Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, can’t be forgiven for NASA signing a contract with his friend, but also great rival, Elon Musk.
Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaeX) Elon Muska has won a $ 2.9 billion contract to prepare the landing infrastructure for astronauts returning from the moon. Jeff Bezos fought for the same contract and NASA announced before that it would choose two contractors to finally decide the best solution. NASA announced Musk’s victory in April 2021 and Blue Origin and Dynetics, third parties, immediately protested. That’s why NASA and SpaceX couldn’t start with the preparatory work.
However, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the oversight body of the U.S. Congress, said last Friday, July 30, that NASA had no obligation to award a contract. in addition to a company as Blue Origin had demanded, despite having done so previously. For its part, NASA admitted that it made the decision motivated by severe budget constraints, so it only selected one company, SpaceX. This was due to the fact that Elon Musk’s company is already testing rockets that it intends to use in the future to transport astronauts, so it is the closest to the final solution.
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“The assessment that NASA has made is reasonable and complies with applicable tendering and advertising legislation,” said Kenneth Patton, one of GAO’s auditors after the announcement of the decision. Blue Origin believes that NASA has trouble making the right decisions and does not have all the necessary permissions. At the same time, Jeff Bezos ’company makes no secret that it has no intention of capitulating, it will continue to demand a NASA contract, because there should be two companies that would allow astronauts to return safely from the moon. Elon Musk does not comment on this and posted an emoticon on Twitter: tense muscles …
On July 26, Bezos, to increase his chances of winning, offered NASA a $ 2 billion job if he was allowed to run the contract. In a letter sent to NASA a few days before his trip to space, Jeff Bezos also stated that he would bear all the costs of preparing this investment. Is that his offer was more expensive than Musk proposed and was valued at $ 5.999 billion. The dynamics were valued even more, with 8.5 billion. Ultimately, Musk and Bezos ’offers were comparable.