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Blue Origin sued NASA, which awarded SpaceX the contract for the Moon landing, in federal court on August 13. According to Blue Origin’s claim, both companies are required for the $2.9 billion projects.
The company said it requested a protection order “to protect the confidential, proprietary and source selection information contained in the complaint, and other filings and hearing transcripts in this proposal protest.”
Blue Origin explicitly stated that the case was about the HLS “Option A” award that NASA eventually made to SpaceX in April which according to the company more specifically bids protest challenges against NASA’s unlawful and improper evaluation of proposals submitted under the HLS Option A BAA.
“Blue Origin has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Federal Court of Claims to remedy the defects in the procurement process found in NASA’s Human Landing System,” the company told SpaceNews. Blue Origin stated that they firmly believe that the issues identified in this procurement and their consequences must be addressed “to restore justice, create competition, and ensure a safe return to the Moon for America.”
Blue Origin and Dynetics filed separate protests with the GAO, arguing that NASA had misjudged their bid compared to SpaceX and that NASA had made a mistake in awarding only one award.
Blue Origin first filed a complaint with the GAO in July, but the GAO immediately dismissed the complaint and stressed that NASA did not violate the rules, saying that the space agency has the right to designate multiple winners or one winner and cannot choose any winner if necessary. Blue Origin Company, however, did not back down.
In the same statement, Blue Origin urged NASA to award its second HLS Award despite the lack of funds to support such an agreement. Blue Origin, on its end, continues to encourage NASA to immediately resume competition and award a contract to the second provider, which according to them, “provides greater security and success in the task, encourage competition and control costs.”
The deal is part of NASA’s major Artemis project to have a permanent presence on the planet to land humans on the moon and travel to Mars.