Blue Origin has filed a suit with the US Court of Federal Claims, arguing that the contract was unfairly awarded to SpaceX. In a statement, Blue Origin said: “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 human landing system (HLS) contract, informally referred to as the moon contract or lunar lander contract, was awarded to SpaceX, owned by Bezos’ billionaire rival Elon Musk, in April of this year. The contract is worth approximately $2.9 billion.
Since losing the contract in April, Blue Origin has fought resolutely to have the decision reversed. The company filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office, but the watchdog chose to uphold NASA’s decision. In July, NASA administrator Bill Nelson received an open letter from Bezos, stating he would waive up to $2 billion in contract payments for the first two years if the agency agreed to add Blue Origin’s lunar lander to a key phrase of its HLS programme.
On Monday, NASA said it was aware of Blue Origin’s lawsuit and that it is currently reviewing the case.