Bezos’ Blue Origin, in lost NASA lawsuit, raised offer to cover $3 billion in lunar lander costs

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  • Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin raised its proposal to cover the NASA cost of an astronaut lunar lander from $2 billion to “more than $3 billion” as the company battled it in federal court.
  • The sweet offer came as Bezos’s company countered NASA’s decision to fully reward SpaceX with a $2.9 billion contract under the agency’s Human Landing System (HLS) program.

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Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin this fall raised its proposal to cover the NASA cost of an astronaut lunar lander by more than $1 billion, as the company battles in federal court over the agency’s award of the contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX Was.

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The lunar lander saga of space billionaires — NASA mired in the middle — began in April, when SpaceX became the sole winner of a $2.9 billion contract to use Musk’s Starship rocket for the agency’s Human Landing System (HLS) program. Gaya. The decision led Blue Origin to protest with the Government Accountability Office, arguing that there were “fundamental issues with NASA’s decision.”

In July, days before the GAO denied Blue Origin’s opposition, Bezos offered NASA to cover up to $2 billion in the first two years of the contract. In an open letter to NASA, Bezos said that it is not too late to rectify the situation. NASA did not respond publicly to the proposal, and after Blue Origin sued the agency in August, the company sweetened the offer during a court protest this fall.

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Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith raised the offer from $2 billion in private funding to “more than $3 billion.” Smith told court that the company would “add valuable competition” and help cover NASA’s “lack of budget and funding” for the program that caused the agency to select just one company for the HLS contract.

U.S. Federal Judge Richard Hartling, in a court opinion issued Thursday on why Blue Origin lost the lawsuit, wrote that “in the context of Blue Origin’s own bid opposition, an attempt to conduct public relations talks after the award was made to support a finding.” is insufficient for. Partisanship.”

Hartling said, “These post-award proposals to contribute funds were not the first from NASA when it gave its award, and NASA had no time for Blue Origin to improve its proposal by absorbing the cost or reducing the price.” There was no obligation to ask for it.”

The US Court of Federal Claims held that Blue Origin’s lawsuit “because it did not have a substantial chance of award” did not stand and, even if it did stand, the company would “lose out on the merits” of the case.

“Blue Origin argues that it would have submitted an alternative proposal, but the Court found its hypothetical proposal to be speculative and unsupported by the record,” Hartling wrote in the court’s opinion.

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