Earlier this month, Elon Musk’s SpaceX secured a $2.9 billion USD contract with NASA to put humans back on the Moon, but the deal has now been suspended due to complaints made by both companies that lost out: Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin and the Alabama-based Dynetics.
Both protests were filed to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, with Blue Origin claiming that “NASA has executed a flawed acquisition for the Human Landing System program and moved the goalposts at the last minute.” According to a spokesperson for the company, “In NASA’s own words, it has made a ‘high risk’ selection. Their decision eliminates opportunities for competition, significantly narrows the supply base, and not only delays, but also endangers America’s return to the Moon.” In a similar vein, Dynetics also challenged NASA’s decision for being “the most anti-competitive and high risk option available.”
In light of these complaints, the contract between NASA and SpaceX has now been suspended, and it could take until August 4 for a decision to be made regarding the filings. NASA has not made any official comments on the suspension aside from simply acknowledging it.
In other tech-related news, the NYPD has returned robot dog Spot to Boston Dynamics following public outcry.