Afraid of SpaceX’s achievements, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sued the U.S government over NASA’s decision to award a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Blue Origin said its lawsuit filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Friday that “an attempt to remedy the flaws in the acquisition process found in NASA’s Human Landing System.”
They also added the issues identified in this procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to restore fairness, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America.
Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sided with NASA over its decision to pick a single lunar lander provider, rejecting Blue Origin’s protest. Blue Origin’s lawsuit remains under seal. NASA must file a response to the challenge by Oct. 12.
Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics have argued that NASA was required to make multiple awards, which is far from the truth. NASA was expected to pick two companies to build a lunar lander for the upcoming Artemis Mission but it was not mandatory.
Selecting a contractor meant that NASA could attempt to return to the moon on a budget that Congress approved, as SpaceX’s $2.9 billion bid was significantly less expensive than competing proposals, and the company’s plan is to pay for more than half of Starship’s development costs.
Having more than one contractor would only increase the cost and complexity of NASA. Yes, NASA won’t have any backup, but we also don’t think they’ll need it, given what SpaceX has done over the years.
Jeff Bezos offered NASA a rebate of up to $2 billion to award the Human Lunar Landing System (HLS) contract to his space company Blue Origin.
Escalating his space war with Musk, Bezos said in an open letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson that his company would close the US space agency’s near-term budgetary shortfall and produce a safe and durable lander Which will return the Americans to the surface of the Moon. – This time to stay.
When we look at the day when NASA picked SpaceX, no company has even built their version of the lunar lander except SpaceX. SpaceX even tested multiple Starship prototypes before NASA selected them for Artemis.
Yes, these are not exactly the same as the Lunar Lander version of rockets but SpaceX still had a rocket to show what they are capable of. Moreover, Starship will not only be capable of going to the Moon, but it will also be able to travel to the deepest places in space.
According to SpaceX, there will be multiple variants of Starship Crewed Starship – This variant is the most important version of all types. This rocket will carry up to around 100 passengers and can be operated for long distances, that is, Moon, Mars, and Beyond.
Cargo Starship – In this variant, the rocket’s bay door will open like a large jaw-crocodile. It will have a stunning 1000 cubic meters of usable space for goods and cargo.
Tanker Starship – This version of the rocket will be used for on-orbit refueling, which will reduce the cost of Starship’s operation. One-Way Starship – This variant won’t be developed in the near future but SpaceX has plans to build it in the long term as technology improves.
The rocket will only be made to inject payloads into the outer solar system. Lunar Starship – This rocket will only be used for lunar missions. The rocket will only stay in space between the earth and the moon.
This version of Starship won’t have the large flaps or heatshield as it won’t be re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Earth Transport – This rocket will be used for point-to-point travel just on Earth.
Do note that NASA is aiming to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024, this time to stay and build a Moon Base. After that, there are many more missions planned for the moon.
To execute everything properly they will need a lunar lander. So, SpaceX’s starship will give NASA a boost as we have seen SpaceX’s ability to build Starships rapidly.
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