chamber said that the contract remains with SpaceX.
The publication notes that the lawsuit may again delay the implementation of NASA’s plans to return a man to the moon. Blue Origin asked the judge to suspend work on the contract while the lawsuit is being considered. “If Blue Origin’s request is granted, the suspension of the SpaceX contract may last longer (during the consideration of Blue Origin’s claims by the accounting chamber, work on the contract was suspended for 95 days),” the publication writes.
Earlier, the head of NASA, Bill Nelson, said that the United States still aims to “return a man” to the Moon in 2024 but called for a “sober and realistic” look at the situation.
The previous US administration announced the implementation of a program to return a man to the moon called Artemis. It involves several stages: an orbital flight, the creation of a near-lunar station, and then the landing of the crew on the surface of the Moon.