Blue Origin, Bezos’ company, has been vying with SpaceX for a contract to handle NASA’s Human Landing System program, which is in charge of delivering astronauts to the moon’s surface for the agency’s planned Artemis missions.
The contract was awarded to Musk’s company in April. Still, Blue Origin argued the decision, first with the US Government Accountability Office and then with the lawsuit, which aimed to show NASA wrongly awarded the contract to only SpaceX and in doing so cast aside “key flight safety requirements.”
This week, Blue Origin’s arguments were dismissed by federal judge Richard Hertling, who decided against the complaint and determined that the $2.9 billion contract bidding procedure was fair.
The court’s ruling is now sealed, but Hertling has asked the parties to submit proposed redactions by November 18 to make the opinion public.
A Blue Origin spokesperson provided a statement to CNBC noting that the company’s lawsuit “highlighted” the vital safety precautions with the “Human Landing System” that need to be handled.
“Returning astronauts safely to the Moon through NASA’s public-private partnership model requires an unprejudiced procurement process alongside sound policy that incorporates redundant systems and promotes competition,” the spokesperson said.
A spokesperson also told Insider that Blue Origin has ‘a broad base of activity on multiple contracts with NASA” to help the United States reach the goal of returning to “the moon to stay.”
Bezos took to his Twitter to share the ruling, writing that it wasn’t the decision they anticipated, but they “respect the court’s judgment.”
Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on the c… https://t.co/JZw3jLxIbt
When people saw this meme on the platform, they didn’t hesitate to comment.
“Elon Musk trolling Jeff Bezos is gold,” someone wrote.
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A third wrote: “Elon is definitely that guy! This is epic.”
The verdict allows SpaceX to continue developing their Starship rocket, which will be used for the Artemis mission, which intends to return humans to the moon by 2024. However, delays caused by the lawsuit may make that goal unachievable.
Following the judgement, NASA will continue to work with SpaceX on the contract on Monday.