The space wars are on as Jeff Bezos’ rocket company, Blue Origin, filed a complaint against a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX from NASA and Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, responded with a tweet.
The New York Times reported that, on Monday, Blue Origin filed a 50-page protest with the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) over a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX from NASA. The contract is meant to build a lander for astronauts to return to the moon.
To gain this contract SpaceX had to beat out Blue Origin and a third firm Dynetics of Huntsville, Alabama, which also filed a complaint to the GAO.
Bob Smith, chief executive of Blue Origin, told The New York Times that NASA’s choice of contractor was flawed.
“It’s really atypical for NASA to make these kinds of errors,” Smith said. “They’re generally quite good at acquisition, especially its flagship missions like returning America to the surface of the moon. We felt that these errors needed to be addressed and remedied.”
SpaceX did not release any statements but Musk did poke fun at the fact that Blue Origin has not yet achieved orbit with any of its rockets. “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol” he tweeted, almost taunting Jeff Bezos.
Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2021
In order to secure the NASA contract, Blue Origin had formed an impressive team by partnering with aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper. Perhaps it was this great effort by the firm that left it feeling that it was unjustly left out of the race.
Still, it was no match for SpaceX’s giant rocket called Starship that the firm is developing for trips to Mars. Will this new protest change NASA’s decision? We will be following closely to give you the news.