Blue Origin challenges NASA contract for SpaceX

(Reuters) – Blue Origin, the space company backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has formally challenged the $ 2.9 billion contract NASA gave to rival SpaceX, the firm founded by Elon Musk, for the development of a spacecraft intended to take astronauts to the Moon from 2024.

Blue Origin said Monday it had filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Office, accusing NASA of having changed the terms of the tender at the last moment.

The coveted project, awarded earlier this month to SpaceX, aims to transport astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972.

The New York Times first reported on Blue Origin’s request in a 50-page document.

Blue Origin had partnered for the project with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper, while SpaceX had applied alone.

(Kanishka Singh in Bangalore and Eric Johnson in Seattle; French version Jean Terzian)

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