Jeff Bezos' company Blue Origin has just taken its fight against NASA's manned lunar landing program to federal court. The complaint is part of a months-long crusade by the company to win some of the funds offered by the US agency. This new "twist" may, once again, delay the development of the Artemis program.
Blue Origin, which was competing for NASA's new manned lunar lander contract, obviously didn't understand the lesson. The company had first filed a protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), arguing that the US agency should have awarded at least two contracts to maintain the principle of competition. This complaint was ultimately dismissed, but the procedure had already suspended the contract linking SpaceX to NASA for 95 days.
"We remain firmly convinced that there were fundamental issues with NASA's decision ", the company said in a statement at the time. “But the GAO was unable to resolve them due to its limited jurisdiction “.
Following this refusal, Blue Origin then published a not "very sporty" infographic, pointing out that the approach proposed by SpaceX would be "extremely complex and high risk ", while the one offered by Blue Origin appears to be "safe, low risk and fast ". In this infographic, Blue Origin claimed that SpaceX will need to complete at least sixteen fuel-filled Starship launches to get a single craft to the Moon. Since then, Elon Musk has responded to these advances, pointing out that between four and eight launches would actually be needed.
We thought then that Blue Origin had finally accepted defeat. It is not.
Blue Origin has just taken its fight to federal court. The company reportedly alerted the court last week to its impending lawsuit and asked the judge to order a stay of SpaceX's contract while the case is heard, according to The Verge.
You have understood it, Blue Origin therefore applies the scorched earth policy by suing the customer it wants to seduce – NASA – at the risk of compromising its relations. with the agency. The complaint, filed in the United States Federal Court of Claims, and the upcoming lawsuit could therefore once again delay the Artemis program which, obviously, will not be able to return humans to the Moon before at least 2025.