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Blue Origin loses protest of SpaceX’s Lunar Landing Contract

SpaceX is cleared to perform a nearly $3 billion NASA contract to develop technology to land people on the moon after the U.S. Court of Federal Claims dismissed Blue Origin Federation LLC’s protest Thursday.

Judge Richard A. Hertling granted motions to dismiss in a one-page order of judgment. The court’s opinion is under seal, but a public version will be issued after the parties agree on redactions.

In response to the news, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a meme saying “You have been judged!”

Blue Origin claimed that NASA disregarded safety requirements in its decision to select SpaceX and failed to hold proper discussions with Blue Origin.

The court protest followed an unsuccessful challenge at the Government Accountability Office by Blue Origin and Dynetics Inc.

They had argued that making a single contract award was anticompetitive and risky. But the GAO said July 30 that NASA’s solicitation put bidders on notice that it could make multiple awards, a single award, or no award at all.

The GAO also rejected claims that NASA engaged in a disparate evaluation by not penalizing SpaceX’s bid for similar weaknesses identified in the protesters’ bids.

NASA and Blue Origin didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP represented Blue Origin. Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP represented SpaceX.

The case is Blue Origin Fed. LLC v. United States, Fed. Cl., No. 21-1695C, 11/4/21.

—With assistance from Justin Bachman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Seiden in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at [email protected]

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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