Blue Origin was one of three companies in competition for a contract to land NASA’s astronauts on the Moon for the first time since 1976, proposing a $5.9 billion USD lunar landing system. NASA had originally said it would give two companies Human Landing System contracts, but in April, it was announced that only SpaceX’s $2.9 billion USD Starship proposal had been chosen. In addition to Blue Origin, Dynetics, which mostly serves the United States government, was passed over.
The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims today. While specific details of the suit are under wraps, a Blue Origin spokesperson told CNBC that the company is “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,” Blue Origin told CNBC.
An initial protest filed by Blue Origin with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) was denied by the legislative branch a few weeks ago. NASA has also stuck by its decision, citing a lower-than-expected allocation from Congress that only allows for the budget of one contract, even though Bezos has offered to contribute $2 billion USD towards the contract.
The lawsuit will likely further delay the start of SpaceX’s contract, which was already paused for 95 days while the GAO investigated Blue Origin’s protest, according to The Verge, and it’’s possible that NASA could miss its goal of making it back to the Moon by 2024.
In other tech news, Apple will pay $300 million USD over its LTE patent violation.