NASA to Court!
The tight race to conquer space added a new episode after the American tycoon Jeff Bezos decided to sue NASA. The founder of Amazon and the space company Blue Origin agreed on the US space agency awarded Elon Musk's Space X a contract to build a landing system on the Moon. With this project, which includes a $2.9 billion investment, the astronauts are expected to return to the Moon in 2024, in a mission not carried out since 1972. Bezos, like Musk, had submitted a proposal to NASA to be part of the construction of this lunar site, but it was rejected.
What does Blue Origin say?
According to the signature of the former head of Amazon, there are "fundamental problems" in the agreement between NASA and Space X, which he described as "unfair." In a court filing on Friday, Blue Origin said it continued to believe that two providers were needed to lift the landing system. The dispute is even more complex. Although the original idea was that two companies would carry out the construction, NASA finally decided to give the contract to the only one due to a lack of funds. It also accused NASA of carrying out an "illegal and inadequate evaluation" of its proposals during the bidding process.
"We strongly believe that the issues identified in this acquisition and its results must be addressed to restore equity, create competition and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America," said the company founded by Bezos.
What's behind NASA's decision?
At the time of the award, NASA's human exploration chief, Kathy Lueders, admitted that the space agency's current budget prevented her from selecting two companies. This, because the United States Congress granted her only US $ 850 million of the US $ 3,300 million that she had requested to carry out the project. Faced with this situation, in July, Bezos offered to cover up to the US $ 2 billion of NASA's costs to have the contract reconsidered, but it was still rejected. Another factor cited by NASA for accepting the Space X proposal is Elon Musk's signature track record of orbital missions. Additionally, the cost is believed to have played a role - SpaceX's offering was the cheapest of all. Meanwhile, the US watchdog, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), rejected Blue Origin's complaint, stating that NASA had not "acted improperly" by handing over the contract to a single company.
Now, the US space agency must file a response to the legal action before October 12. SpaceX has yet to comment on the lawsuit.