Blue Origin has filed suit against NASA in federal court, arguing that the agency failed to properly evaluate its proposal for the agency’s Human Landing System program, a procurement won by SpaceX.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office denied protests July 30 that Blue Origin and Dynetics filed of NASA’s award of a single lunar lander contract to SpaceX.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says he remains confident that Congress will provide NASA with additional funding so it can select a second lunar lander developer but declined to comment on Blue Origin’s proposal to lower its costs to enable a contract.
"Competition is the engine of entrepreneurialism," Mark J. Sundahl writes. "Without it, SpaceX and other companies will lack the impetus to produce a superior product at the best price."
NASA’s Human Landing System program is the biggest bet the agency has made on the commercial space industry since the commercial crew program a decade ago.
Awarding HLS to a single provider, SpaceX, was in contravention to the agency's long-stated strategy for the Artemis program: to work with multiple companies so NASA avoid the costly delays and suspensions that have plagued the ambitious programs of the agency's past.