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Blue Origin loses lawsuit over NASA’s SpaceX lunar lander contract

Blue Origin has failed in its lawsuit against NASA over SpaceX’s lunar lander contract. CNBC reports the Federal Court of Claims has ruled against Blue Origin, dismissing the company’s claims. While the opinion is currently sealed, Blue Origin’s case had revolved around accusations NASA ignored “key flight safety requirements” when handing the Human Landing System to SpaceX.

The opinion will be publicly available sometime after November 18th, when both sides of the lawsuit are expected to supply redactions. NASA put SpaceX’s work on hold following the lawsuit, but efforts should resume November 8th.

Blue Origin previously challenged the contract through the Government Accountability Office only to be rejected in July, leading Jeff Bezos’ outfit to respond with a lawsuit. The firm even tried drastically undercutting SpaceX with a $2 billion bid, arguing at the time that NASA has historically awarded contracts to multiple partners to make sure a mission launches on time.

The outcome isn’t surprising given NASA’s own skepticism. The agency believed Blue Origin was gambling with its initial $5.9 billion proposal on flawed assumptions that NASA would both haggle down the price and receive the funding needed to cover a more expensive bid. Blue Origin disagreed with the assessment and felt it made a good offer, but that still suggests NASA preferred SpaceX for its lower pricing instead of any unfair criteria.


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