Blue Origin disputes SpaceX’s monopoly of NASA Artemis contract

Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos unveils his space company Blue Origin's space exploration lunar lander rocket called Blue Moon during an unveiling event in Washington, US, May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY-RC1D3059CB00

Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

More than a week ago, NASA made the decision to let SpaceX monopolize the Artemis lunar landing craft contract, which really surprised many people. For Blue Origin, one of the companies that was unsuccessful in this matter, it was obviously unwilling to accept such a result lightly.They have submitted to the U.S. Government Accountability Office a few days agoProtest, Raised objections to NASA’s choice.

“NASA’s bidding in the process of advancing the Human Landing System program has problems. They changed the standard at the last minute. In NASA’s own words, they made a “high-risk” decision.” Blue Origin’s representative told us. “Its decision to let (others’) competitive opportunities cease to exist, and obviously weakens the supply base. This will not only increase the possibility of delays in the plan, but will even endanger the return of the United States to the moon.”

Generally speaking, NASA used to choose more than two companies to compete and cooperate in order to ensure that they are prepared. The Artemis contract was originally expected to choose two from the three companies, but in the end only SpaceX was signed, which is said to be due to tight funds. “NASA generally does a good job in bidding, especially for high-level missions such as the return of the United States to the moon. Therefore, we believe that some errors need to be resolved and corrected.” In an interview with the New York Times, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said. Said, “We didn’t get the opportunity to make changes at all. This is simply unfair.”

It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that Jeff Bezos related companies have challenged the decisions of US government agencies. Last year, Amazon also expressed a protest against the Ministry of Defense handing over the cloud computing contract to Microsoft, but after internal investigations, the Ministry of Defense still maintained the original decision.