An artist’s rendering shows SpaceX’s Starship rocket ship on the moon. (SpaceX illustration)
NASA has suspended its contract with SpaceX to bring astronauts back to the moon pending the first outcome of a lawsuit from Blue Origin.
The voluntary stay ends on November 1, two weeks after the hearing on the case, according to a schedule set in the US Federal Court on Thursday.
Blue Origin, the commercial space company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, filed a lawsuit against the US government over NASA’s decision to award Elon Musk’s SpaceX a $ 2.9 billion contract to build the first lunar lander since Apollo. to grant that would bring astronauts to the moon epoch.
The decision was previously the subject of a Blue Origin protest, which was rejected by the Government Accountability Office on July 30th.
Blue Origin sealed its lawsuit, but the company’s previous bid protest disputed NASA’s decision to award a single contract.
Originally, NASA had hoped to fund two of the three teams to continue work on their human landing systems, which would have offered a backup option. Agency officials cited Congressional budget constraints as a reason for receiving only one award.