Blue Origin is Suing the Government Over its Deal with Elon Musk

Jeff Bezos has discovered a new passion in space research after standing down as the active CEO of Amazon. Last month, Bezos made history by launching his New Shepard rocket into orbit for the first time. Despite the launch’s success, Bezos appears to be unhappy with NASA’s choice to give a large Moon exploration contract to SpaceX, which billionaire Elon Musk runs.

Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company, is suing the US government over its decision to award an enormous Moon exploration contract to SpaceX’s competitor.

The company has filed a federal lawsuit in the United States Court of Federal Claims, accusing NASA of acting “unlawfully and improperly” in evaluating proposals for its human landing system program. According to the document filed, Blue Origin is upset with NASA’s decision to grant a vast Moon exploration contract to competitor SpaceX.

The complaint continued by adding, “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.”

For the first time in history, America saw its independent billionaire race to space this year. Musk, Bezos, and even Richard Branson have all tried their hand at space travel, each with their own private team of scientists and engineers. Each of the three billionaires’ space programs required a substantial sum of money, which was not an issue for them. However, NASA only awarded Bezos’ rival Elon Musk’s, SpaceX, a massive contract to assist with the company’s space research.

SpaceX was awarded a $2.9 billion contract for the human landing system (HLS) in April. Since losing the contact to Musk, Blue Origin has been livid in its actions to reverse NASA’s original decision.

“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 stated.

Despite the company’s urgent appeal, NASA’s decision is likely to remain unchanged, especially given the amount of profit Bezos and his companies made during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Bezos’s net worth grew by $75 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.

This roadblock will most likely not prevent Bezos’ future space exploration aspirations, but it must frustrate the living daylights out of him that his direct competitor is given aid to accomplish the same thing.

 

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