Blue Origin, a space rocket company backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos, officially challenges NASA’s signing with rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX A lunar lander contract worth US$2.9 billion (approximately Rs 21,650 crore).

Blue Origin said Monday that it had filed a protest with the Federal Government Accountability Office, accusing NASA of moving the goalposts of contract bidders to other places at the last minute.

Earlier this month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded SpaceX a contract to build a spacecraft to send astronauts to the moon as early as 2024.

This highly sought-after project aims to bring mankind back to the moon for the first time since 1972.

Blue Origin said in an email statement: “NASA made a flawed acquisition of the Human Landing System program and moved the goal post at the last minute.”

“Their decision eliminated competition opportunities, greatly reduced the supply base, not only caused delays, but also jeopardized the return of the United States to the moon. Therefore, we filed a protest with the U.S. Government Administration (GAO).

Musk’s SpaceX bids alone, while Amazon founder Bezos’ Blue Origin has teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper.

The New York Times earlier reported on the 50-page protest of Blue Origin.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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