American billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space company has no intention of resigning to NASA’s decision. NASA decided to give rival SpaceX the sole opportunity to build a rocket for a trip to the moon.
Blue Origin, the American space company of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, does not accept that the American space agency NASA has offered its rival SpaceX an exclusive multi-billion dollar contract to build a rocket for a trip to the moon. Earlier this week, it submitted a 50-page document to the US Congressional regulator to protest that decision. It has 100 days to pronounce itself.
Matthew Staver©Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s aerospace company won the $ 2.89 billion contract mid-month. In addition to Blue Origin, the defence player Dynetics also competed for the tender. On Monday, both the Blue Origin Federation and Dynetics filed a bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The expectation was NASA would select at least two companies, but the space agency unexpectedly decided to only work with SpaceX. NASA made it appear that this is happening for financial reasons. Of the $ 3.4 billion that the organization requested from Congress for 2021 for its lunar landers program, it was awarded only $ 850 million. As a result, she could not make the optimal decision, said top woman Kathy Lueders. After a comparison of the price, the technical aspects and the quality of the management, SpaceX came out as the best candidate.
Atypical error from NASA
But according to Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, NASA is making a big mistake. “It’s atypical for NASA to make mistakes like that,” he said. “She’s normally pretty good at tenders, especially when it comes to top missions like the one to the moon. We felt that those errors should be addressed and remedied.”
Smith argues that giving one company the monopoly to build a moon rocket does not benefit innovation and efficiency. In addition, he states that NASA ignores the technical challenges at SpaceX. That his proposal, at $ 6 billion, costs twice as much as SpaceX’s, he dismisses. If both companies were allowed to work on a moon rocket, it would cost $ 9 billion. That is roughly the same as the cost of the program that was set up to arrange transport to the International Space Station (ISS).
For the trip to the moon, Blue Origin is thinking of a rocket that looks like a larger version of the Apollo missions of the 60s and 70s. SpaceX wants its Starship rocket, which it is developing for travels to Mars. To adjust. Tests with such missiles in Texas have consistently yielded fireworks so far.
After the last lunar mission in 1972, NASA decided to end the US Apollo space travel program due to over-cost and waning interest in the moon. Since 2007 she has been working on a sequel with the Artemis program. The plan is to have people on the moon again by 2024.
In recent years, NASA has increasingly turned to commercial companies to develop spacecraft and facilitate space travel. SpaceX successfully enlisted in that commercial program with its Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, while Blue Origin is lagging behind for now.