NASA suspends SpaceX work on the lunar lander during the Blue Origin protest

An artist's idea of ​​a SpaceX lander on the surface of the moon.

An artist’s thought of ​​a SpaceX lander on the floor of the moon.
illustration: Space X

NASA has suspended SpaceX’s work $2.9 billion lunar lander The house company didn’t select the firm to construct its lunar lander due to the protests made by “Blue Origin” and “Dynetics” that despatched the astronauts again to the moon.

Last Friday, NASA spokesperson Monica Witt (Monica Witt) introduced a quick assertion, asserting the suspension of procurement, and mentioned it is going to proceed till the Government Accountability Office resolves complaints associated to procurement. Engadget. GAO till August. 4At the newest, selections have to be made on the challenges confronted by Blue Origin, based by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and protection contractor Dynetics.

Witte mentioned: “On April 26, NASA received a notice that the Blue Origin Alliance and the Danidis Organization filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), requesting that the human landing system be selected for Option A. Challenge.” “According to GAO’s protests, NASA instructed SpaceX to suspend the progress of the HLS contract until GAO resolves all pending lawsuits related to the purchase. As the lawsuit is pending, NASA cannot provide further comment.”

Gizmodo contacted NASA on Saturday to confirm Witt’s statement, but had not received any response at the time of publication. The request for comment from SpaceX also did not return immediately. If there is a response, we will update this blog.

NASA ordered the suspension of SpaceX’s work on the lunar lander and can use its interplanetary spacecraft launch system, which implies that SpaceX is not going to instantly obtain the first $2.9 billion reward. Marginal report. The firm is not going to start preliminary negotiations with NASA because it did when the large-scale contract started.

Nonetheless, provided that SpaceX plans to make use of Starship to move cargo and crew to Earth orbit, the Moon and Mars, the firm is prone to proceed growth on Starship.Earlier this week, the FAA mentioned It has authorized The subsequent three “Starship” prototypes. Some prototypes of the spacecraft have already flown at high altitudes, but so far, all flights have ended in explosions.

In the criticism filed on Monday, Suspected of “Blue Origin” NASA “carried out a flawed acquisition of the Human Landing System program and moved the aim publish at the final minute.” First, the company pointed out that NASA said it intends to award two awards for its lunar lander system, but due to It changed his mind because of “apparent shortcomings” in its current and future budgets. Blue Origin claims that working with the sole provider may threaten competition in this area.

That’s not all. Among other visible light hits, “Blue Origin” was additionally shouting at the value of the lunar lander. The firm’s value to NASA is $5.99 billion, greater than twice the value of SpaceX. nevertheless, Company statement NASA allowed SpaceX to switch the value, but it surely didn’t give Blue Origin and Dynetics the similar alternative.

Dynamics, this additionally File a complaint On Monday, some individuals believed that after NASA knew that it didn’t have sufficient funds to help the two corporations, it ought to modify its dealing with of the lunar lander or withdraw the tender. Space news report. Instead, NASA determined to undertake “the best and high-risk possibility accessible.”

Dynetics confirmed that NASA’s decision essentially makes SpaceX a lunar lander provider for the foreseeable future. The company also criticized NASA’s analysis of SpaceX’s technical methods.

Dynetics stated: “NASA did not consider the risks inherent in SpaceX’s technical approach. More specifically, the information was too close for NASA to ignore-that is, four SpaceX Starships have exploded in various stages of their test flights in recent months. “Complaints. “NASA has proved that SpaceX lacks such systems engineering capabilities.”

The firm does have one factor. Blue Origin appears to be the chief in the bidding course of, and selecting a lunar lander is taken into account delicate and secure. SpaceX should show that its “interplanetary spacecraft” methodology is possible, which incorporates refueling rockets in house and touchdown the rockets vertically on the floor of the moon. None of these items have been finished earlier than. It should additionally forestall its starship from exploding.

NASA’s present plan is to ship two astronauts (a person and a girl) to the floor of the moon in 2024.