Just a few days after NASA awarded whopping $2.9 billion contract to build a moon lander to Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the national aerospace agency has suspended the contract. NASA suspended the contract after Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, alongside Dynetics filed complaint with the Government Accountability Office. A report alleged that there is a corruption scandal in awarding the contract to SpaceX.
Dynetics, an Alabama-based defense contractor, Bezo’s Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX bid on the contract to develop a Human Landing System. NASA previously announced that there will be two awardees receiving the contract for America’s moon return. However, NASA later made the SpaceX a sole selection to build lunar lander. After NASA awarded the contract, Blue Origin quickly protested and slammed the decision as flawed.
Blue Origin issued a statement slamming the decision of the space administration. The company alleged that the decision potentially endangers the America’s return to the moon. Blue Origin was founded by the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos. The company further mentioned that NASA’s selection is high risk as it eliminates the completion and ultimately delays the return to the moon.
NASA has told SpaceX to halt the project, until the matter with rival bidders concludes.
The space agency on Friday announced that there would be no work on the lunar lander project until all the litigation connected to the project gets resolved. NASA while providing the contract to SpaceX mentioned that the company offered low price as compared to other bidders. Also, the agency mentioned that they couldn’t stick with the original plan because the Congress only allocated $850 million for NASA’s 2021 budget.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2021
However, in the complaint filed by Blue Origin and Dynetics, the companies argued that the agency should have withdrawn the request to bid if they had low funding. Blue Origin and Dynetics reportedly offered a project cost more than double what SpaceX offered. The company also revealed that the space agency had a negotiation with SpaceX regarding the project cost, but not with Blue Origin.
After the rivals filed a complaint with GAO, Elon Musk then brutally trolled Blue Origin on Twitter. Tesla CEO mocked the fact that Blue Origin hasn’t achieved orbit with any of its rockets until now. He even tweeted an image featuring Blue Origin’s moon-lander prototype, but edited the image that reads, Blue Balls.