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Blue Origin's Case Dismissed by Federal Judge in Favor of NASA and SpaceX in Race to Take Humans to the Moon

(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) SpaceX origin

Blue Origin received a major blow from a federal judge on Nov. 3 after it ruled in favor of NASA in a dispute over who will build the lander that will take humans back to the moon.

Blue Origin Defeated in Latest Court Ruling

Blue Origin’s CEO Jeff Bezos and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk, two of the wealthiest people on Earth, want their own companies to be at the center of NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon.

However, NASA’s budget can only accommodate one of them, and the space agency eventually decided to work with SpaceX, according to CNN.

Blue Origin has fought tooth and nail to get the contract, saying that NASA unfairly favored SpaceX. The space company argued that the space agency would be better served by funding both SpaceX and Blue Origin’s plans to create vehicles capable of landing on the moon.

However, all of Blue Origin’s efforts to overturn NASA’s decision have been unsuccessful.

Also Read: Blue Origin Memes: Elon Musk Agrees with Entries Throwing Shades at Space Company Amidst Lawsuit

The legal dispute had put both NASA and SpaceX’s work on the contract for the Human Landing System or HLS on hold. That work will now begin “as soon as possible,” the space agency said in a statement.

The details about the lawsuit, which was filed in federal claims court back in August, have been sparse, as the companies asked the judge to keep the proceedings a secret from the media.

A filing on Nov. 4 said that lawyers would meet on Nov. 18 so they can come to an agreement on releasing a redacted version of the judge’s opinion.

In a statement, a spokesperson of Blue Origin said that the lawsuit highlighted the important safety issues with the Human Landing System procurement process that must still be addressed, though the company also said it still strongly supports NASA’s plans to go back to the moon.

The statement stated that returning astronauts safely to the moon through NASA’s public-private partnership model requires an unprejudiced procurement process together with sound policy that incorporates redundant systems and promotes competition.

The spokesperson added that they look forward to hearing from NASA on the next steps in the Human Landing System procurement process.

Jeff Bezos posted on Twitter that it is “not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the contract.

The Backstory

The companies gave NASA two different proposals for getting boots on the moon. SpaceX plans to use the Starship, a gargantuan rocket and spacecraft system in development that Musk wishes will go on to colonize Mars in the future.

Meanwhile, Blue Origin gave a more straightforward plan to create a lunar lander much like those used for the mid-20th century NASA Apollo missions, which are the only missions that have ever put humans on the moon, according to NewsBreak.

Though Blue Origin did initially receive some development money from NASA, the current drama was kicked off when Congress allotted NASA about two billion dollars less for HLS than the initial $3.4 billion budget.

In April, the space agency chose to go with only one contract, which is SpaceX, for HLS. The space company’s bid was the cheapest at $3 billion. Blue Origin’s bid was for $6 billion.

NASA has repeatedly said that cost was a massive factor in its decision to select SpaceX as the sole awardee for the HLS program.

Related Article: NASA: Blue Origin Lawsuit Could Likely Delay Moon Landing Mission’s 2024 Target Launch

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Sophie Webster

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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