NASA suspends its contract with SpaceX in exchange for speeding up the litigation process


SpaceX HLS


After Blue Origin announced earlier that it would report to NASA, what should Artemis plan to do, and whether SpaceX could develop the Moon Landing Rocket (HLS) on its own, became a problem. Fortunately, the parties involved in the litigation reached an agreement to suspend NASA’s contract with SpaceX in exchange for speeding up the litigation process. The goal is to make a judgment before November 1 to minimize wasted time.

But this is the second time SpaceX is subject to Blue Origin and has to suspend cooperation with NASA. Earlier, after NASA selected SpaceX as the only supplier of HLS, BO filed an objection to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Although GAO later rejected Blue Origin, this has been regarded as a shelving plan by NASA and SpaceX. It took 95 days, and the current second timeout seems to take about 70 days. Even if SpaceX, the Starship based on HLS, is still developing at full speed, NASA still hopes to start discussing the details of the rocket with SpaceX as soon as possible.

Neither the GAO nor the court is likely to overturn the decision made by NASA (NASA is a professional after all), so the focus of the BO litigation should be on whether there are procedural flaws in the decision-making process. Both parties have nearly two months to prepare relevant documents, and the judge is scheduled to hold a court session on October 14.