Blue Origin has been busy lately. They launched their founder, Jeff Bezos, into space and put a bid in on NASA’s new Lunar Lander project. While SpaceX won that contract back in April, Blue Origin has continued to fight for their right to supply the space agency with an alternative lander. And recently, their not-quite-an-astronaut chief had added another fuel to the fire by offering to take $2 billion off the price tag of a Blue Origin lander.
Being the richest person in the world certainly helps when offering discounts to the federal government. But Blue Origin’s frustration with NASA’s tender process goes far beyond money. Typically the agency would have selected two companies to supply a lander, in order to ensure there would be a backup in case one project failed, and also to encourage competition between the two competing entities.
Blue Origin video introducing the company’s Blue Moon lunar lander.Credit – Blue Origin YouTube Channel
In fact, there were three companies originally selected as part of an assessment program – SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Dynetics, another aerospace contractor. NASA has not justified publicly why it only selected SpaceX to continue the development of the lander, causing outrage from ...