Blue Origin loses lawsuit against NASA over moon landing in win for Elon Musk

Seattle, Washington - Jeff Bezos's space expedition company Blue Origin has lost its lawsuit against NASA over a $2.9-billion astronaut lunar landing contract awarded to Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Blue Origin has lost its lawsuit against NASA over landing a contract to send travelers to on the moon.
Blue Origin has lost its lawsuit against NASA over landing a contract to send travelers to on the moon.  © Collage: IMAGO/Cover-Images & Fotoarena

The US Court of Federal Claims ruled against Blue Origin in its lawsuit against NASA. In his ruling on Thursday, Federal judge Richard Hertling sided with the defense.

Responding to the verdict, Bezos tweeted, "Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court's judgement, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract."

It is a very different tone than the previous bickering over the issue between Musk and Bezos in their billionaire space race.

Musk did post a tweet on Wednesday of a cartoon alluding to the ongoing fight over both landing on the Moon and Mars on Wednesday. Yet it did not rope Bezos in specifically this time.

Meanwhile, NASA said the work with SpaceX will now resume as soon as possible.

The agency added that there will be forthcoming opportunities for companies to partner with NASA in establishing a long-term human presence on the Moon and space travel under the agency's Artemis program.

NASA had awarded its lunar landing contract under its Artemis program to SpaceX back in April. The agency initially had said the contract would go to two of the three applicants – namely Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Dynetics – but due to a fund crunch, the contract went to SpaceX who had a $2.9-billion offer compared to Blue Origin's $5.9-billion.

Following this, Blue Origin in August sued NASA for awarding the contract to SpaceX. The lawsuit highlighted the important safety issues with the Human Landing System procurement process that must still be addressed.

The expedition is set to mark the United States' first human landing since 1972. As per the contract, there would be two landings, one unmanned, and one manned.

It is unclear whether Musk will be the one landing on the moon himself, but as of now, it looks like it won't be Bezos getting there before him.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/Cover-Images & Fotoarena

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