The recent take-off of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station has not been very successful. SpaceX’s competitor, Blue Origin, filed a complaint on Monday with the American courts, protesting against NASA’s decision to prefer Elon Musk’s flagship to build the moon landing craft that will drop future astronauts on the Moon.
For Jeff Bezos’ company, this choice, which would have been dictated by NASA’s desire to reduce its bill as much as possible, could well be detrimental to the American space agency. While Blue Origin had partnered with three big American names in aerospace to respond to a recent call for tenders from NASA (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper), it was ultimately SpaceX that won the contract, amounted to $ 2.9 billion.
Suffice to say that the pill does not pass for the management of Blue Origin, according to which NASA misjudged the risks induced by the choice of SpaceX’s solution, of “an entirely new vehicle” with “notoriously difficult development” and whose recent tests have ended in resounding failures. “NASA made a faulty acquisition for its” lunar vessel program, “and changed the rules of the game at the last moment,” says the company of billionaire Jeff Bezos, which denounces a decision dictated solely by financial factors.
For the CEO of Amazon, the decision of NASA “also eliminates the possibility of competition (…) and does not only delay, but also endanger the return of America to the Moon”, set at 2024. The company is now calling for the cancellation of the call for tenders made by NASA, and the “solicitation of new offers” by clarifying the “available funds”.