Blue Origin, the US space company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, lodged a protest in the US Congress on Monday (local time) over NASA’s selection of SpaceX. That company won a tender to build a spacecraft that will take American astronauts to the moon for the first time since the 1970s.
“NASA made a flawed acquisition and created deadlines at the last minute,” Blue Origin said in a statement to the news agency. France Press agency. The private space company said the decision “eliminates the chances of competition, dramatically reduces the supply base, and not only slows down, but also jeopardizes America’s return to the moon.” Reason for the company to file a protest with the GAO regulator of the US Congress.
NASA announced more than a week ago that it would choose Tesla founder Elon Musk’s company and award SpaceX a $ 2.9 billion (roughly € 2.4 billion) contract to develop the Starship. But Blue Origin argued that NASA misjudged the risks associated with choosing an “all-new launcher” from SpaceX. This would entail the necessary risks and their development, according to the company, takes longer than expected.
The spacecraft has not yet succeeded
So far, unmanned test flights have not been successful with the Starship. Attempts to land the spacecraft ended in an explosion. Recently, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced a safety investigation into some failed tests.
Blue Origin believes that by choosing SpaceX only now, NASA is endangering the Moon Project because there is no Plan B. In addition, it creates a potential monopoly on all future NASA reconnaissance missions in the eyes of the company.
Bezos, the founder of Amazon, wanted to win a contract with the aerospace and defense companies Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. He hopes, through the GAO, to increase the pressure on NASA to overturn the earlier decision to choose SpaceX.
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