Blue Origin makes another bid for a NASA lunar lander contract
Blue Origin has made one other try and safe a contract to construct a lunar lander for NASA’s future Artemis missions. It teamed up with a number of different corporations for the proposal, together with Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Draper. Astrobotic and Honeybee Robotics are additionally concerned.
In 2021, NASA gave SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to make use of a model of Starship as a lunar lander. Blue Origin challenged that transfer, claiming that NASA’s “resolution eliminates alternatives for competitors, considerably narrows the provision base and never solely delays, but in addition endangers America’s return to the Moon.”
Blue Origin proprietor Jeff Bezos wrote in an open letter to NASA administrator Invoice Nelson in July final 12 months that his firm was prepared to waive as much as $2 billion in funds in change for a fixed-price lander contract. Bezos additionally complained that the choice to award a single contract gave SpaceX “a multiyear, multibillion-dollar head begin” and claimed it “broke the mould of NASA’s profitable industrial house applications by placing an finish to significant competitors for years to return.”
NASA had supposed to award two lunar lander contracts, however it opted to solely concern one resulting from funding considerations. In August 2021, Blue Origin filed a lawsuit towards NASA over its dealing with of the Human Touchdown System program. Nonetheless, a Federal Court docket of Claims choose dominated towards Blue Origin. The lawsuit held up work on SpaceX’s lander and delayed a crewed mission to the Moon till 2025.
Earlier this 12 months, NASA stated it might once more settle for proposals for a second lunar lander challenge. Now, Blue Origin is taking the company up on the supply. As The Wall Avenue Journal notes, Blue Origin will face competitors from Northrop Grumman and Leidos Dynetics. Northrop Grumman labored with Blue Origin through the first spherical of contract bids.
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